Public Radio 101

As the broadcast arm of Northern Illinois University, Northern Public Radio is concerned with helping students develop professionally and advance their career skills.

To that end, the WNIJ News team has developed "Public Radio 101" a seminar conducted by professional journalists from the WNIJ News team at the beginning of the NIU semesters. The first seminar was held in September 2016.

Over the course of three evenings, students in this workshop are introduced to the principles and ethics of public radio, the basic practices of planning and gathering news stories, and recording and producing those stories for broadcast.

"Public Radio 101" graduates are invited to work with WNIJ News journalists on projects and stories during the remainder of the semester, with an eye on a future internship in the news department. They use professional equipment and receive professional guidance in preparing their work.

The stories presented here are examples of work done by "Public Radio 101" graduates.

If you are interested in joining us for the Spring 2018 seminar, send your resume and cover letter explaining your aspirations to Victor Yehling at vyehling@niu.edu with "Public Radio 101" in the subject line. You do not need previous newsroom experience.

Jenna Sterner/NPR

The checklist that follows is a reminder of things we all know we should do. It’s meant to be particularly useful to correspondents and producers. They collect the information we put on the air and online and they are expected to do all they can to make sure that what we report is accurate.

WNIJ News invites you to gain real-world journalism experience in a professional newsroom.

Learn about news reporting and production as well as the spirit that drives good journalism in the “Public Radio 101” seminar.

WNIJ News professionals again are offering a three-session free, noncredit seminar at the start of the 2018 spring semester from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on three successive Mondays -- Jan. 29, Feb. 5,  and Feb. 12 at the NIU Broadcast Center, 801 N. First Street, DeKalb.

Seminar topics include:

WNIJ

So what’s the difference between a podcast and a radio show, besides where you listen to them?

1) Podcasts have no time constraints. They can go long, they can go short. No one tunes in in the middle of a podcast. No need for self-identifying constantly.

2) Podcasts don’t need to please everyone. They can, and should, target a very specific audience.

Strong Sound!

Sep 18, 2017

STRONG SOUND = STRONGER STORIES

Use of sound sets public radio reporting apart. Always ask yourself what sound you can get as you are planning your story and how it will “take the listener there.” Not just for long, in-depth pieces.

Plan your sound. Discuss with editor. Brainstorm with co-workers. Ask the people you plan to interview what sound epitomizes the issue you are going to talk with them about. Then go to the place and decide for yourself.

Different types of “nat sound”:

Susan Stephens

WNIJ is dedicated to training the next generation of reporters. Members of our news team spent the last three Monday nights working with Northern Illinois University students as they learned more about what makes public radio special, and how they can get involved in their communities. It’s a class we call "Public Radio 101."

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