Guide to production


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Radio: IRN News Production

Dr. Beth Johnson

Week 2
Independent Radio News – A step-by-step guide to production:
In this lesson we will use the following:

Website -

Blank word document

Adobe Audition 1.5

Blank CD (per pair)
The task today involves collating 5 news stories and an additional weather report using the textual information and sound clips available on the website
Three of the five news stories you select must be accompanied by sound clips which we will later burn onto a CD to be used in radio news reports.
Out of the five stories you select, two must be taken from the ‘News Desk’, one must be taken from the category ‘Money and Environment’, one from ‘Entertainment’ and one from ‘Sport’. A weather report is also required.

Firstly, please log on and go to the IRN site:

Click on the top left-hand box graphic entitled ‘IRN Net Newsroom’

On the next page click on the bottom selection tag: If you are already registered, then Click Here to go straight to log in.

You should then be taken to the main page.

IRN is a fantastic facility that collates and produces up-to-date news stories in a copy/format specific to radio. That is to say, the copy available on the IRN website is selected and produced to be utilised in radio news broadcasting.

The news stories on IRN are broken down into categories. Each of the stories can be accessed by a left click on the title.

Stories with a visible code on the left hand side are stories for which accompanying sound clips are available. For example: IRN09 or SPO10. The letters in these codes indicate the type of story so, SPO indicates ‘sport’.

Please spend 5 minutes selecting and reading various stories from various categories.

Also, note that weather reports are situated on the far right of the IRN page under ‘Useful Links’ – Met Office Weather.

Task 1 (Individual)


Open a new word document

Select 5 stories from the selection available on IRN and one weather report. As in the final task, remember that three of the five news stories you select must be accompanied by audio clips.

Out of the five stories you select, two must be taken from the ‘News Desk’, one must be taken from the category ‘Money and Environment’, one from ‘Entertainment’ and one from ‘Sport’. A weather report is also required.

Copy and paste the five stories of your choice onto the blank word document you have opened. Ensure each story has all of the appropriate text. Read the stories through to check you are able to pronounce each utterance and ensure that you highlight the word Audio if an audio clip accompanies the piece. Underline each story individually. Once you have completed this task save your document to the ‘T’ or Thawspace drive under your name, then copy eg. BethCopy

For example:

Story 1:

A major investigation's been ordered following the deaths of seven children on an at-risk register.

The Government's sending a team to look at the way Doncaster children's services handled the cases.

Three of the victims were aged less than a year old and died of abuse or neglect.

Jim Board's from UNISON - the union which represents social care staff.

He says they knew something was wrong.



TASK 2 (Pairs):

Now, work in pairs and repeat this task selecting stories between you.

Ok – now you have the copy script required it is important to download the appropriate audio clips that accompany the news reports you have selected.

Go back to the ‘IRN’ webpage and reselect the first story that you require audio for.

On the left hand side of the story you will see the following icon options:

Copy to Clipboard
Save Audio
  Play/Download MP2  

  Play/Download APTX 

  Play/Download WAV  

Right click once on the last option ‘Play/Download WAV’

Then… left click on: ‘Save Target As’

You need to save this clip to ‘Thawspace’ or, the ‘T’ Drive.

It is useful to create a new folder in the T drive and save this under your name, then radio eg. BethRadio. Save your target audio clip in this space.

Repeat for each of the other two audio clips.

Next, open Adobe Audition on your desktop (this may take a minute to load).

Once open, left click on ‘Edit View’

Left click on file → open

Look in ‘ThawSpace/T Drive’

Left click on your folder and open.

Click on and highlight the bottom audio track (there should be 3) and then press the Control and ‘a’ key simultaneously to select all.

Click on ‘open’.

It is important to normalize all the audio levels so that the sound of the audio clips is consistent for the listener.

Click on the 1st track on the left-hand side of the screen.

Then, left click on ‘Effects’ at the top of the screen.

In the dropdown menu find ‘Amplitude’ and navigate right to another dropdown menu. Select ‘Normalize’. Change the figure from 100% to 96% then press OK.

Repeat for all 3 audio clips then save your work.

Click on the ‘CD Project View’ tab

Now – check that the tracks on the left hand side of the screen are in the order that you require. When they are arranged correctly drag these files individually into the main box on the screen.

Insert CD – wait

Click on ‘Write CD’

Change ‘Text and Write’ to ‘Write’ AND click on ‘Eject CD once task completed’ box.

When the CD is burning it is likely to show ‘95% complete’ on the screen for several minutes – this is normal.


Read through your radio scripts. Decide who will speak and who will play the selected audio clips.

Practice in the studio… if time allows.

Keep CD’s and your copy script and bring these to next session in the studio next week.

Next week you will be required to perform a mini news show in your allocated groups (5 minutes).

You are also required (before the session next week) to time the news you have prepared and practice it in your group. In addition, to make your show fill the 5 minute time slot, you are required to prepare and write a short interview – possibly linked to one of the news themes – so, please ensure that bring this script with you also. The interview can be on any topic of your choice however, it should ‘flow’ with the rest of the show. As such, consider the demographic for the show and ensure that the interview is thoroughly planned. One member of the group, for example, could pose as an expert on the credit crunch… however, ensure the interview is clear and you all know the role you are to play in the group.


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