Career in Radio Broadcasting

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Radio Broadcasting Careers

Twenty first century is the age of Information, Communication and Entertainment ( ICE ). Mass Media i.e. Radio, T.V, Films, Advertisement, News Media, Newspaper and magazines, has vital role to play in the development of any country and has created numerous job opportunities as well.

Radio, the grandfather of electronic media is a matchless and exciting medium – handy and personal – which encourages its listeners to develop an unusual association with presenters and stations. Radio Broadcasting is a very effective and cost efficient medium for spreading information, education and entertainment to the masses. Unmatched with other medium of mass communication, radio is persistent, enterprising and friendly.

In common with the rest of the creative media, Radio in the last 90 years has gone through various periods of alteration and modification like group listening to personal, analog to digital, AM to FM, Public to Private and Announcer to RJ. It transformed its size, its format, its duration, and its programmes but remained omnipresent not only in developing countries but also in the heart of developed nations. But one thing is sure that Radio needs creative and talented people to fill a range of interesting and diverse roles.

Radio remains as vital as ever. We have seen a strong tradition of public service broadcasting after getting independence, a flourishing commercial radio industry after the wave of Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization ( LPG ) and growth of Community Radio as a part of narrowcasting instead of broadcasting in the beginning of this century. Art of Radio broadcasting can only be realized by becoming aware of the nature of the medium in which performers are invisible to their audience. All jobs in radio do require specialized training and qualification but production can be learned through hands on experience.

Radio Broadcaster Aptitude

The radio industries’ responsibility to the public is very high and deadlines must be met along with quality standards. Radio broadcasters need some specific skills and qualities. Some of these are developed with experience but others are expected from any media professional. You can evaluate these for yourself.

Writing is at the heart of programme broadcast. Your success in this field is determined by your ability to write well. Good and effective writing is at least as important as your ability to handle the equipment. As a broadcaster, you should be curious about the world around you. Since you are in the communication business, read literature, magazines and newspapers and monitor various radio stations and stay informed about current events. You should always develop the ability to capture the essence of a complicated story and then present the essential facts in a clear, concise and interesting manner. This helps the audience to understand, digest and remember what is presented.

Broadcaster must learn to work under pressure. Sometime some programme like news demands deadline. This requires rigorous discipline and personal commitment to your job. You will need to be fast and efficient in your habits and to remain calm even when it may seem that the world is falling on you. Good broadcaster likes people. They are the sources for the stories that you produce. Listen to what people say, the feeling they reveal because these elements form the basis for your programme. A broadcaster must treat people with consideration and show empathy. Broadcasting is a heavily regulated industry, field with requirements and recommendation. Here laws and regulations influence how you cover and report stories. You will need to know what is permitted and what is not, what is preferred and what is optional.

Broadcaster must know the capabilities and limitations of the equipments used in production of programmes. Equipment is part of the reporting tools of the broadcast journalist. Recorders, microphones, editing software etc extend the broadcaster’s ability to form a story.

Common sense is indispensable for a broadcaster. He must ask question after question to draw out whoever he interviews to learn about less obvious but important aspects of the subject at hand. He must be inquisitive, perceptive and have a healthy skepticism. An eager broadcaster must learn as much about as many things as possible and stay intellectually alert. He must know the reference books and clipping files he should consult to obtain historical and other explanatory information to round off a story. As a broadcaster gathers experience, he becomes a storehouse of knowledge, and aware of the nature of different organizations. He must also have the ability to receive information, analyze it and figure out what it means to him, the community and the listeners. It needs good education and some experience to develop this skill. More than anything else, a broadcaster must have self-confidence.

Radio Course

A good quality education and sound qualifications hold you in all careers. Most Radio broadcasters have a minimum graduation degree, which can be in any subject. Post graduation in Mass communication or Diploma in this field adds knowledge of Radio Production as it is essential part of its curriculum. There is no need spending heavy amount of money to learn radio through short courses.

There are three main entry routes into broadcast. In Public service broadcasting graduates after passing audition test and completing Vani certificate course enter into broadcasting on assignment basis. In commercial radio station RJ’s get honorarium on hourly basis or sometimes a fixed package. Community Radio does not allow salary and volunteers can perform even if they do not possess formal education. New aspirants develop their skills on the job. Trainees may follow an experienced broadcaster, assisting in research or arranging interviews, before gradually taking on their own assignments. Employers may offer technical training in the use of recording and editing equipment.

Career progress is usually by moving to a bigger station or programme.

Work Profile of People working in Radio, Station Directors or Station Managers

Station Directors or Station Managers are overall incharge / responsible for the running of Radio stations – leading the programme, engineering and administration staff team to ensure they meet the objectives of the station in terms of output, audience, or revenue. The tasks of a Station Director vary between different types of radio stations, depending on how the station is funded, the size of the organisation to which it belongs, and the division of responsibilities within a station management team. The job is demanding and can involve working long and unpredictable hours.

Attributes for Radio Station Director :

  • Competence to work effectively under pressure, react quickly, and meet tight deadlines.
  • Aptitude to generate original ideas, and to think creatively about how to communicate them.
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills.
  • Commerce and finance skills.
  • Confidence and decisiveness.
  • Thorough knowledge of the Radio industry, programme styles, audience demographics, law, ethics, copyright and music clearances.

Assistant Station Director

The Assistant Station Director assists the Director in all matters concerning the planning and production of programmes; he supervises the work of the Programme Executive, Producers and other Production Staff / Staff Artists; he is responsible for the part of programme administration.

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Skills for Radio Broadcasting

Broadcast Journalist

( News Sub – Editor, Radio Reporter / Correspondent ) : Broadcast journalists work in busy Newsrooms and Studios. They generate ideas for Stories, or take a brief from a News Editor / Producer. Radio Reporters identify and research news stories and then present them on air. They spend much of their time out gathering information, witnessing and recording events, and interviewing those involved. Sometimes they report live from events or record and edit material to create pre-recorded items for news bulletins. They also produce Radio features and documentaries.

Radio News Correspondent have possess these talents :

  • Ability to draw information from masses
  • Knowledge of what makes a story and how best to present it to particular audiences
  • Ability to think creatively and see all possible angles of a story
  • Brilliant reporting & news-gathering skill
  • Clear and proficient voice

Radio Producers Radio Producers work in all Radio Stations ( AIR, Commercial and Community Radio ). Although they play a key role in creating what listeners hear, they do not give voice on air themselves. They are responsible for creating and co – coordinating the content of Radio programmes as well as closely involved with the business and technical aspects of programmes. The majority of Radio Producers work as part of a small team, although some manage much larger programme units. They are mainly based in offices and recording studios, but also work on location producing outside broadcasts.

Programme Executive The Programme Executive plays a central role in All India Radio. He / She is at once the convener, the coordinator and the conductor in respect of all functions and activities of the teams or section to which he is attached. He arranges discussions and consultations within the team; co-ordinates the work so that his team members can translate their ideas and plans into actual broadcast. His main duties and functions are 4P’s i.e. Planning and coordination of programmes, Programme production, Programme administration and Public relations.

A Programme Executive or a Producer needs to be:

  1. A strong communicator – both verbally and in writing
  2. Innovative ideas creator and make them happen
  3. Comfortable working with broadcast equipment
  4. Knowledgeable and passionate about radio
  5. Able to exercise sound judgment

Production Assistant

He assists the Producer / Programme Executive for arrangement of basic facilities as per requirement of the programmes i.e. Studio, rehearsal, recording etc. and also produce the programme in an emergency and in the absence of the Producer/Programme Executive. Whether they are dealing with music, sound effects and audio archive material, Production assistants know how to obtain such materials legally, taking into account issues of copyright and music licensing.

Radio Pressenter ( Announcer / Anchor / Compere / RJ / News Reader )

Radio Presenters are the real voice of a station or programme and people like them as film stars. They are responsible for creating the style of Radio output and establishing a relationship with listeners. A programme announcer announces programs on radio. They have to obtain relevant background information regarding program to be broadcast, prepares material for announcement, highlighting essential and interesting aspects of the program. They have to possess good knowledge of the equipment which is used in radio station. They must possess well modulated and resonant voice, perfect pronunciation of the language and presence of mind.

Radio Presenters need following talents :

  • Admirable presentation and performance skills
  • Understanding of how to use voice effectively for radio
  • Ability to build credibility and rapport by communicating knowledgably and engagingly with audiences
  • Skill to work effectively under pressure, and meet tight deadlines
  • Talent to present while operating studio controls and co – coordinating a range of simultaneous technical activities

Transmission Executive

The Transmission Executive is the officer on duty and responsible for carefully monitoring various items of programmes broadcast and preparing the daily report in prescribed form. He maintains the log book of all programs broadcast on local and national network. He attends the daily programme meetings and reports the previous day’s broadcast details to the members present. He is also responsible in ensuring that all the contracts are signed properly and the cheques dispatched to the staff artists .

Audience Research Officier

The job of Audience Research Officer is very vital. He assesses reaction of the audience to the programme by conducting surveys / studies and collects information about radio listenership. He is assisted by a Tabulator who tabulates the data wherever necessary.

News Editor

News Editor is the key person in preparing the Radio news bulletins. They identify stories, select material for news bulletins and have day – to – day control of news output. News Editors generate original ideas and approaches to the way stories are covered, assign work to their team, brief and deploy reporters and broadcast Journalists. Sometimes they may also be required to report, produce or present.

News Editors need the following talents:

  1. Strong wisdom of what makes a good news story
  2. Good editorial judgment
  3. Intensive knowledge of the Radio industry, programme styles and audience demographics
  4. Confidence and decision making Power
  5. Capacity to maintain objectivity in the treatment of stories

Leading Institutes for Learning about Radio

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In the age of information explosion, Public Service Broadcasting has expanded greatly. Commercial radios have become widely popular and community radio has also set its foot in India. Therefore the development of radio as an art form and as a tool of development has emerged in a new shape. With the digital technology, there are rich new fields opening up for you in the form of Internet Radio, HD Radio and Satellite Radio.

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