Producing During a Pandemic

When COVID-19 hit, it brought a whole new set of challenges for the audio production industry.

In this workshop, Lacy Roberts, managing producer at Brooklyn-based Transmitter Media, provided tips on producing in the time of COVID. Attendees learned best practices for remote audio capture, and gained insight on ways to bring remote productions to life, even without field tape.

Here is a preview of Lacy’s remote workshop:

Podcasting 101

Everyone wants to make a podcast these days. You have a great idea, but where do you begin?

Lacy Roberts, managing producer at Brooklyn-based Transmitter Media, talked participants through the foundational questions they need to answer before setting out — from figuring out whether a podcast idea has legs, to setting a budget, to choosing the right equipment.

Participants left this workshop with a better understanding of how to take their podcast ideas from conception to launch.

Here’s a small preview of Lacy’s remote presentation:

Talking to the Media

Whether you’re a government official, researcher, business owner or non-profit staffer, telling your story clearly and concisely to the media matters.

In this online workshop, long-time journalists Courtney Cowgill and Anne Bailey discussed practical tips for conveying stories effectively to the media. Participants learned best ways to contact journalists, what to do when a reporter calls for an interview and what information television, radio and newspaper journalists need to tell compelling narratives.

Through practice and feedback, attendees became more comfortable being interviewed on camera and left the workshop with practical skills for better media engagement.

Intro to Adobe Premiere

Montana Media Lab director and multimedia journalist Anne Bailey introduced participants to the basics of video editing in Adobe Premiere Pro.

Using provided footage, participants learned project organization, importing, cutting interviews, assembling sequences, working with b-roll, incorporating text and exporting final projects.

This intensive, online workshop gave attendees the editing skills to turn video footage, photos and audio into polished, professional videos.

Telling Visual Stories with Data

Compelling, code-based data visualizations like those in The New York Times and FiveThirtyEight turn complex data into digestible information for the public.

In January 2020, Montana Free Press data reporter Eric Dietrich hosted a two-day workshop at the Montana Media Lab to guide participants through his workflow for creating data visualizations. Participants learned to clean, visualize and annotate data to produce graphics using Google Sheets, the code-based visualization tool Vega and Adobe Illustrator.

Eric also introduced the Jupyter Lab environment for working with data using open source Python tools, and discussed how to combine data visualizations with narrative reporting and storytelling. The workshop culminated with attendees producing their own data visualization using a data set of their choice.

Want to see what’s coming up next at the Lab? Check out our upcoming workshops.

Learning data visualization techniques at the Montana Media Lab helped me add another tool to my storytelling toolbox. As a recent college graduate, I felt like I was learning skills that will help give depth to my work and stand out above the crowd.

Matt Neuman
Higher Education Reporter | The Missoulian