Sometimes ago before I applied to study Broadcast Production at the prestigious National Broadcast Academy (formerly FRCN Training School) – the training arm of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, I had a challenge. The challenge was about the course of study I should consider applying for. The two closest options were Broadcast Presentation and Broadcast Production.
I had a tough time deciding on which to study because anyone who wants to venture into the industry wants to by default be a Presenter. Well, I had started working as a Reporter, Presenter and Producer, before considering the professional course though but I was still in a dilemma.
This problem isn’t about indecision but more about a prevalent dichotomy between Radio Presenters and Producers. Well, I settled for Broadcast Production – I’m glad I did by the way – but a lot of people would still prefer being identified as a Radio Presenter to a Radio Producer.
The reason is clear. Everyone wants to show on TV and be heard on Radio. Meanwhile, more than the Presenters who grace your TV screens and bless your Radio with some dynamic voice, there are so many other people who work in a Radio station. A lot of them are part of the production process of your favorite show just that they ain’t ‘destined’ to be heard on the Radio. Nevertheless, they are as important as the Presenter and any glitch in the discharge of their responsibility during the production process can spell doom for a programme.
Below are the five major categories of people who work in a Radio station and the role they play therein.
The Producer is the brain of the programme. Radio Producers are creative and ideas persons who mobilize all the necessary resources – human and otherwise needed for the success of a particular show on Radio.
He practically orchestrates the direction of the programme. His task ranges from birthing the idea of the programme or understanding the concept if the programme was assigned to him, to breaking down the programme into episodic chunks, getting guests for the programme where necessary and organizing the choice of music on the programme.
He oversees the entire production process to ensure smooth running of the programme and every member of the production crew answers yes to him.
In Nigeria, we’ve grown to refer to them as On Air Personalities now. Ghana does the same. In India and Pakistan, they are called Radio Jockeys – RJ for short. America says Radio Personality while US keeps it simple with Radio Presenter. They are informally known in Sweden as ‘Hallaa’ which roughly implies ‘helloer’.
A Radio Presenter is the face of a Radio programme. This is the voice that blesses your stereo every time to introduce the music on the broadcast schedule, host a talk show or discussion, interview celebrity guests or just give you update on recent happenings.
These days, presenters are becoming mega celebrities. I once joked about Presenters being the next stop for Pepsi to look at for their Ambassadors. Well, it sounded like a joke but with the look of things, it might just happen because we have a lot of OAPs who have distinguished themselves in their line of profession.
Check Out – The Characteristics of an Ideal Radio Presenter
The News Caster also known as the news anchor is that person who presents the news during a news program. A news caster should have a thrilling voice with a communicative flow. He should be able to communicate with his audience with command, clarity and comfort.
A good command of the language of broadcast is just as important as well. No one wants to listen to the news from a newscaster with dead on grammar, irregular syntax and inappropriate pronunciation, tone and uninteresting storytelling especially on Radio as a blind medium.
Since, news casters are inalienable personnel, we will get to talk more about them and the Art of News Casting generally pretty soon.
Duty Continuity Announcer
Even when this is not in vogue anymore safe for FRCN stations, we still have to talk about it. Ideally, a duty continuity announcer is the personnel who pop in every now and then to accompany the listeners through the flow of the daily programme schedule.
This might be to introduce songs, deliver announcements, introduce an immediate show or give trailers of forthcoming programmes on the station.
In recent times, regular presenters have taken up this role which hence lessens the prevalence of duty continuity announcer on Radio.
Script writing is one very important part of Radio production which does not get much attention paid to it these days. A script is a written text of a broadcast content. There is a rife argument on how important scriptwriting is with many people saying that it kills spontaneity. Well, I wouldn’t mind being conservative enough to believe that for every show you are producing, it makes sense to always have a script.
This is where a script writer comes in but more often than not, the Producers and the Presenters have taken up this role as well.
These are the 5 major personnel who work with a Radio station.
However, noteworthy are some other personnel which includes in no particular order, the;
- Radio DJ
- Music Librarian
- Broadcast Engineer
- Voice Over Artiste
- Studio Manager
- Audio Editor
- Sound Engineer
- Social Media Manager
As you venture into the broadcasting business, don’t forget that it is a profession that pays attention to process. You necessarily don’t have to instantly become the face of the station or the producer as the case maybe. You have to learn the ropes.
Well, I even believe in starting from the lower echelon and keep working your way to the top. Most radio station will be comfortable employing you as a reporter than a presenter straight up. Especially if you do not have a previous broadcast experience.
I started with freelance reporting before graduating to understudying a well versed broadcast journo. From there things started getting better and the sky is just the limit right now. And this is the case with your favorite OAPs too. So you have to trust the process!
I’d like to know what you feel, so feel free to use the comment section below and let’s get talking.
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