ConnectThe2 Podcast S6, E11: The Power of Audio with Sky Lebron, WUFT News & NPR Morning Edition
Sky Lebron is a Morning News Anchor and Multimedia Producer for WUFT News in Gainesville, FL. Sky is also a regular contributor to NPR’s Morning Edition. Over the years, Sky has worked with just about every medium, from radio to newspaper to TV. He joins ConnectThe2 to discuss his diverse experiences in journalism, how to find a reliable expert source, what makes a quality interview, and more. If you like what you’re reading, be sure to listen to the entire episode linked at the bottom of this page.
The power of audio…
Sky tells us that out of all the mediums he’s worked with, he most enjoys audio. He explains that audio feels more intimate than TV, with its visual distractions, and newspapers, which can’t pack the punch that comes along with a soundbite. As such, Sky decided early on in his career that he was interested in pursuing the audio route in his future journalistic endeavors.
Establishing relationships with expert sources…
When asked what he looks for in an expert source, Sky explains that consistency and comprehensive knowledge on a given subject matter are two crucial determining factors. He also warns us about the dangers of parachute journalism, where reporters dive in to pick up a story without really establishing a relationship with a source.
Some of Sky’s most reliable expert sources are those he has created more meaningful bonds with. Rather than just reaching out to a source for an interview, Sky takes a more conversational and personable approach. Not every phone call has to be an interview; instead, cultivating relationships with sources through meaningful conversations is often more impactful.
Stories with a lasting impact...
Sky explains that his favorite stories from his own portfolio are the ones that have made a lasting impact in someone’s life as a result. Back in college, Sky wrote a story about two people who were being told to leave a homeless encampment just as Hurricane Irma was about to hit. Sky’s poignant coverage got significant media attention and ultimately resulted in the two interviewees securing more stable housing. It was this piece that sparked Sky’s passion for making an impact with his journalistic work.
If you've enjoyed these takeaways be sure to listen to our full interview linked below. Also, be sure to listen to, rate and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, iHeartRadio or Soundcloud.
“Throughout my college career, I really developed a love for radio and audio...I just always found that medium more intimate than the other experiences. With the newspaper side of things, you can’t really get the punch, the emotion from a specific soundbite.” (2:25-2:55)
“The other thing I always wish I could add to more stories is more perspectives, specifically with minority communities. There are different facets of stories that we don’t really think about until we can get in there critically and really dissect it.” (9:46-10:05)
“When you want to get an expert source, and you really want to establish relationships with expert sources, not every single phone call has to be an interview.” (11:55-12:05)
“I think PR is extremely pivotal to journalists in terms of connecting with people, hearing about stories we wouldn’t otherwise know about. That happens on a daily basis.” (23:03-23:16)
“I think the most important side [of a pitch] for a journalist is the news hook. The news hook makes everything. Am I hearing something that will leave a lasting impact on people? Are people going to be interested in this specific story? These are all the questions that run through your head every single time you have a story that you’re planning on pitching or that you’re going to pursue.” (32:27-32:51)
Learn more about Connect2 Communications
Podcast home page: https://www.connect2comm.com/podcast
Twitter handle: @Connect2_Comm
Instagram handle: @connect2_comm