Public Radio 101

As the broadcast arm of Northern Illinois University, Northern Public Radio is concerned with helping students and members of the community 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 academic 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 2018 Fall Semester will feature sessions from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Sept. 24, Oct. 1, and Oct. 8.

If you are interested, send your resume and cover letter explaining your aspirations to Jenna Dooley at jdooley@niu.edu with "Public Radio 101" in the subject line. You do not need previous newsroom experience.

Tips For Writing Under Deadline

Mar 13, 2018
Pixabay

Find the key aspect of what you’re reporting on, and make that the focus of your radio spots.

Example: A candidate for governor will be meeting at the local farm bureau. The main element here is the substance of the meeting, not the meeting itself.

Get the Who, What, When, Where, and Why, and pare that down to the essentials.

Continuing from the previous example: Who is the candidate? What is he or she speaking about? When and where will it happen, and why is that candidate choosing to speak there?

Ready To Add A Photo To Your Story?

Feb 2, 2018
Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Common myths about photo use debunked

It’s okay to use anything that’s online as long as I give credit. FALSE

It’s okay to use something if I asked for permission and didn’t get a response. FALSE

It’s okay to use the image if don’t know / can’t determine who took the photo. FALSE

It’s okay to use anything as long as I’m not making any money off of it. FALSE

Every story needs an image. FALSE

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."

Michelle Kittling-Brewer

Emily Eckles, Dixon, Ill.

"What I want the new president to know about my community is that it is very diverse in race, gender, and sexuality. The United States is home to many different cultures and customs, and not any single group should be singled out for any reason."

What Are Your Resolutions For 2017?

Jan 2, 2017
Scott Desavouret / WNIJ

It's time to toss 2016 in the recycling bin and look ahead to the blank calendar that is 2017. We asked some northern Illinois residents what they hope for in the new year and how they plan to get there.

Lon Clark, DeKalb

My hope for 2017 is that I find a good use for the skills that I’m going to school for right now. Whether or not I make a lot of money doing it, I don’t care necessarily. But I certainly would like to be able to use my new skills, so I look forward to finding a situation to use my new skills.

Scott Desavouret / WNIJ

Another round of college graduates is heading into the world. We asked winter graduates at Kishwaukee College how they feel about their futures.

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 introductory, noncredit seminar at the start of the 2017 NIU Spring semester from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on three successive Mondays -- Jan. 23, Jan. 30 and Feb. 6 -- at the NIU Broadcast Center, 801 N. First Street, DeKalb.

Seminar topics include:

Jessie Schlacks (left) Kaitlynn Smith (right)

The Chicago Cubs have made it to the World Series, and fans across the nation have been gathering for watch parties.

WNIJ spoke with college fans at Northern Illinois University as well as more-experienced supporters at the Oak Crest Retirement Center in DeKalb.

Ermir Ramadani, Dixon, Ill. (NIU)

How long have you been a Cubs fan?

“Probably as long as I can remember, honestly, I’ve always grown up with my dad and grandpa cheering for the Cubs. It’s really exciting right now.”

What do you wear for each game?

This week, WNIJ is participating in a national week of conversation along with other NPR Member stations in an enterprise we call A Nation Engaged.

We’re asking this question:  “What does it mean to you to be an American?”

We asked community members how they feel about this question and what advice they have for the presidential candidates to help them achieve their goals of truly feeling like a part of the country.

Emily Moody, Plainfield, Ill.

WNIJ News

A total of 12 participants completed the inaugural WNIJ News “Public Radio 101” seminar, held over the September evenings at the Northern Illinois University Broadcast Center.

The class included two students from Kishwaukee College and two NIU staff members as well as eight NIU students at various stages of pursuing degrees in the communications field. All of them expressed interest in pursuing careers in the journalism or communications fields.