Mindy McAdams teaches Soundslides audio slideshow software in West Java


Mindy McAdams — journalist, teacher, and author of the 2005 book “Flash Journalism: How to Create Multimedia News Packages” — is fresh back from Bandung, West Java, where as a Fulbright Senior Scholar she taught multimedia journalism at Padjadjaran University in the city of Bandung.

McAdams used Soundslides to teach the Indonesian students how to combine audio recordings and photographs for compelling stories. Recently we caught up with her to ask how the students liked using the audio slideshow software.

“The undergraduate journalism students at my university in Indonesia found Soundslides very easy to learn and easy to use,” she said. “They really liked having the ability to make an automated slideshow from their photos. One of the big lessons for them was that when you’re going to use your photos in a slideshow, you’ve got to shoot a lot more variety! The slideshow can be really boring to watch if many of the photos are too similar to one another.

Gathering sound for audio slideshows

“Another lesson was about audio quality. Several students had bought small, good quality digital audio recorders, and with those they got very nice audio. But other students were using a mobile phone to record interviews, and for many of them, the audio quality was very bad — really unlistenable.”

Here in the U.S., McAdams teaches at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communication, where undergraduate students learn the basics of multimedia journalism on Soundslides.

“I like the fact that it has captions,” McAdams said. “I like to require the students to write thorough, proper journalistic captions. A bunch of photos with music and no captions, that’s not journalism.”

More Soundslides audio slideshow tips and resources:

Read more tips and thoughts from Mindy McAdams on her Website.

McAdams has a Soundslides introduction here.

Check out McAdams’ photos and blog posts about her 10 months in Indonesia here (sheep fighting, textile weaving, cremation ceremony, etc).

In our next interview, we’ll feature comments from photographer and teacher Tewfic El-Sawy.

 — Interview and story by Laura Read


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