———> Listen/Watch/Read: Audio, Video, and Regular Old Text for Our Audio Essay Unit

For 3/23:

“Hostile Planet” from Love + Radio

“American Justice” from State of the Re:Union:

“Is This Working?” from This American Life

“The Trust Engineers” from RadioLab

“Our Computers, Ourselves” from Invisibilia

For 3/25: “Pulling Back the Curtain” from On the Media

For 3/27: Ira Glass on storytelling, parts 1–4:

For 3/30: Writing for the Ear: Geoffrey Nunberg’s Principles:

———> Audio Essay Resources

Download Audacity here (it’s free!):

Most of Audacity’s online help can be found here: Please explore the manuals and tutorials in advance of our in-class Audacity studio on 3/25. You should come to class that day with basic working knowledge of the software.

See PSA Video Remix Resources for ethical audio files.

Tips for Conducting & Recording Interviews.

confidentiality agreement tailored for the WFP audio essay (use your discretion about whether or not it will be necessary for you to provide your interviewee with one of these—and make sure to fill out before your interview).

———> PSA Video Remix Resources

iMovie & Windows Movie Maker tutorials at Note: if you access these tutorials outside the Pitt network, you will have to sign in with your university account. These tutorials are long—2.5–3.5 hours. I recommend you watch enough to learn your software’s interface and basic functions—how to import, organize, and trim clips—for our in-class work studio and return to the later parts of the tutorials as you need to learn how to do new things, like edit audio, render and upload your video, and so on. I have not included an Adobe Premiere Pro tutorial here—frankly, I don’t recommend using it for this project unless you’re already familiar with it—but if you’re feeling ambitious, you can find an “Essential Training” tutorial on this site, too.

iMovie 11 Essential Training:

iMovie 10 Essential Training:

Learning Windows Movie Maker 2:

Ethical Video Resources & provide free accounts for storing and sharing video files online. A non-profit “Internet Library” of free material for download, including audio and video files. & : Free platforms for downloading streaming video from YouTube, Vimeo, and a number of other sites. You’ll want to use these to “rip” found video into clips for your remix.

Ethical Audio Resources : The Freesound Project is a collaborative database of Creative Commons licensed sounds. It focuses only on sound, not songs, and anyone can contribute. : The Free Music Archive, directed by WFMU radio, is a curated library of high-quality, legal audio to download, share and reuse, depending on its licensing. : Jamendo is a community of free, legal and unlimited music published under a variety of Creative Commons licenses. (Unlike FMA, Jamendo is not “curated.”) Free online platform for capturing and downloading audio from YouTube in mp3 format.

———> Video Remixes for Friday, February 27

Please watch the following remixes for class on Friday, 2/27. These will constitute our readings for that class, as well as reading posts by Zach & Jeremy.

“I am not Moving: An Occupy Wall Street Remix”—

“Mean Disney Girls”—

This celebrity-sponsored public service announcement: “Demand a Plan to End Gun Violence”—

And this remix response to the PSA, “Demand a Plan? Demand Celebrities Go ______” —


———> Infographic Resources

This list covers the most important components of infographic composition: color schemes, eye-catching typography, and data visualization. Thank you to my colleagues Kerry Banazek and Carrie Hall for collecting and sharing these resources.

Happy designing!

Infographic Generators

You are not required to use an infographic generator—in fact, some of my favorite student infographics have been hand-drawn or made using Powerpoint—but you might like to check these out. Note that there are free versions of these generators and premium versions that require you to pay a fee for more advanced features (which you should not do).                                                           

Making Accurate Charts Based on Numeric Data

For quick, simple, accurate charts – a generator by Caleb Loffer –

For more complicated interface/more powerful data visualization –

Making Flowcharts

Thinking About Icons

A useful sit for thinking about the relationship between pictures and language—and pictures that replace language.

The Noun Project –

Working with Color

Color scheme designer –

A simulator that lets you check what your images look like to someone who is colorblind –

Working with Typography

Butterick’s Practical Typography –

Finding (Free) Non-Standard Fonts

Font hunting and downloading might get addictive for some of you. If that ends of being the case, you should come talk to me, so I can tell you about all the Friday nights I’ve spent watching Netflix and downloading new fonts for future projects (like the font that makes for the headers of all of our course documents). Dafont is my favorite.                        

Working With Maps

For drawing on/adding information to maps –

For devising cartographic color schemes (colorblind-safe mode) –

Stylized maps (of locations you select) via Stamen Design –

Websites That Often Feature Infographics

You have some excellent models in The Best American Infographics 2014 already, but you might find more inspiration elsewhere. Also consider searching these sites and tweeting infographics that you think the rest of the class should know about—or that are relevant to your issue.                    

Some Articles of Interest

A LONG list of relevant links broken down categorically –

A (very debatable) list of dos and don’ts with examples –


———> White Paper Resources

Citation help at the Purdue OWL: APA style guide and Chicago Manual of Style.

The Purdue OWL also offers these tips for writing white papers:

Avoid passive voice! What is passive voice, you ask? The Purdue OWL discusses the difference between active and passive voice here and offers tips on turning passive sentences into active ones:

Sample white papers:

“Stop Sprawl,” published by the Sierra Club: This white paper is closer to the length of the one that you’ll write. It should give you a good sense of white paper organization and the kinds of research that white papers use.

“The Importance of Education,” published by the UK Dept. of Education: This white paper is very long, but it’s a good example of how solutions and calls to action figure in white papers—note, especially, the “So We Will” bullets in the beginning of the paper, which offer concrete moves for the future.


———> Here are some links to get you started on the research of public issues in the greater Pittsburgh area for your issue proposal:

Marcellus Shale Protest:

Neighborhood organizations: Lawrenceville:; Oakland:; Bloomfield-Garfield Corp:; East Liberty:

Public transportation:

Bike Pittsburgh:

One Pittsburgh:

Pittsburgh United:

The Allegheny Front:

The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council:


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