‘It’s an intimate form of storytelling’

Gabriella Ader
‘I really want to give people an experience’

Photo Merlin Doomernik

One day she is in the studio for NRC today, the other day audio editor Gabriella Adèr goes around Qatar. Together with sports editor Joris Kooiman, she creates the new NRCpodcast Qatar coup. In the past, Adèr has already made Cocaine fever and The Shadow of Dutroux.

In sound, she wants to “really give the listener an experience” with the “right dose of information.”

What do you mean?

Adèr: “You can name many tracks, but it doesn’t stick to the sound. But if a particular scene makes it tangible what the consequences of those characters are, then it works much better.

“I am now working with Joris Kooiman Qatar coup. His approach as a writing journalist is different. The challenge is to find the right balance between conveying as much information as possible while maintaining a narrative line that the listener can stick to.

“A lot of research is also needed for a podcast, but not everything ends up in the episode that simply doesn’t fit. When I listen to a podcast, I want the creator to take me into the story. I don’t want to be overwhelmed with details.”

How does journalism change when you talk about it?

“In sound, you have to create an atmosphere and draw the listener into a scene. The Shadow of Dutroux is really an audio documentary. There’s a scene in it where I’m in a class of forty kids and she asks if they feel any fear after Dutroux. You could not write down the feeling of that moment.

“Also with Cocaine fever do you have that difference in text and sound. I don’t care if I hear a hundred names from the Marengo case. It’s about the impact. IN Cocaine fever I wanted to emphasize the personal aspect and the phenomenon.

“I also see the podcast as more than just a supplement to the newspaper. Making is truly a craft.”

Jan Meeus
‘Feelings on paper are difficult’

Photo Merlin Doomernik

Jan Meeus has been writing about organized crime for years NRC, now he is also busy with podcasts. Meeus made the second season of Cocaine feverwhere he examines how the Netherlands has developed in ten years into the European distribution center for cocaine.

Still, most people know Meeus, at least according to himself, from his tears in the podcast NRC todayafter the murder of Peter R. de Vries.

What were the reactions after that podcast?

Meeus: “I’ve done endless pieces about the misery of organized crime, but when you first shoot a podcast, you get so many reactions. Emotional sound works. I received a reply as far as the Minister of Justice is concerned. That feeling is unimaginable in a written story.”

Can emotions only be conveyed well via sound?

“Feelings are very difficult to convey on paper, in a podcast it is functional. I felt that happening. I was moved, not because I had such a good relationship with Peter, but because I know someone who is a victim of this violence. This way you can understand how this will affect his environment. But hey, I’m just a crybaby too.

Why are podcasts of added value to NRC?

“I did a story about corruption in the tax authorities. In the written piece you outline the background, in a podcast you can take the reader into how the piece came about. Such listeners.

“As a writing journalist, you are actually absent from history. With a podcast, especially if you are the narrator, you are extremely present. People will even review your voice.”

And how is your voice?

“IN VINK: Holland’s podcast guide (NPO Radio 1) it was called businesslike and sultry.” Meeus laughs.

Anna Korterink
‘I would never write that I’m nervous’

Photo Merlin Doomernik

Anna Korterink works as a sound editor for NRC today especially behind the scenes, but in front The secret behind Rijswijka ten-part podcast series about the murders of three musicians in 1985, she herself starred as a true detective.

Audio is “a very intimate form of storytelling.” And especially young people are used to listening to something, she sees. “It’s experienced so differently than a written story, that’s why you reach a different audience.”

How does journalism change when you talk about it?

“For example, I would never write that I am nervous. With sound you have to tell a lot and give context. With voice-overs, you still think carefully about what you want to say. But when you shoot Rijswijk’s secret, the way I sometimes ask questions…” laughs Korterink. “Then I really think: I should have done better. You can’t do it again.

Do you behave differently as a journalist?

“I think the execution is different, but the principles are the same. Bee The secret behind Rijswijk I was aware of the journalistic code NRC. While you run into other dilemmas for audio. For example, when recording a telephone conversation. Its sound can be crucial to your story. You actually have to ask permission beforehand, but with audio this is sometimes only possible when someone has already picked up the phone.

“I was also reluctant to tell from the I perspective. But with sound you often have to play a role in the story yourself. You do that less quickly in the newspaper.”

Korterink finds sound to be of added value NRC. She hopes her editorship will continue to grow. “I hope we become an independent newsroom and get more investigative journalists who know a lot about sound. You can’t see sound as anything with it. Writing journalists sometimes underestimate how much work it is.”

Gus Valk
‘You have a different relationship with the public’

Photo Merlin Doomernik

He calls himself an “early adopter” in the podcast world, head of the Hague editorial office Guus Valk. After his first podcast in 2016, he can now call himself an experienced podcast host. This year he made another podcast series NRC about Pim Fortuyn, pim. Valk can also be heard regularly in the podcast Hague Affairs.

Journalism without a tie, that’s what the podcast feels like for Falcon. “You put on a tie, so to speak, when you write a ‘ceremonial’ story. And you take it off again when you go to the studio.”

Why don’t you have a ‘tie on’ in the studio?

Valk: “We listen differently than we read. Bee Hague Affairs sometimes a rumor slips through. If you want to write it down, check with three sources. You have a different relationship with the audience. The facts must also be correct in sound, but the listener understands that you are looking for answers and therefore sometimes go the other way.

“We took last Hague Affairs on the Khadijah Arib issue. It was in response to a reconstruction for the newspaper. It gave the story, the facts. IN Hague Affairs you can go into much more detail about the journalistic considerations. Why would we do this? How do you handle the imaging after the reconstruction? You don’t have an immediate answer to that, you have more of a conversation about it.’

Haagse Zaken would therefore not fit in written form, but what about the audio documentary about Pim Fortuyn?

“I’ve written a story about it in the newspaper, and maybe I can write a book about it, but strangely enough, I don’t have the material for it. I see: what is the best narrative form? A more ‘searching’ story goes much better with audio, if you want to make a clear point you can write it much better. It used to be that audio competed with written stories, but that’s really bullshit. When you’re in the car, you don’t read the paper, do you?”

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