The sheer number of designations that are available—or churned out whenever required—in the field of radio probably beats the variety and number of ranks in the armed forces, hands down. The positive of having so many designations is that everyone feels proud of their tags—whether they know what it means or what is required out of them. But the negative is that, with so many different portfolios, one cannot avoid the word ‘protocol’.
Protocol literally has a shrine built to it in most radio units and employees go to it every morning to understand what it means and to find the best possible way to bypass it. For those who understand the word, their jobs are secure. But for the others, they are always living on the edge. There are a select few who understand the word and give it a new meaning. This bunch has their careers wide open—to choose want they want to do and not worry about whether their work is broadcast-worthy or not.
So when you do join radio, figure out which bunch you want to belong to—as this is directly proportional to your stint with the medium. Another fact that amazes or rather amuses me, is when I meet radio employees with big dog-tags around their neck stating who they are. Strike a conversation with them, however, and they won’t be able to sustain it for longer than 30 seconds (a minute at tops). This happens not because they’re snobbish, but because their top storeys are empty and always welcoming renovation.
Way down at the bottom of this designation disaster are the listeners who have absolutely no clue as to who is steering their favourite radio station. I think listeners should be given a standing ovation for their patience and their faith. As for those of you with impressive designations, my advice: first prove to yourselves that you are really worth that signboard. Corporatising the creative side of radio is like having a dictator to rule a free land. See you next week!
— Niladri@radiowave (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The writer’s views expressed here are entirely in his personal capacity.