I agree, Microsoft Word often feels limiting, but like you said, it is the most popular program of its kind. The formatting process to make a document “anchor ready” is pretty simple. The top line is simply for reference, but it notes the date, category of news (international, domestic, regional), name of article and the author. Then, each sentence is that will be read over the air is separated by an entire line. Lastly, simply press “F2” and the entire document will become radio ready. It is surprising how much this format helps the anchors read the report. I don’t know if the “F2” key was designed for radio writing, but I definitely think it can be used for other read-aloud purposes. I will attach a sample report that I wrote so people can see what this format looks like.
Some people were also wondering about the “do’s” and “don’ts” of radio production. This is interesting because through the classes I have taken and the immense amount of radio I have been listening to, I have formulated pretty strong opinions towards radio show hosts that I like and the one’s I don’t. Interviewers mostly intrigue me because their tone and style plays a huge role on the quality of the interview. Interviewers that ask too long of questions seems to be a big problem. I have heard countless interviews where the interviewer prefaces a simple question with a minute or two of background information. Rather than doing that, I like when interviewers have the interviewee do all the talking and lead the listener through his/her story. That being said, I do think it’s important to make the interviewee step outside his/her comfort zone and say things that they might not have prepared. This gives an authentic and sincere feeling to the interview. Amy Goodman runs the show “Democracy Now” and her show always seems to be intruiging and interesting throughout interviews. I would give her a listen.
I am confident to say that I have become a part of the radio station on a day-to-day basis. I feel like the work I am doing is actually important and beneficial to the radio station, which is something that I have not felt as strongly before. My morning work is somewhat tedious (see last post), but I have developed a system that allows me to put creative input into the music archiving. I avidly scan the music database and when I find something I like, I import the music into an editing program and burn the music onto a CD. Each CD takes about 40 minutes, but I have managed to acquire quite a selection. I have heard some amazing local punk and country bands, so I feel lucky to be doing the work I am doing. I found this local Portland punk band called the Wipers that I hadn’t heard before. They’re really good and they used to perform in the 1970’s around town with bands like Dead Moon. KBOO has some really cool recordings of them playing life that I don’t think I could find anywhere else.
My afternoon work is also really interesting. Like I said before, I am writing the news scripts for the anchors to read. There are a lot of college and graduate school interns that work with me in a cramped, overheated room in the back reporting stories to be read on the 5 o’clock news. We start at about 12pm and work until 4pm. This gives us time to gather enough stories for about an hour of news. I have written quite a few reports and I was really excited to hear them over the air. It’s really cool because I write the report, and within a few hours, I hear it read over the city-wide air. I also listen to the reports that I wrote to see how I can improve them. I have learned some valuable techniques about radio writing. It is crucial to write concise and simple sentences that can be read and understood easily. It is also important to avoid large numbers and specific scientific terms that can confuse the listener or the anchor that reads them aloud. Again, I will include a sample of the writing that I am doing on this post.
Thanks to everyone that is reading and commenting on my blog! Come stop by the station whenever you want and I can show you around. 20 SE 8th Ave (just off of Burnside).