When recording a podcast, ambient noise can be great for setting the scene of a story, but it can also be incredibly distracting if you or your reporters are attempting to conduct an interview in a crowded space.
There’s an easy way to cut out some of the clutter that would fit within the budget of even the most frugal student newsroom. The Saramonic mini mic is only $20 and works with both iPhones and Androids, assuming that they still have a headphone jack.
I know that the built-in mic on my Galaxy S7 is fairly decent and can still pick up the majority of what a speaker is saying, even in a noisy environment, but this mic cuts out even more of the background noise, which makes the sound ideal for posting online to supplement the story or for use in a podcast.
With this tool it’s possible to send reporters out to get sound to cut into a podcast on the go without having to worry about hallway noise making their source’s words unintelligible. You could then cut in sound from a source into a podcast, which opens up a much wider world of possibilities because you could conduct an interview on the go and then cut it in just like an NPR story.
Creating a complete podcast would require the use of a free audio editing software like Audacity or Garageband, but, for the purposes of cutting in interviews from a single file from the phone, the software is very user friendly.
If your program has the means you may even consider ordering one of these for each staffer who has a compatible phone as they also provide clear recordings of all interviews for when the reporter is going back through to transcribe quotes when writing a story.