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RADIO ANNOUNCER

A radio announcer's job is to entertain people and inform them with important news and facts about current events in a good presentation so that radio listeners do not want to change the channel. Radio anchor people analyze and broadcast news received from various sources. They help to select, write, and present news and may specialize in a particular area (for instance, sports). A job as a radio announcer is a great choice because you get the chance to express yourself before a big audience. It is a good career choice for somebody who likes to write and present news, someone who is confident, energetic and interested in film and television, reading, and current events. One of the most exciting aspects of this career is the chance to become famous and widely known, as well as the chance to get a lot of personal contacts and meet celebrities.

HISTORY The first radio signal was transmitted in 1895 by the Italian engineer Guglielmo Marconi. After that, the radio developed quickly and opened a variety of 1

possibilities; for example, the advertising of goods and services. The very first two radio stations were KDKA Pittsburgh and WWJ Detroit, which began to broadcast in 1920. There were radio stations in all major cities in America within the next few years and broadcasting has become a big business. The first radio network, called the National Broadcasting Company, was developed in 1926 when 25 radio stations across the country were linked together. Radio networks try to reach the largest audience possible to purvey goods and services through commercials. Radio was and still is a well-used mass medium. Today's radio advertisements are used for the same purpose as in the beginning years of radio broadcasting, but they are much more informal, explicit, and frank. With the coming of television, radio broadcasting became less important as mass medium and home entertainment, but the value of today's radio communications and commercials should not be underestimated. Another big change for radio newscasters was the development of the World Wide Web and the Internet. It has become a great resource, because newscasters can get free and quick information for their stories. It also offers the opportunity for radio announcers to create their own website where they keep listeners updated on current events and give them the possibility to email comments and suggestions about their show. JOB DESCRIPTION The work of a radio announcer is indoor work and often very stressful. They usually have a 40-hour week but perhaps with irregular hours. That affects one's lifestyle because often radio announcers work all night, very early, or very late and cannot be home with their families. Some of the duties a radio newscaster has to do are interviewing guests about lives, their work, and topics of current interest; selecting recordings to be played based on the program specialty, audience taste and requests; keeping a daily program log of all elements aired during the broadcast, such as program selections and station promotions; and reading news flashes to inform the audience of important events. 2

Radio newscasters have very tight schedules, which can be physically and mentally stressful. They are faced with constant deadlines and there is often much stress and tension behind the scenes but they must appear calm, professional and confident. The chaos of preparation will come together for a concise and relaxed newscast. Because their voices are heard by the public on a daily basis, they become well-known public personalities and are often asked to participate in community activities and other public events.

QUALIFICATIONS There are some skills one needs to do this job which are good speaking, active listening, reading comprehension, time management, social perceptiveness and the operation and control of equipment or systems. To do this job one must be able to master the regional language including correct grammar usage, pronunciation, and having no strong dialect is extremely important. One must be able to handle deadline pressure and improvise if necessary. One should be creative and should know how to meet and interact with people. To be a good radio announcer, one should have a pleasing personality and voice. 3

Radio newscasters must be levelheaded and able to react calmly even in the face of a major crisis. It is very important that they can think quickly so that they can handle unexpected circumstances; for example if guests do not arrive they must fill the air time immediately with something else. They must be able to smooth over an ill-advised phrase, a breakdown in their equipment, or other technical difficulties. They also must be capable of using computers, editing equipment, and other broadcast-related devices because of the new advances in technology. To be successful in this career, one must have good work habits, a good sound judgment, enthusiasm, patience, a sense of humor, empathy, personal commitment to excellence, and a sincere desire to understand and be understood. One should be able to cooperate as an interdependent team member; have the ability to analyze and solve problems; and show initiative, dependability, and leadership potential. EDUCATION To get a job as a radio newscaster, one needs a bachelor's degree in a major such as communications, broadcasting, or journalism. The greater the knowledge of geography, history, literature, arts, political science and music the greater the announcer's value. Also important are one's technical skills. One should be able to master the computer technology including word processing, digital video and audio editing devices, spreadsheets, graphics, e-mail, website operations, and other kinds of hardware and software. Radio announcers are expected to keep up with the new emerging technology. To get experience in this career, it is good to take speech, theater or dance classes in school. A lot of radio stations also offer to take students during the summer for a job-shadow. Speaking and performing before an audience also helps to become confident enough to do the job of a radio newscaster. Some universities allow students to alternate between attending classes for one semester and doing outside work for one semester. 4

Thus, participants gain professional experience by the time they receive their diplomas. SALARY Radio announcer earnings are relatively low, but it varies widely. In general, new radio announcers will not make a lot of money, because of the lack of experience and knowledge. But after a few years they might be able to change to a bigger radio station and then have a better paid job. Large radio stations generally pay more than smaller stations. Nationally known announcers can make the most money because of their popularity. The location of the radio station also affects the salary of a radio newscaster. Major markets in big cities have better equipment and have more money to pay their employees generously, whereas small stations broadcast only for a small area so their newscasters will not earn so much.

To increase his or her salary, one needs to keep informed about new technical equipment and current events. A person should never stop enlarging one's knowledge and skills. The more abilities one has the bigger the chance that one will be transferred to a better job position. The earnings in television broadcasting are always higher than in radio broadcasting, so to increase one's salary one could change from a radio newscaster to a television anchor. OUTLOOK The job openings for radio newscaster is a very small number. There is high competition because the number of people who want to be radio anchors is much greater than the number of jobs available. Reasons for the declining growth are new technology and the growth of alternative media sources, such as cable TV and satellite radio. These alternatives will contribute to the expected decline in the employment of radio announcers. Because of the new technology, radio stations use computers and voice tracks and do not need more than minimum-wage employees to push the appropriate buttons. But it sounds as if it is live and local. The trend toward the automation reduces the demand for radio announcers. Nevertheless, radio remains strong and popular. People depend on the radio at home, at work, or in their cars.

With the work on this research paper, I have learned a lot about the job of a radio newscaster. Before I did my job-shadow, I knew only little about the work that a radio announcer has to do. Now after my days at the radio station in Burnham,PA, and my research for this paper my knowledge has enlarged greatly. I enjoyed my time at the radio station this summer and I am glad that Youth For Understanding (YFU), my former exchange organization, made this possible.