The ‘Magic’ Behind Next Generation Radio

Isaura Aceves. California State University, Long Beach

My week with Next Generation Radio was one of the most educational experiences in my life. I learned how to create a multimedia story, create a non-narrated audio piece and get an experience that reflects a professional newsroom.

I only applied to experience the application process for the future, thinking I wouldn’t actually be accepted to the fellowship. The moment I received the congratulatory email, everything felt surreal. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get hands-on experience with professionals. I have live broadcasting and video production experience and a background in photography but I never have had a chance to merge all of these skills on one story.

Although this was amazing experience there were a couple of obstacles and challenges. During pre-production week my original story fell through and I had to quickly come up with a new idea for my story. I admit I was freaking out when this occurred, but I’m glad it did. I had the rare opportunity to meet talented magicians working at the Magic Castle.

I had to work around many many restrictions to do the story. The Magic Castle is a very exclusive private club that prohibited photography past the lobby. At first I didn’t think too much about as I had permission to shoot in their lobby and outside the building. During my first interview on Sunday I realized this would become a bigger issue as the lighting was terrible and our video and photography became very limited.

Even after two days of interviews and media gathering, I realized I still had did not taken enough photos. It’s better to have an excessive amount of photos and videos than very few high-quality photos. I became very focused on getting the interviews and having clean sounds not realizing that multimedia aspect of the story was just as essential as the audio piece.

This experience helped me realize that I need to consider all media aspects involved in a story. It’s about more than the non-narrative audio. For me, this project taught me to think about how we can engage our readers with our stories in the most effective way possible. As the next generation of future journalists, we must consider the technological advances occuring in the field and learn how to produce our stories with these advances.

Next Generation Radio is not easy. It’s a challenging week of non-stop work, but it’s the most rewarding experience any young journalist can have. I’m proud of my finished product and I’m glad I had the opportunity to work with a talented mentor that taught me how to produce my best work.


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