Soundcloud may not be the go-to social media platform for journalists, but that does not mean some papers have ignored the tool that lets users upload and publicly share pieces of audio.
Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post all have tried out Soundcloud.
But to cap off the year, the latter did something special. The Washington Post uploaded a series of clips, each with someone sharing what he or she learned in 2014.
It collected the audio by asking the public to leave their name and a message on a voicemail.
What's the biggest lesson you learned in 2014? Leave us a message at 314-643-6152 to share. http://t.co/TukVr2fssj
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) December 15, 2014
The result is a collection of messages, all of which can be heard on the The Washington Post’s Soundcloud page.
Those sending their thoughts were not limited to readers, as The Washington Post’s own Wesley Lowery shared what he learned. (Disclosure: At one time, Lowery and I were both affiliates of the National Association of Black Journalists.)
Another contributor, Marlena Chertock, submitted her own 2014 reflection.
In a blog post, Chertock also critiqued the approach:
“This is a very audio-driven project, and further proof that audio has the potential to — and is — going viral. The paper also publishes an image quote with each voicemail lesson, which helps readers quickly synthesize the audio. The brutally honest nature of these lessons, and the fact that voicemails are typically short, may be helping this project take off.”
Chertock is spot-on, and while visual journalism has taken off, the audio element also adds an intimate feel that humanizes the reporters far more than an Instagram post of their food.
Update: an earlier version of this article stated The Washington Post had 35 of these posts on its Soundcloud. However, it currently seems to be adding more.