Story Editing for Audio: Robert Smith

June 19 – 25 (Salt Session)

This workshop will demystify the role of the story editor in creating audio narratives. Distinct from producing, reporting or mixing work, a story editor helps to shape, refine, support and guide reporters and producers in making narrative audio pieces by editing scripts, thinking through story structure, listening to tape, and guiding the decision-making process.  Whether you are a producer or an aspiring editor, this workshop will be a valuable addition to your toolkit. This will be a hands-on class and students will have a chance to edit actual work in progress. We’ll cover the editor’s essential toolbox, strategies for structure, project management, working with collaborators, navigating power and relationship dynamics in the creative process, and how to give great feedback. Sessions will be a mix of lecture, discussion, listening, and hands-on practice. This workshop is aimed at mid-career audio producers who want to make the leap to editing but are looking for some concrete skills and guidance to do so. This workshop is offered in collaboration with the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.

Robert Smith is a Professor at Columbia Journalism School and a long-time host of NPR’s Planet Money where he tells stories about the global economy. With a microphone in hand, Robert has drilled for oil, harvested cotton, launched a satellite into space, and created a new superhero. Robert was Planet Money’s editor for 3 years and now edits podcasts at Pushkin Industries. His work has won the highest awards in broadcasting, including an Emmy, a duPont-Columbia baton and the Peabody award.

There has been a change in instructor from Jen Chien to Robert Smith.