First things first, to answer that question check out this audio slide show presented by NPR on China’s little gymnasts. View Now.

On Monday of this week, my professor for my graduate class showed the class this audio slide show. It wasn’t shown to us solely for the horrifying content, but rather because audio slide shows serve as a way to communicate on the internet.

But, to get the content out of the way, we see that China goes to some pretty extreme lengths to ensure that they are a top competitor at the Olympic Games. There were some unsettling images such as the young gymnast being sat on to forcefully stretch her legs. In addition, you hear the account of when the children do not qualify they are simple let go and not provided with another option to pursue. These children sacrifice a normal educational childhood with the understanding that it is unlikely that they will make the team. At whatever stage they are dismissed they are at that point behind because they have not experienced traditional schooling. Being selected is inevitably negative because at some point they will outgrow the potential for the sport and the program will leave those individuals on the street. It is a sad story, and one many of us may not have known about.

Lets Look At The Format

Anyone can admit that the story telling of this piece is spot on. But why is this report not a video? Or why not only audio?  For the best explanation, the NPR producer explains that audio slides offer a different focus than video stories. Let’s face it videos focus on videos. Their seller is the image and visual features. If you ever watch an action movie pay attention to how much dialogue there really is. It may surprise you. When using video the voice you hear might be an afterthought because you can draw your own conclusions while witnessing the described event. With audio slides you could get the gist of what was going on by just viewing the pictures, but you would really miss the true story and may even draw misconceptions.

It is expressed by NPR that this format has really presented some benefits for them especially to enhance their audio-based productions. These audio slides serve as a way to illustrate a story. So if you want to use a quick and effective program to get the word out about something I might suggest audio slides – it seems to have worked for NPR. To read the supervising senior producer’s full explanation click here.


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