WJI 2018 Blog Day 8, AM: Radio Critiques

May 25, 2018

Esther Eaton


This morning we walked across campus in bright sunshine, some of us carrying coffee cups and fruit, all of us loaded with equipment. We filled our classroom with laptops, notebooks, camera bags, and tripods scattered on the tables and stacked on the floor.

Earlier this week we wrote, recorded, and edited 90-second radio stories on the Masterpiece Cakeshop case at the Supreme Court. Today Nick Eicher of WORLD Radio returned to critique the last six radio wraps. Eicher played each segment over the speakers, then broke down the audio quality and scripts.

J.C. Derrick, WORLD Radio’s managing editor, also sat in. He reminded us to put the news at the beginning, advancing the story, and fill in the background later. Dr. Marvin Olasky told us to go “witch hunting” and pointed out our passive constructions.

Together they urged us to split sentences, cut clauses, and simplify word choices for radio. They contrasted print, where readers can review challenging concepts, with radio where nuances race past. But they also reminded us of the power of sound to give a sense of place in just a few moments.

Around the room, we turned notebook pages and tapped keyboards as Eicher shifted to answering questions. After taking a stab at the process of creating for radio, we had targeted questions.

Eicher reminded us to practice reading our scripts aloud before recording. He said his family has gotten used to this. When they hear him, they shrug and say, “Dad’s up talking to himself again.”

At the end of his time teaching us, Eicher pulled back from technical details to remind us of our vision as Christian journalists. He told us that WORLD is the practical expression of its goals, more focused on the ideas and stories told than the medium. By the time he finished, we were ready to write with a mission.

Itto Outini


As usual, after the usual morning routine, starting class at 9, we as a group with the instructors listened to audio radio news samples discussed, and critiques the work. Also, we learned more tips on both print and audio journalism. The first session was from 9 to 11 with Nick Eicher, Marvin Olasky and J.C. Derrick. And the second session was held by Professor Lee Pitts who discussed print magazine or newspaper.

For more information:

World Journalism Institute