CAREER GUIDES

Here's how to become the best radio and television announcer

The duties of radio and TV announcers are determined by their employers

Image: 123RF/Rui Dias-Aidos.

Newsreaders prepare and deliver news, sports and/or weather reports, gathering and rewriting material so that it will convey the required information and fit specific time slots. They attend press conferences in order to gather information for broadcast, provide commentary and conduct interviews during sporting events, parades, conventions and other events. They read news flashes to inform audiences of important events. 

Other show hosts announce musical selections, station breaks, commercials or public service information and accept requests from the listening audience. They may comment on the music and other matters, such as weather or traffic conditions. In some shows they discuss various topics over the telephone with viewers or listeners. They locate guests to appear on talk or interview shows, and interview show guests about their lives, their work, or topics of current interest.

Other tasks are to describe or demonstrate products that viewers may purchase through specific shows or in stores, to make promotional appearances in public or private events in order to represent their employers, to moderate panels or discussion shows on topics such as current affairs, art or education, and coordinate games, contests or other on-air competitions, performing such duties as asking questions and awarding prizes. 

They need to keep daily programme logs to provide information on all elements aired during broadcast, such as musical selections and station promotions. 

Some announcers conduct research to prepare programmes which are relevant and meaningful to the audience. They select programme content, in conjunction with producers and assistants, based on factors such as programme specialties, audience tastes or requests from the public, and study background information in order to prepare for the programmes or interviews. 

Sometimes commercials are recorded for later broadcast.  Others develop, create, record and produce their own special programmes. Radio and television announcers work in radio or television studios. Controls, turntables and electronic equipment surround those who introduce records. Television announcers work under bright, hot lights in front of cameras. Announcers may also be required to make appearances in the community for charity, social and community events.

They are required to work irregular hours in shifts. The work setting is pleasant, but at the same time exhausting. Although they must work a minimum of 40 hours per week, they usually work more and are available every day of the week on the announcer’s timetable.

Personal requirements

  • Confident and have initiative
  • Able to react quickly in an emergency
  • Able to project your personality to audiences
  • Able to work well with others
  • Good judgement
  • Pleasant, well-controlled speaking voice and good pronunciation
  • Good health and stamina
  • Neat and well-groomed appearance

How to enter

Compulsory school subjects: None 

Recommended Subjects: Dance Studies, Design, Dramatic Arts, Music, Visual Arts

Learners who decide to study further towards a degree or diploma must meet the minimum requirements for a degree or diploma pass depending on what you choose to study. In addition, each university or university of technology has its own Admission Points Score (APS) requirements for each course. 

What to study

An announcer receives in-service training at the SABC and other recognised broadcasting training institutions. A candidate for the post of announcer must pass a microphone audition. The following are important in an audition: 

  • Voice quality
  • Free speaking ability
  • Reading ability
  • Knowledge of mother language and other languages
  • Knowledge of music
  • Ability to communicate
  • Pronunciation and expression.

Employment

  • Television stations
  • Commercial radio broadcasting stations

Getting started

 

  • Try to develop an outgoing personality and ability to speak in front of others by working on school newspapers and yearbooks, and participating in drama clubs or productions
  • Become well read and well informed in a variety of areas
  • Arrange an appointment to visit a radio or television station to speak to an announcer
  • Try to obtain vacation or part-time work in a radio or TV station

Find a job

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