Course Details


July 15 - August 11, 2024






July 15 - August 11, 2024


Audio intensive storytelling for journalists

If you are having difficulty accessing the platform or resetting your password, please send an email to journalismcourses@austin.utexas.edu. 

Welcome to the Knight Center’s new course, Audio intensive storytelling for journalists,” organized by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. During this four-week online course, which will be held from July 15 – August 11, 2024, students will deepen their understanding of how to create audio journalism. We’ll explore the different forms of audio journalism and help you hone your audio storytelling skills –  from creating a reporting plan that includes audio to performing your story on a microphone

Regardless of what sort of journalism you do (or aspire to do), journalists are increasingly expected to be audio storytellers. This course will help you solidify the skills you need to tell the story you are covering in an interview, a longform podcast, a radio feature, or a social video. You’ll learn a process for defining your story and creating an audio reporting plan.

Who can enroll? 

This course is designed for experienced journalists who are interested in audio storytelling or are finding that they are expected to be proficient at audio storytelling as part of their job or want to further develop their audio storytelling skills. Students, working professionals, educators, and anyone interested in the intersection of journalism and audio storytelling are welcome to enroll in this course.

Certificate of Completion

A certificate of completion is included in the course fee for those who met the course requirements. The certificate is awarded by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas to attest to participation in the online course.



The course is divided into four weekly modules, each focusing on a unique topic presented through videos, presentations, readings, and discussion forums.


Module 1 – Set your audio story up for success 

We’ll explore what makes a good audio story and how you set your audio story up for success. 

This module will cover:

  • The case for audio
  • Defining your audio project plan though a project worksheet you will be completing in the course
  • Focusing your story
  • Interview: The audio marketplace Chris Bannon SVP,  Head of global audio, Conde Nast
  • LIVE Office hours: what audio is good at


Module 2 – Adapting core journalism skills for audio

Audio journalism is journalism. This week we will look at what stays the same when you are doing audio journalism and how some skills you may already have shift slightly when you are creating audio journalism.

This module will cover:

  • Audio IS journalism 
  • Interviewing to  create an audio story, it’s about more than gathering facts
  •  How to make your writing sound more like talking
  • Interview: Interviewing for audio, Jenn White host 1A 
  • LIVE Office hours: focus and interviewing


Module 3 – Core audio skills you need to know 

This week we will tackle the two elements of audio storytelling that are REALLY different – field recording and voice performance. 

This module will cover:

  • Voice performance
  • Recording
  • Interview: Jessica Hansen,  voice coach, Signature Sound
  • LIVE Office hours: Questions and mid course check-in


Module 4 – Putting it together: Three forms of audio storytelling 

Over the last three weeks you’ve learned the fundamental skills of audio storytelling. In this final week we will explore the storytelling formats you can use.

This module will cover:

  • The 2 way
  • The short form audio story
  • Longform audio stories
  • Interview:  Longform storytelling and sound design, Rund Abdelfatah host & producer, NPR Throughline
  • Interview: Soundrich short form storytelling Don Gonyea, NPR Political correspondent
  • LIVE Office hours: pitching stories




Tamar Charney’s consulting company, Charney LLC, works with media outlets, industry leadership organizations, and national networks to ensure that communities have the journalism they need. Services include custom audio-storytelling workshops (with a specialization in training print journalists to work with audio), digital strategy and audience development training, one on one coaching, editorial guidance, facilitation, and strategic recommendations to leadership. 

Tamar’s work at the local, regional, and national level as a station-based programming and content leader, key national player in developing content for emerging platforms, and podcast creator gives her a unique viewpoint on how media, particularly public media can harness its power in the digital space.

At Michigan Radio, she was a newscaster, reporter, and editor before becoming Program Director. At NPR, she pioneered content on new platforms such as apps and smart speakers including NPR’s state of the art personalized listening app NPR One. Tamar was an executive creator of NPR’s Coronavirus Daily which was the network’s fastest growing podcast to date. During her years at NPR she led NPR One, the newsroom’s digital effort, NPR’s Collaborative Journalism Network, and its cinematically produced history podcast Throughline in the work honored with a Peabody Award.

Tamar holds a master’s degree in telecommunications specializing in social effects of new media from Michigan State University and a BA from University of Michigan. She was the lead author on the chapter Uses and Gratifications of the Internet in Lin, C & Atkin, D.(Eds.)  Communication Technology and Society (pp. 379-408.) 

Before the pandemic, she gave talks and presentations at industry conferences worldwide about the confluence of technology and journalism.



Don Gonyea, NPR’s National Political Correspondent since 2010, engages with voters across the U.S., providing ground-level insights into American elections. He’s covered politics for NPR since the 2000 presidential campaign, including the controversial 2000 Bush vs. Gore race and the Bush presidency. His global reporting includes key international events and meetings. Gonyea’s contributions extend beyond elections, covering topics like labor unions and the automobile industry.








Chris Bannon SVP, Head of global audio at Conde Nast has over 25 years of experience in audio, leading the development and production of various formats, including popular podcasts such as Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend and Marvel’s Wolverine. Prior to joining Conde Nast, he served as Chief Content Officer at Stitcher, where he launched audiencefavorites like Office Ladies and oversaw the development of Freakonomics Radio and Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin at WNYC. A graduate of Brown University, Bannon received an M.A. in English from the University of North Carolina and has taught creative writing at Columbia’s School of the Arts graduate writing program and podcasting courses at CUNY’s Newmark School of Journalism.






Jenn White is the host of 1A, bringing over two decades of experience in public radio to the role. Previously at Chicago’s WBEZ, she hosted the local midday show, Reset with Jenn White, and The Morning Shift, and contributed to podcasts such as Making Oprah, Making Obama, and 16 Shots. White, a native of Detroit and a University of Michigan graduate, has moderated numerous on-air gubernatorial and mayoral debates.






Jessica Hansen, is a nationally-renowned voice coach, formerly with National Public Radio (NPR), now coaching journalists, hosts, and corporate groups. Her clients include A+E Networks, Netflix, and The New York Times. With extensive experience in film, television, and commercials, she’s dedicated to helping marginalized voices feel at home. Jessica holds an MFA in Acting from Brandeis University and has studied various voice and movement techniques.








Rund Abdelfatah is the co-creator, co-host, and senior producer of Throughline, NPR’s Peabody Award-winning history podcast that explores the historical context of current events. She handles all production aspects, including concept development, guest interviews, and sound design.

Starting at NPR as an intern in 2014, Abdelfatah quickly rose to produce major podcasts like “How I Built This,” “TED Radio Hour,” “NPR Politics Podcast,” “Code Switch,” and “Pop Culture Happy Hour.” Her journalism career began at the BBC’s Washington bureau, where she covered local and domestic politics.











Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas
300 West Dean Keeton
Room 3.212
Austin, TX, 78712

Phone: 512-471-1391

Email: journalismcourses@austin.utexas.edu