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Jeff Pieters: Hear, here: The Post Bulletin is doing more with audio

Also, it's time to start applying to be a 2022-23 teen columnist.

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Babies are in vogue this spring and summer at the Post Bulletin.

One editor’s family recently had its first child, a son, and another editor and his wife will be introducing their first daughter in a few months. A freelance writer just welcomed child No. 1, a baby daughter, within the last couple of weeks.

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My family is a lot farther along. My two children were born in 2002 and 2003, and were high school graduates the past two springs. The empty nest is upon us. So the events in my coworkers’ families and mine have sent me down memory lane. I’ve been reliving past moments viewing photos, and, more significantly, listening to audio recordings of myself and my kids when they were toddler age.

These digital recordings have been put on my phone and I play them sometimes in the car. I’ve listened to my daughter correct me on the order of the days of the week (silly Dad couldn’t seem to get them straight); heard my son’s husky voice naming animals in an Eric Carle picture book; heard the three of us singing “Baby Beluga” together and laughing. These auditory experiences are somehow richer than videos – and safer to enjoy while driving, too.

If you’re a reader at our website, PostBulletin.com, you may have noticed our efforts to tell stories with more than just written words and static pictures. Some stories are supplemented with video or other interactive technologies. And soon, increasingly, you will see audio join the mix.

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Why audio? For one thing, the technical requirements to record and view it are lower, so audio is easier for us to obtain and for you to enjoy. Phone interviews can be recorded. (As a rule, we seek permission from subjects to record calls, and seek additional permission before we present any audio to our audience.)

And maybe the best reason for presenting audio is the reason you may have understood from my telling of my own experiences listening to my children’s recordings: Sometimes audio just delivers a bigger impact. I'm not sure that the life experiences I have recently listened to would affect me the same way if I could see them, too.

Besides supplementing our stories with audio, we also present a number of audio podcasts for you to enjoy. You can find the full lineup at www.PostBulletin.com/podcasts . We have at least one other new podcast in development. Watch for it.

But wait – there’s more. Erich Fisher, one of our digital content producers, occasionally interviews PB journalists about their special projects and other efforts and milestones for a series he calls “Behind the Headline.” You can find those online at www.PostBulletin.com/behind-the-headline .

Teen columnists, apply now

The last few teen columns of the 2021-22 school year have been submitted and published. Now it’s time for me to take applications from prospective members of the next batch of writers.

If you’re a teen who’s interested in a writing – or if you know one – here is what you (or they) need to do: Send me a cover letter introducing yourself and describing your interest in being a teen columnist. I’d like to know where you go to school and what grade you’ll be in, come fall.

Include two to three good writing samples. Class papers are fine. Journal entries or practice columns are even better. Fan fiction or poetry are not helpful.

Teen columnists write roughly once a month through the school year. Columns are 500- to 700-word personal essays about any topic you wish. I lead the program and offer guidance and encouragement to the writers. If you’re looking for a reason to do it, current columnist Xavi Laack’s column today does a fine job of explaining why.

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The application deadline will be Aug. 5. You can email or call me with any questions.

Jeff Pieters is editor of the Post Bulletin. He can be reached by phone, 507-285-7748, or email, jpieters@postbulletin.com.

Opinion by Jeff Pieters
Jeff Pieters is editor of the Post Bulletin. He joined the staff as a reporter in 2001, and has been editor since 2019. Readers can reach Jeff at 507-285-7748 or jpieters@postbulletin.com.
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