I was listening to some of the regional channels, especially the breakfast shows, and the one common thread that stitched them together was the similarity in the news that they were dishing out. I wondered whether they all had the same producer or maybe it was simply telepathic. I found my answer, however, when I reached home.
It was lying in the hall waiting to be read. That’s right, it was the newspaper—and everything on it had been featured on radio. The trick of feeding off the newspaper is a shortcut to sounding like a professional news channel. But it’s never worked and never will because there is no method. Sometimes I look out of the window while driving just to check which city I am in because of the content on the radio.
Many a time, irrelevant subjects creep into the on-air stage, not because it deserves to be heard but rather because there is someone voraciously reading the newspaper and vomiting the same on the medium. You as a listener, who’s probably had a round with the morning newspaper, will surely want to listen to something else rather than what you have just read and absorbed.
All the news that makes it on to the papers is not necessarily about our city. The real content lies with the listener, who is clued into what is happening. You need to have a team that knows the city inside out and a credible news source that’s in tune with the present. The content will only get original with time, thereby beating the old method of lifting topics from the papers and turning it into discussions and debates.
I request presenters to walk back in time and take a look at the blueprint of a breakfast offering. Even stations abroad don’t depend on newspapers as they believe they are a credible news hub themselves. That’s what makes their shows sound fresh, original and ear-worthy. The problem with the on-air offering here is that it’s trying too hard to be something it cannot.
See you next week with more radio talk!
The writer’s views expressed here are entirely in his personal capacity.