Working with the Media
Creating an Audio Bite Line for Local Radio Stations

Updated: 6.1.06

What is an audio bite?

In radio news, an audio bite--or actuality--is a piece of recorded sound used in a news story. A standard radio news story includes narration by a reporter interspersed with audio bites collected during interviews.

Why are audio bites important to radio reporters who are covering a story like the Covering Kids & Families Back-to-School Campaign?

Radio reporters are challenged with conveying a story using only one medium: sound. In addition to a reporter's voice, the story may also include audio bites from sources or spokespersons. If you can provide a radio reporter with compelling and informative audio bites, you can increase the likelihood that a reporter will cover your story.

Through interviews and the audio bites that radio reporters use in their stories, Covering Kids & Families spokespersons can effectively convey our key messages. Here are a few important Covering Kids & Families messages that can be told through an audio bite, as well as a suggested spokesperson for each message:

(Coalition spokesperson) Low-cost and free health care coverage is available in our area. Families can call 1-877-KIDS-NOW or [TOLL-FREE LOCAL PHONE NUMBER] to learn more about enrolling their children.
(Local pediatrician) Children who have health care coverage are less likely to stay sick unnecessarily because Medicaid and SCHIP cover doctor visits.
(State official) During the Covering Kids & Families Back-to-School Campaign, our state is working with Covering Kids & Families to tell parents about the importance of enrolling uninsured children in available health care coverage programs.

What is an audio bite line and how can it enhance your Covering Kids & Families Back-to-School Campaign?

Many radio stations, especially those in rural areas, do not have sufficient news staff to cover every local news conference and event. By setting up a phone line with an outgoing message--either through an answering machine or voice-mail message--your coalition can share audio bites from your spokesperson with reporters who could not attend your event. By notifying area radio stations about your audio bite line, more reporters might cover your story.

TIP: Consider adding the audio bite line phone number to your news advisory and offering new audio bites throughout your Covering Kids & Families Back-to-School Campaign.