About the project

This blog is reporting on a new research project about how we can use binaural and other spatial audio formats for journalism.

There’s been lots of research on the technical aspects of spatial audio, but this project is specifically aimed at people who make content – from news packages to documentaries.

Podcast listening with headphones is taking off worldwide, giving new life to the craft of radiophonic journalism. It means we can look again at audio formats like binaural, which give an added dimension of space to the listening experience.

More and more journalists, producers and sound engineers are making reports, features and documentaries in binaural. We are interviewing them to find out what they do and how they do it.

We’re also collecting examples of spatial audio journalism, and where possible we’ll link to them on the blog, so you can get a sense of what is being done already.

Our aim is to learn more about what it means to work with a spatial dimension in sound when making factual programmes. That means defining issues for future research and development with regards to routine production practices, expanding our vocabulary to talk about spatial audio, and expanding the grammar of programme making to take advantage of the new techniques.

We will share what we find on this blog, then via a working paper early in 2020 which will be free to read online. Finally we’ll publish our findings in peer reviewed journals in 2020-21.

The research is being conducted by Abigail Wincott and Ivor Richards of Falmouth University, Jean Martin of the University of Brighton and Michael Danks of 4GROUNDmedia.

If you’re working in binaural journalism, you want to try it out, or you’ve heard an interesting example, please do get in touch.