Wikinews:Audio Wikinews/Help

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General help for recording items for Audio Wikinews.



What you need

  • Microphone - The most obvious thing you're going to need is a microphone. Make sure it's one that can give you decent sound quality without any hissing, clicks or random drops in volume. If you can hear a little bit of hissing (otherwise known as noise) then don't worry, it can be edited out later.
  • Software - You need software that can record, edit and export into .ogg format. We recommend Audacity, a free, open source and powerful audio editing tool. You can also use any other software, as long as it can produce a .ogg audio file.
    • If your favourite program does not support ogg, there are several programs that can convert between formats, such as ffmpeg. Feel free to ask for help on Wikinews chat
  • Script - It's always best to prepare what you're going to say before you start recording. Use the template guidelines for information on how to put together a script.



When you are recording, make sure you keep within these recommended lengths:

  • Daily News Brief - 5 Minutes
  • Weekly News Review - 15-20 Minutes

Because Spoken Wikinews consists of the entirety of the article, the length of the recording does not matter.

Spoken Wikinews In Progress


It may be useful to add the {{Template:Spoken Wikinews In Progress|~~~|Current date and time e.g. 13:54 September 18 2008}} template to the collaboration page of the article you are recording to let others know you are in the progress of producing a recording for the article so we don't get any duplicates.

Template example:

James Pain (talk) is currently recording or editing an audio version of this article.
See Spoken Wikinews for further information
This notice was placed at 19:14, 3 September 2008 (UTC). If a significant amount of time has passed,
please check with James Pain (talk) to see if he or she is still working before removing this message.

{{Template:Spoken Wikinews In Progress|~~~~|19:14, 3 September 2008 (UTC)}}



We all think our voice sounds terrible but don't let that put you off, everyone is a potential newsreader. Here are some tips for when you are doing a recording:

  • Record in a quiet room that doesn't echo.
  • Talk over the microphone, not into it.
  • Make sure your levels are high but not clipping
  • Sit up straight or better yet, stand up.
  • Keep a drink of water nearby.
  • Speak slightly slower than normal.
  • Do a trial run beforehand.
  • Put all your focus into reading it word by word.
  • Relax

Don't worry about any mistakes, just keep recording but start speaking again from the start of the sentence you made a mistake on. The mistake can be edited out afterwards.


  • Mistakes - Now you have finished recording it's time to edit. Go through the recording and take out any mistakes you might have made. On Audacity this can be achieved by highlighting the mistake and pressing the delete key.



Noise is a general hissing in the background or it could just be the humming from your computer. This can be eliminated in Audacity by following these steps:

  • Select a chunk of the recording where you were not speaking. You should see a slight bumpiness on the line, representing the background noise.
  • Select Effect → Noise Removal → Step 1 → Get Noise Profile.
  • Select the entire recording (Ctrl+a).
  • Go to Effect → Noise Removal → Step 2.
  • Drag the slider a little to the left, towards Less.
  • Select Preview, if your voice sounds distorted then move the slider closer to Less.
  • Select "Remove Noise".



Compression is the dynamic leveling of audio, making loud parts quieter, and the quiet parts louder, so that a consistent sound level is achieved. This can be applied in Audacity by following these steps:

  • Select all of your audio by clicking and dragging around the audio or pressing Ctrl+A.
  • Select Effect → Compression.
  • Click OK to accept the default settings.


  • Ogg Vorbis audio is the format we use. We recommend a Quality level of 5 within Audacity.
  • To change this setting back to the default in Audacity, go to 'File' and 'Preferences', then slide the 'Ogg Export Setup' quality bar to '5'.

File Naming

  • Spoken Wikinews - Should start with EN- for English, then the title of the article you recorded (Replacing spaces with _ and deleting punctuation).
  • Daily News Brief - Start with EN-AWNB- and then the date in the format YYYY-MM-DD. For example En-AWNB-2008-04-18
  • Weekly News Review - Start with EN-AWNR- and then the date in the format YYYY-MM-DD. For example En-AWNR-2008-04-18



Start off by going to the commons upload page. From there, go to the Basic Upload Form. Fill in the appropriate information and paste the following template in the Summary section replacing the text that was originally in it:

{{Audio upload

A sample of what this will display is:



Created by
  • Spoken by: Willmcw
  • Written by: Authors of the article
Date recorded



U.S. California





  • File_name should be of the form: name_of_file.ogg
  • Title refers to the title of the actual article.
  • Time is the length of time in minutes and seconds of the article, for example: 12:34
  • User_name is the name of the user who read/uploaded the file, for example: Willmcw
  • Date should be a link to the revision that was read, for example: 2005-04-18
  • Accent is the regional accent of the reader. See Wikipedia:Regional accents of English speakers for the possibilities.
  • Sex either Male or Female

When uploaded, list your recording at Wikinews:Audio_Wikinews/Releases in the proper list. If you recorded a Spoken Wikinews recording then put {{Audio|FileName.ogg|YYYY-MM-DD}} in the relating article. When you update the audio file, remember to update the timestamp.