IU Journalism students working on semester-long storytelling project for Shalom
Since January, six Indiana University students have been documenting client stories for Shalom as part of a semester-long storytelling project for Professor Sarah Neal Estes’ class, ‘Radio Innovation.’
“In this class, we tell audio stories in nontraditional ways,” Estes explained. “Students report for our local NPR affiliate and challenge themselves to work at professional level, or they challenge themselves in certain new innovative ways.”
The project was inspired by and modeled after a weekly NPR broadcast called “Story Corps.” The message behind this broadcast reflects the spirit of public media, or the belief that everyone’s story matters. The mission of public media is to collect everyday stories about everyday people.
“These client interviews are all audio stories,” Estes said. “The format is simple: ask someone to tell us their personal story about experiencing homelessness.
Estes said she hopes this project will hone students’ interview skills, which she says is the one hardest things to master. “You have to get people to tell a story instead of just listing facts,” she said. “When people are interviewed, they tend to overthink it. You, as the interviewer, have to coach them to tell story in a relatable fashion.”
Estes said Shalom’s clients will also benefit from the storytelling project.
“We’re getting back to the spirit of media,” Estes said. “Public Media was designed to make us all nicer to each other. The idea is that if we know each other’s stories, we will be better listeners and will live better together. We listen. We care. This is important to publish, because everyone’s story matters.”
Stories will be completed at the end of the semester in early May, and will be made available to Shalom and guests. The goal is to have 5 – 10 pieces that can be used on the More Than Homeless project’s website and shared with the public. Stories will also be published on American Student Radio, a multimedia and podcast publication at IU.