Scripting is one of the traditions of ethical broadcasting that is going moribund. New Age Broadcasters now feel extremely comfortable with doing more of Ad-Libbing and less of Scripting for their Radio Shows. On this edition of #TheRadioChat, Sultan Grey meets up with Raypower FM’s David Egwim (Radio Dandy) to discuss the topic; ‘Scripting vs. Ad-Libbing: Between Killing Spontaneity and Promoting Incoherence’. Excerpts:
So let’s start the discussion on a personal note. How have you been? How is the industry treating you?
I have been doing pretty well at least the last time I checked. Well! The industry has really evolved and interestingly competitive but we bless God. We are coping.
Talking about the industry being competitive, last year was a huge year for you if I may say that. You had several awards and nominations coming in including PERA Awards where you were nominated alongside some other big names. How does that makes you feel?
Well! It’s really a great feeling I must tell you. Because as it stands PERA is one of the most prestigious Award Oyo State (Ibadan) have got thus far with great support from the State Government.
It’s really a great pleasure been nominated. I feel really humbled but remember that when you’re rewarded for a hard work, it means more work.
How was it like losing the award to Beat FM’s Oloruntoba Yusuf by the way?
No hard feelings really!
I sincerely don’t know how to do solicit for votes. And that’s one of the basic criteria for winning among other things. Amazing personalities were on that list. Trust me; being among them alone is a win for me. There are other great talents that were not even nominated. We the nominees ain’t better than them. Maybe we’re more privileged. Moreover the winner is as well a great broadcaster.
As a broadcaster, it is often said that for every radio show, there must be a script so as to ensure that you produce and present the best content possible. Do you agree with this?
Well! Scripting is a tradition in broadcasting. Its benefits cannot be overemphasized. But be that as it may, like I said earlier, broadcasting has evolved. So proper scripting of shows is gradually going into extinction.
I would rather have a proper show prep, get to be on the know of all my content, then flow well while I ad-lib.
What are some of those benefits of Scripting?
It makes you well prepared before your show. Also, it makes you well informed about what you want to discuss. It also shields you from going off content and helps you remain well guided.
Great! If scripting is this important, then why is it going into extinction? Is being well guided on your programme not that important anymore or broadcasters these days just can’t script, so they feel comfortable ad-libbing?
For the fact that it’s going into extinction doesn’t mean something was wrong with it. It’s just because proper Ad-libbing has proven to be more convenient and as well in context with proper ethics of broadcasting.
Ad-libbing has become more prominent these days because it aids spontaneity but only if it’s done the proper way. Not forgetting the fact that some broadcasters just ad-lib because they are just lazy.
So what’s your definition of proper Ad-libbing?
Proper Ad-libbing is a broadcaster doing the necessary research or findings about the topic he/she wants to discuss. Get used to the important things involving the topic. Then flow or smooth talk while presenting the topics using the right words and very articulate.
10 – 15 years ago, broadcasting wasn’t as we have it today. Scripting was like a ritual for every broadcaster then but that is not the case today. So what exactly changed?
Time, the people, the society and most importantly Technology.
Would you say more on the technology part? How did it affect broadcasting with respect to scripting?
Thank you very much for that beautiful question.
Technology changed Scripting because years back making researches could be a little stressful compared to what we have now. These days you can get almost any information you want from anywhere in the world, with various search engines in place and the use of social media.
So they are scripting then because they will not want to lose the information they managed to get. It will be difficult getting it back. But now you will most likely have various places to get it from.
Secondly, there are various gadgets you can ad-lib on to record whatever you want on the go, have backups and always go back to it when needed unlike some years ago.
In fact you can’t do this interview on this platform years back. The world is really evolving.
You host the PowerPlay on Raypower FM alongside the beautiful Olivia, do you script for that show at all?
Every programme has its synopsis. What we do is plan and prepare before the show; get to be on the know of what we want to discuss then allow free flow of words and try our very best to be articulate, making sure we don’t contradict the basic ethics of broadcasting.
We don’t script at all. We Ad-lib and it works for us pretty well, it’s aids our synergy and chemistry.
News is a closely scripted programme and you cast news as well. Which do you enjoy the doing more?
Well, the News is a slightly different ballgame from other major programmes because of its high sensitivity and it remains sacrosanct.
That’s why it is closely scripted like you said. And that’s more reason why we cast News and present programmes.
Nice response, stylishly evading the question, right?
Now putting the question straight to you Dandy, is Scripting in any way killing Spontaneity on Radio?
Well! I will rather say it depends on the person (Presenter) involved. If some presenters present a scripted programme, anyone on the flip side of the radio will not notice. This is because he/she will remain spontaneous while some makes it obvious that they are actually reading from a script.
So, like I earlier mentioned, it all depends on the person involved. A good broadcaster should be spontaneous with or without the script.
So, what are the tips you’ll give to a budding broadcaster who is trying to find the space between scripting his/her show while being lively as well?
He or she should start with scripting to serve as a guide. Then most importantly work towards his/her spontaneity not forgetting to also work towards ad-libbing because of its importance to this New Age Broadcasting. Remember, a good broadcaster must match up with time.
That’s a nice parting shot Dandy. Thank you so much for speaking to us on #TheRadioChat and we wish you the very best moving forward in the New Year.
The pleasure is all mine! Thanks for having me.
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