The Masterclass

Learning Through Listening: Practical lessons in the art and craft of audio storytelling from some of the best in the world, hosted by Louisa Lim from the Centre for Advancing Journalism at the University of Melbourne.


  • Ep 4: Finding your radio voice

    26min 22sec
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    In audio journalism, you need to sound like yourself plus 10%. But what does that even mean? In this episode, voice coach Elspeth Morrison breaks down how to find your radio voice and use it appropriately.

    Elspeth Morrison a voice coach who has worked with journalists for almost twenty years. She has trained many BBC journalists, as well as training actors in her other job as an accent coach.

    A Guide to Northern English Accents (BBC)

    Recorded at the Horwood Studio, University of Melbourne

    Host details:
    Louisa Lim has been a journalist for more than two decades. She was a foreign correspondent in China for a decade for BBC and NPR. She subsequently wrote a book called The People’s Republic of Amnesia; Tiananmen Revisited, which was named an Economist Book of the Year and shortlisted for the Orwell Prize. She co-hosts a podcast on China called The Little Red Podcast with Graeme Smith from the Australian National University. She teaches Audio and Video Journalism at the University of Melbourne.

    Production Team
    Buffy Gorrilla is an awardwinning audio journalist and a recent graduate of the University of Melbourne’s Master of Journalism programme. Buffy has been a producer at the ABC for Radio National and ABC Radio Melbourne and is currently working with RN’s Blueprint for Living. She is also host and producer of an upcoming podcast for the University of Melbourne called Starting Somewhere.

    Ruby Schwartz is a Research Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne. She provides research support for books, essays, op-eds and speeches, and co-produces the Vice-Chancellor’s public policy podcast, The Policy Shop. Ruby has co-hosted a weekly intersectional feminist news and current affairs show on 3CR, produces audio stories for FBI Radio’s All The Best and written articles for the Sydney Morning Herald. She was an editorial assistant at the Saturday Paper and wrote a thesis on gendered cyber harassment.

  • Ep 3: The art of the interview

    34 min 13 secs
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    Interviewing is like playing chess; you need to predict two moves ahead and have your figurative pieces in play ready to meet your interviewee there. In this episode, the award-winning journalist Hamish Macdonald talks through the art of the interview, and the importance of holding people in power to account.

    Hamish Macdonald is an award-winning Australian broadcaster and foreign correspondent. He sometimes presents ABC Radio National’s Breakfast show, as well as hosts Channel Ten’s The Project. He has also worked at Al Jazeera, ABC America and the UK’s Channel Four. He was a Nieman fellow at Harvard University in 2016, and won the RTS Young Journalist of the Year in 2008.

    Michael Wolff dismisses ‘silly’ criticisms of Fire and Fury in Heated Interview (ABC)…ury-silly/9319852
    Pray for us; Aleppo is really ‘hell… A firsthand account of life in Syria (ABC)…almouslem/7837880
    Christopher Pyne calls for Sam Dastyari to be Sacked (ABC)…ari-to-be/7813634
    Sam Dastyari Donations Scandal; Christopher Pyne Backtracks from Breach Claim (SMH)…60905-gr8p4y.html
    The Truth is (Channel 10)

    Recorded at the Horwood Studio, University of Melbourne

  • Ep 2: Finding a story and turning it into radio

    27 mins 35 secs
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    In the words of the British comedy figure Alan Partridge, dead air is a crime. But how to go about finding sparkling interviewees to bring your pieces to life? In this episode, Mike Innes, an output editor for BBC World Service’s daily news programme, Newshour, talks through how to find the right guests to bring the airwaves alive.

    BBC World Service Newshour 20.11.17 as featured on programme
    Dan Patrick on Newshour 5.1.16
    BBC World Service Newshour
    Mike Innes and Tim Franks in Florida

  • Ep 1: Power of Audio

    19min 53 sec

    One word is all it takes to sum up the power of audio. The same word kept popping up in Louisa Lim’s conversations with some of the best audio journalists in the world. Find out what it is, and how to use it to harness the power of audio in this episode.

    Louisa Lim Protests, Self-Immolations A Sign of A Desperate Tibet…f-a-desperate-tibet

    Louisa Lim On Tibetan Plateau A Constant Sense of Surveillance (NPR)…nstant-surveillance

    Louisa Lim Ancient Mongolian Competition Ties Past to Present (NPR)…ies-past-to-present

    Louisa Lim North Korea Greets its Next Leader (NPR)…p?storyId=130469051

    Louisa Lim China’s Migrant Wage Battle (BBC)

    Louisa Lim Love Songs Capture Ancient Ritual in New China (NPR)…php?storyId=7502196

    Louisa Lim Belly Dancing for the Dead; A Day With China’s Top Mourner (NPR)…-chinas-top-mourner

    Robert Smith Countdown Begins As Planet Money’s Satellite Gets Placed On Rocket (NPR)…ts-placed-on-rocket