Wikinews:Audio Wikinews/News Briefs/Team

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The Team[edit]

Having a team of users who contribute to the producing and recording of the days news briefs will lighten the work load for everyone involved and will generate a more professional and polished product. The team will consist of the following :


The producer is ultimately responsible for all aspects of the days show. The producer will be responsible for creating the reading assignments on the discussion tab on the workspace, editing together the final show (in Audacity) from the .ogg recordings sent to them by the readers, generating the overall final script and uploading all the necessary files to the commons and wikinews. The producer will be responsible for reviewing all content sent to them by the readers and making/requesting any changes that are necessary. The producer does not necessarily have to do any reading, recording or individual story script writing, but in the event no Readers or Script Writers generate the necessary content, then they will be tasked with all of those responsibilities as well.

The Producer will also have a set cut-off time for that days show. All recordings and briefs need to be turned in by that time.

Producer Responsibilities[edit]

  1. On the discussion tab on workspace, create a new topic for today's News Brief : e.g., January 1, 2099. All information and discussions for the show will take place in that discussion.
  2. In the comments for today's show, add a link to a news story when it is published on the homepage. From here either a Script Writer will reply and say they will write a script and then publish for a reader to read or Readers 1 or 2 will reply and comment that they are preparing a script and have begun recording.
  3. Upload the Current Show
  4. Create the current News Briefs page from the final script. A copy of a sample script can be found here.
  5. Update the Audio Wikinews header
  6. Update the current August 2010 archive
  7. Update the News Briefs Home page (new)
  8. Update the Main Page Media Menu template

Readers 1 & 2[edit]

Readers are the voices that will be heard in the audio news brief. Readers are responsible for choosing which stories they will read from the days news (all news stories should be read when possible) and for creating their own script for said segment (if necessary). Readers will either write their own script for each segment, or read from a prepared script by a Script Writer and then record their audio in Audacity and save the file in a .ogg file. The Producer will then review the material and if the Producer feels any changes need to be made to the content, then the reader will be responsible for making the required changes. Readers are scheduled one week in advance and slots are available on a first come, first serve basis.

  • Please have all recordings completed and uploaded as per the Production Cut Off Time for that day. These times will vary based on the Producer for the day.
  • Additional Reader positions can be added as needed but anything more than 2 (3 on a really heavy news day) might be overdoing it from the listener point of view.

Readers 1 & 2 Responsibilities[edit]

  1. Check the discussion tab on this page and find the heading for the current show. All conversation about that show will appear under that heading.
  2. When a story is released on the wikinews front page, the producer will add a link to it and you can sign up to read that story. If we have a Script Writer, then just sign up to read it and wait for the Script Writer to prepare a script for you. If there is no Script Writer, then you will be responsible for preparing your own script as well.
  3. Write script for the story you will be reading or use the script submitted from a Script Writer. Make sure to communicate with the Script Writer if you feel changes need to be made for word flow or other contextual concerns.
  4. Record segment in Audacity and save the file in .ogg format. You are responsible for making sure the recording is edited and up to the audio quality expected of the show.
  5. Upload segment to the commons using file format EN-AWNB-YEAR#-MO#-DAY#-quickstoryname.ogg
  6. On the discussion tab on the workspace, submit the link to the uploaded file from the commons and the full text of your script for that segment (if you wrote the script yourself). If you did not write the script for that segment, then add the link to the recording under the corresponding script.
  7. If the Producer requests any changes to your script and/or recording, then you will be responsible for making the changes in a timely manner.


An alternate will serve the same function as either Reader 1 or 2. They are free to contribute on every audio brief and will be expected to contribute on especially busy news days. The alternate will be considered a backup and if Reader 1 or 2 are unavailable on their assigned day, they will be reassigned to the open reader position. This is a mandatory stand-by position.

An alternate can also take on the role of Script Writer 1 or 2 if they choose to do so, but is not mandatory and is up to the individual if they choose to do so or not.

Script Writer 1 & 2[edit]

The Script Writer is responsible for preparing a script for Readers 1 & 2 to record. Unlike the printed news stories, the language will lean more towards a conversational tone but must still maintain a neutral point of view. Some things to keep in mind should be adding the full pronunciation of an acronym; if the acronym NPR is used in a story, then write out either National Public Radio or Nuclear Posture Review. This helps the listener who does not have the benefit of clicking on a link to look up the definition of a confusing acronym. Also, if a story contains a proper noun that is difficult to pronounce, try to use it as little as possible or at least attempt to help the reader with the pronunciation.

Some stories may require more effort than others. Many news stories contain many complex ideas and concepts that are not easily distilled down to 1 or 2 minutes. If your script seems long, that's fine since you can always work with Reader 1 or 2 to pare text down.

  • Please have all briefs completed and uploaded as per the Production Cut Off Time for that day. These times will vary based on the Producer for the day.
  • Additional Script Writer positions can be added as needed. Right now there are 2 slots in the schedule, but more are always welcome.

Script Writer Responsibilities[edit]

  1. When the Producer provides a link to the news story on the discussion tab on this page (scroll down to find the heading for today's show), then you can sign up to write the script for that segment.
  2. Once you have written the script, reply back under that story with the script. From there, Reader 1 or 2 will have assigned themselves to the story and you can collaborate with them and the Producer if necessary until the segment is complete.
  3. The script writers are also responsible for writing the promo for the show. That's the bit at the beginning which introduces some of the stories that will be in the show. If there are less than 6 stories that day, write a promo with no more than 3 stores but if the show has 6 or more, than write a promo with 4 stories in it.

Joining The Team[edit]

Want to take part in AW? Awesome! We need your help!!

However, there are a few things you need to know before jumping in. Though everything that takes place on Wikinews (and all wiki sites) is a collaborative effort, since we are putting together a show, there are some deadline and production concerns which must be taken into consideration.

First, have you listened to the show? If not, please listen to a few of the latest episodes to get a feel for what we are going for.

Next, you need to create an account on wikinews and then contact one of the producers of the show to let them know you want to join and what role you wish to fill.

I want to be a Producer[edit]

If you wish to be a producer, then you will need to assemble, write and record 3 full shows on your own (typically 5-6 stories per show) and submit them to one of the current producers. People who wish to produce a show must demonstrate the full understanding of all aspects of the show just as the captain of a ship must know all aspects of every ship's function.

People who have been readers will have top priority when being considered for the role of producer since they have the greatest understanding and experience of how the software works and because they have demonstrated an ability to read the news at the highest possible level of quality.

I want to be a Reader[edit]

If you wish to be a reader, you must submit 5 examples of your reading from any news story on Wikinews. Readers need to demonstrate that they have good audio recording and basic editing techniques down pat, as well as an ability to read well. Please read the style guide for further information on reading the news.

An audition?! Who makes that decision?! I thought this was a wiki?!![edit]

It is a wiki, and everyone is welcome, but there needs to be a layer of quality control too. Think of it this way, if you want to write articles for Wikinews but you do not know how to write sentences or compile an unbiased article, then your written article will not be published here (at least not before editing). Since it's impossible to edit someone's voice, then you must demonstrate an ability to maintain a degree of quality and competence to be considered for the role of reader. If things don't work out, then consider contributing to the site by becoming a writer since without writers, we would have no show at all.

I want to be a Script Writer[edit]

If you wish to be a Script writer, and this is the easiest thing to jump into, then please begin by submitting news stories to the site as a contributor. We need news stories more than anything else and having a good understanding of what constitutes a wikinews article is very important. Keep in mind, very often the scripts consist of just reading the entire published story, thus, no real need for a script writer, however, some stories need more work than others and that's where good writing skills will help you. Once you are a news contributor, then you can pretty much just sign up on the schedule and start writing scripts.

Why all the rules? I thought this was a wiki?![edit]

Audio Wikinews, though a volunteer and collaborative effort, is a fully produced and professional show and so maintaining high quality is imperative since the show is used to attract new members and viewers to Wikinews. Always remember that the show is all about promoting the news on Wikinews, not about ego.

Also, since making a show involves deadlines and working within people's schedules, we need to know you are able to contribute and that you can be trusted to fulfill the responsibilities of working on a show.