October 26, 2013 @ 5:11 AM


In this second article on recording for oral history, Tim Bowdendiscusses techniques useful both for those who want ‘broadcast quality’ material, and researchers who are recording mainly for transcripts. Many procedures, in fact, apply across the board.  

Not scaring them to death… 


By Tim Bowden

Recording oral history for radio is an added challenge for the practitioner. To achieve what we call ‘broadcast quality’ you need a reasonably good microphone positioned no more than 30 centimetres (12 inches) from the subject’s mouth, and if possible even closer.

This can be intimidating, particularly if the microphone is positioned too high near the eyeline of the interviewee...............

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October 19, 2013 @ 1:01 AM

Following my recent Sound Tracks posts, the noted Australian journalist, author and broadcaster, Tim Bowden, has done me the signal favour of writing a series of articles on his own experience of interviewing people over more than half a century of public life in radio and television.

There’s a particular emphasis on the techniques of recording for oral history … not surprising in a man who has been behind a major series of ABC broadcasts on Australians in Antarctica, Papua New Guinea, Australian prisoners of war in Asia and – memorably – his own father. These articles will continue over the next five weeks.

I recommend them to everyone with an interest in broadcasting, interviewing and the whole sweep of .........

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October 11, 2013 @ 10:35 AM

After the Interview


We've done the interview. We've made sure the conversation has been safely recorded. We've jotted down notes of the important points as we went along.

Now, alone at the desk and ready to transfer these golden nuggets of research into our book, the question arises: What next?

Far be it from me to tell fellow authors how to suck eggs. We all have our own ways of doing things, and there is no right or wrong of it. The end result is all that's important.  But from long experience there are a few tips worth passing on, which may be of use both to novices as well as established writers.

Do it quickly

Try to complete the précis or transcript of the interview as soon as possible. There .........

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