Last week I received a message from my LinkedIn account telling me I’d been invited to join a group for those interested in Online Audio Journalism.

I joined and saw that already journalists have been coming together to discuss different techniques and the software they use for their audio work.

With many sites dedicated to online journalism as a whole – which is a massive subject – I think it’s a great idea to give journalists a forum to specifically focus in on audio.

The group has been set up by journalist Andy Watt. I interviewed him to find out a bit more about why he decided to set up the group.

What’s your journalism background?

My interest in journalism began after I set up  an internet forum discussing the local football league team. As the forum grew in popularity, I was asked to write for a number of publications, participate in press interviews on  radio as well as TV appearances. This led to me being asked to host my own radio show which developed into anchoring a 4 hour Saturday morning sports show alongside  four other presenters. My focus has now widened to other areas including hyperlocal issues which itself resulted in me being asked to write for the Guardian.

When did you first get involved with audio?

My first involvement with audio was while presenting my own radio show and producing others. This was in the early days of podcasting where I edited my own shows, removing the music tracks for copyright reasons, and made them available for download. This progressed to the creation of enhanced podcasts for the sports show and now, I try to help and advise anyone I can with creating their own.

Why did you decide to set up the group?

There seemed to be no central dedicated online place for those involved or interested in audio journalism to meet and support each other while discussing topics of mutual interest. I chose LinkedIn as there are already a lot of members who are industry professionals which potentially provides a huge, ready made pool of talent and experience.

What do you hope to achieve from it?

I am hoping that those with an interest in entering the world of audio journalism will see it as a place where they can freely ask for advice and feedback in a creative and supportive atmosphere. I am also hoping that those who already produce audio for online use will see the LinkedIn group as a place to meet, network, share good practice and discuss developments in the industry.

I hope that anyone with an interest or background in online audio would consider joining. An online community grows in strength with a rise in contributors and the more people who share their knowledge and experience will make it a valuable resource to everyone, from amateurs to seasoned professionals (along with those in between).

Sign in to your LinkedIn account at www.linkedin.com/ and search for Online Audio Journalism under groups.

Follow Andy on Twitter @Andy_Watt and view his website at www.kijamedia.com/.

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