Traffic and travel reports sound so easy don’t they? You hear lots of people saying “I could do that….” but have you ever thought about the art of reading or even writing a travel bulletin? When people ask me about going out and getting on air experience as a presenter or jock, I sometimes point them to traffic and travel bulletin reading as a starting point. It’s not an area which most people think about when being on air, but it’s a great place to begin because it helps to focus the mind on unpacking and delivering short pieces of information.Continue reading
When an event as tragic as the Manchester bombing takes place the world stops and watches. This is an insight into my day as a radio producer from 23rd May 2017, a day after the Manchester bombing.
I’ve held off posting this until now as it didn’t seem appropriate to do that so close to the event, or the ones which followed it in the UK which also saw loss of life. I would also note that this isn’t a post to glorify what has happened or the show, but hopefully a useful guide for programme makers and those interested in the media of what happens in a production house when something so tragic like this happens.
Usually I spend a few hours editing audio, writing in and out lines; throw aheads, trails and pointers for online listen agains, promos and music reference points.
Today we had a technical malfunction in the office with all our computers, and it makes you realise just how much we rely on technology working.
(NB: This post was originally written for the Student Radio Association)
This is probably an odd blog post. Initially, the SRA wanted people to write about their jobs in radio and the sort of things they get up to. I’ll do that a little bit of course, but really I want to write about people, because people are awesome. Listening to people is incredible.
I wonder if you’ve ever stopped to consider the news?
That’s an odd question to ask but in recent years the format of what news is, against what it potentially should be, has changed a lot. A quick Google search for the definition of news tells us that it’s:
“Newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent or important events”
“A person or thing considered interesting enough to be reported in the news.”
News is something that surrounds our lives. It’s what allows us to stay connected to the world around us; whether that’s within our families and circles of friends, or something that’s happened internationally. It’s also taken on lots of different forms; local news, regional news, national news, international new, showbiz news, music news, business news… the list goes on and on, and that’s no bad thing. People that want a specific subject can get it at the touch of a button or on a 24 hour rolling news channel on TV.
The thing I’d like to get to the bottom of though, is what exactly is news in 2016?
“Fail to prepare. Prepare to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
That’s a phrase radio and every single task we do as beings on this planet lives and dies by.
- Forget to buy milk. You don’t get breakfast.
- Don’t plant seeds. Harvests won’t grow.
- Didn’t read the map. You’ll probably get lost.
You get the idea.
Everyday I have to prepare a radio programme and everyday I have to assume that it won’t go to plan. It sounds a bit cynical to think like that, but assuming that what you’ve prepared will get you through an entire show without a hitch is not the smartest move to make.
I get asked a lot about what it is I actually do for a living as a radio producer, especially by family members who believe that I sit around drinking tea and deciding which records to play on the radio… (To be fair, I do get to do that sometimes), so I thought it’s about time I wrote about some of the aspects of my job and what exactly it is I get up to (while of course drinking tea).
The best description I can give anyone is that I am a gatekeeper of the airwaves, standing proudly in front of a giant door.
This articles focus is spot on, and applies not just in media, but any occupation. Have a read and see if you agree –
(Thanks to @ for highlighting this one)
I’ve taken the title of this post from the brilliant ‘This Is Spinal Tap’. If you have no idea what I’m talking about then may I suggest that you get yourself a copy and watch in sheer delight at some of the brilliant lines!
Anyway… the reason I have chosen that as a title is that recently I have watched a number of people recording podcasts, shows and interviews at recording levels so high, that seagulls have been knocked out the sky.
It was in 2005 when I was still a whippersnapper in the radio industry and I met Elliott James Frisby, who to this day is still one of my good friends. We were recording some vocals for his music reel and was showing me a few tricks of the trade, and a phrase he used while we were recording has always stuck in my mind…
“It is always easier to make something louder…”
He’s right, and it’s something that I have adhered to ever since that day.
Once I have set my levels in the studio for a recording, I always take a few Db off to make sure that it doesn’t peak. It’s difficult to restore distorted audio, not impossible, but very difficult – so do yourself a favour the next time you’re planning on recording an item – set your levels and then lower them – it’s always easier to make them louder in the edit.
Well, it’s that time of year where you open an envelope on A-Level/GCSE results day to determine your fate.
I remember both of the days fondly; going down to my school to pick up the piece of paper that decided my next stage of life, and low and behold, I hadn’t done that well. It wasn’t surprising really when I had spent most of my revision time playing football and sitting on the beach. At the time, it seemed like the right thing to do. In hindsight I probably should have studied more.