Bruno/Germany / Pixabay

So you want to build a home studio. You can do it! Two important factors are what you want to use it for and how much you'd like to spend.

But let's start basic.


1) A computer

2) Audio interface (this gets audio into your computer. In a pinch, you could use a portable recorder)

3) DAW software

4) Headphones

5) A good mic or two

Oh, and piles of pillows or blankets to deaden the sound.

Public Radio 101 Handbook

Jan 17, 2020

Participants in the Public Radio 101 workshop will get printed copies of WNIJ's Public Radio 101 handbook. Here's a digital copy just for you! In it, you'll find best practices in interviewing, vocal delivery, and gathering sound.

Strong Sound!

Sep 9, 2019


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.

Rich Egger takes us there.

WNIJ Sense of Place examples:

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.


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.

Your Best Voice

Feb 6, 2017
Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Did you know??? The most compelling sound to a human is another human’s voice. (No pressure)

Your Best Voice

Your best voice is natural.

Your best voice sounds like you.

Your best voice is calm and authoritative.

Your best voice matches the tone of your story.

Graphic Design by Teresa Chin/Youth Radio

Recording Your Interview

Wear headphones!

Ideally, your mic should be about four inches away from your subject’s mouth: that’s about a fist-width away. Keep it in roughly the same place throughout the interview. Angle the mic slightly so they are not speaking straight down it.

Never ever ever give up the mic. Do not let them hold the mic. Ever.

Keep the mic as steady as possible to avoid handling noise. Or use a mic stand or mic boom.

Editing Audio With Audacity

Jan 18, 2017


Audacity is a free audio editor that works with Mac, Windows, and LINUX operating systems. 

You can download it here:

If you have access to (there's a free ten-day trial, if you're interested.), there's a comprehensive tutorial here:

WNIJ News Professional Conduct Guidelines

Aug 25, 2016

Dress: The standard is business casual (Google it!), but the practical rule is: Dress for your assignment.

Creating A Vision For Your News Story

Aug 25, 2016

This worksheet is an excellent aid as you prepare a "pitch" for a news story you want to cover. It becomes the basis for discussions with your editor about the story idea and how it will be handled.

You must understand your story assignment to report it accurately and thoroughly. This worksheet  helps you plan any story you cover to ensure that you touch all the appropriate bases and relate your content to the focus of the story.

Guidelines for WNIJ News Stories

Aug 25, 2016

Reporters should create at least two broadcast versions of all newscast stories -- plus a version to be posted on the WNIJ website. This enables us to cover the same topic during newscasts in alternating hours of the major news magazine programs without repeating the same story.

We prefer that you create a "wrap" and a "cut and copy" to give the host options within the newscasts.

Note: You must provide a script that shows exactly what is in your audio, whether it is your voice as a reporter or a sound bite from a news source.

The Five Tiers of News Coverage

Aug 25, 2016

Originally developed by Jay Kernis, former NPR Senior VP for Programming
and expanded by KJZZ, WGVU, Northwest Public Radio, KUOW, KPLU and WNIJ


What news event, person, trend or new idea is making – or is about to make a real difference in our community? What truly reflects who we are and why we live here? What will have lasting impact? What trends and events are not being noticed?