Radio Journalism: it’s like a narrated newspaper that you drive to work with, right? In reality, it’s far from that. Radio journalism is, in a way, a forgotten media. It’s like print journalism, but the end result varies greatly.
So what makes up radio journalism? How does it add up?
All radio begins with a good story. A journalist types up a great story, cuts it down, tweaks some words, and gives it to the host, where they recite and animate the stories for the audience. Though the host may have the golden voice, they’d be nothing without great stories (and great journalists) to back them up.
Listeners must be able to listen and understand the story with ease, and expect it to be written so. Audiences expect sentences that are short, sweet, and to the point. They don’t have the time to be bogged down with fancy words – they’re there for the facts, discussion, and a bit of entertainment in some cases. Appeal to your listeners.
Give the audience something new to listen to by spicing up the news. Novelty and proximity are key in radio stories. People can easily look up their 5 o’clock news and get the general headlines for the night, but a good journalist can cover topics off the beaten path or put a creative spin on an already popular topic.
Creating a connection between the audience and the story at hand is essential. Radio is a very personal media – you can listen to it in the privacy of your car or home, or you can choose to share it with others. Regardless, arguably the most important objective of a story is to form a bond that engages the listener and keeps them wanting more in the future.
Radio journalism is a 3-way balance between brevity, personality, and an all-around great story. In radio, it’s the journalists who are the unsung heroes. Without journalists to create on-air stories, radio wouldn’t be possible.