School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

dropdown arrow downdropdown arrow upshow/hide menu

Ask A Biologist heading

The Art and Science of Broadcast Journalism

Dr. Biology sits down to learn from two of the best science journalists in the world. Listen in as he gets some pointers from Pauline Davies and Robyn Williams.

Content Info | Transcript


MP3 download | 17MB

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

Topic Time
Introduction of show and guests Pauline Davies & Robyn Williams 00:17
Importance of telling a story. (Pauline) 01:38
Importance of filtering the loads of information. (Robyn) 02:33
Use of descriptions. 02:46
Good interviews use good writing or good story telling skills. Who, what, where, when, why, how? 03:25
Want people to be alive. (Pauline) 03:13
The other part of interviews, the research. (Robyn). Exploits the fact he is not a scientist. 04:17
Ask what's the point. (Robyn) 05:10
Early interview with Sir Hans Krebs. (Robyn) 05:18
Research subject and person before hand - using the web. (Pauline) 06:43
The secret - how to avoid knowing to much. Know how much is enough. (Robyn) 07:13
Be cautious choosing your web site sources. (Dr. Biology - Pauline) 07:55
Basic interview process - getting people to relax. (Dr. Biology - Robyn) 08:28
Robyn's method of using old equipment  08:55
Sitting side-to-side, use distractions such as old equipment to relax people. 09:51
Be friendly and nice, build up a rapport. (Pauline) 10:46
Reassure people that you can edit the recording to fix any errors. (Pauline) 11:09
Dealing with the attributes of the female voice. (Pauline) 12:27
Tip for helping a person that is getting stuck with an answer. (Robyn) 12:58
Don't talk over the voice of the person you are interviewing. It makes it hard to edit. 13:17
Be aware of your surroundings. 13:26
Use headphones - dressing room - under bed covers recording studio. 13:43
Avoid places with intrusive sounds - the worst is an empty room. (Robyn) 14:29
Background sounds can make it difficult to edit. (Robyn & Pauline) 15:33
Going outside - getting inside the story - becoming part of the story. Use of active language. 16:15
Having things in front of you and the person you are interviewing to talk about. The essence of behaving normally. 16:47
Sample sounds in the area so you can mix them in later. 17:24
Example of sampling sounds for an interview - beach. (Pauline) 18:07
David Attenborough - Polar Bears walking. (Robyn) 19:05
Pauline's sound effect of a snake crushing an egg. (Pauline) 19:42
Asking Questions - forming questions. 20:16
Top things to do as an interviewer - practice. (Robyn) 20:55
Practice & Pauline's example of a horse race reporter. 22:07
Keeping things natural. 22:45
Practice and listen. (Robyn) 22:57
Story of first interview - last Apollo moon mission. (Robyn) 24:10
Another story about being interviewed on live radio - don't make up an answer. (Robyn) 25:21
Personalities of Pauline and Robyn. Love of science - wants to know what's happens next. 26:32
When did you first know that you were going to be a journalist? (Robyn) 27:19
The story  continues - being a detective. (Robyn) 28:20
Did not start out to be a journalist. (Pauline) 28:46
Found out I could be creative. (Pauline) 29:46
As a kid I hated writing stories - The story of Rachel (Pauline) 29:55
If were not a journalist, what would you be? (Pauline) 30:41
Robyn, what would you be if you were not a journalist? 31:47
I was a lousy actor. (Robyn) 32:00
I would be a writer. (Robyn) 32:44
The role and importance of exercise. 33:11

back to top

The Art and Science of Broadcast Journalism

Audio editor: Charles Kazilek

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.

dropdown arrow downdropdown arrow up  Learn More

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.