presenter on air guide 5
BAY-VIBES PRESENTERS ON AIR GUIDE SECTION 5/2018.
Do’s & Don’ts
General program promotion
This means a ‘promo’ for some program other than the one which is about to go ‘On Air’. It could take the form of a ‘pre-recorded promo’, or a ‘live promo’ which you give yourself — assuming you know enough correct information about the program. General program promotions can be a vital part of the station’s ‘on-air’ sound and can play a large part in how listeners perceive the station. Promotions are designed to ‘sell’ something; usually a particular program, and it is up to you as the presenter to give it every chance of doing just that. This means a bit of sensitivity on your part in terms of the material that you play before and after it.
NEVER play a sponsorship announcement unless it is scheduled in your program. When promoting a program or activity, always think about what the listener needs to know:
- Have I given too much information to be absorbed?
- Have I given enough information?
- Have I expressed it simple enough for someone who does not have a paper and pen immediately at hand to remember?
Sometimes you may feel you need to repeat the information you have already given. Do this sparingly, but by all means, do it when you think the information is complicated. It is certainly helpful to repeat telephone numbers. Where possible, try to be talking just prior to or just after playing a pre-recorded announcement. To sandwich, a pre-recorded announcement disrupts the flow of music more than is necessary. The only exception might be a short ‘Station I.D.’ That in itself, can help link two musical pieces together.
There are a number of variations you can use for Station I.D.s. Don’t get stuck, using the same one all the time unless current station policy dictates that you must. Now and again the station management and presenters may come up with new ways, so be awake to shifting trends. If there is a change it will be for a good reason, and don’t be afraid to suggest ideas yourself. Standard examples include:
- “You’re listening to….”
- “ This is…”
- “… TORBAYS Community Radio, ‘BAY-VIBES’”
- “… Your community station, ‘BAY-VIBES’”
- “… ‘BAY-VIBES’, Your Voice, One Choice”
Be careful NOT to over-use these examples. They can become repetitive. We broadcast to the whole of TORBAY and towns in the aria. By concentrating on one area too much, you can alienate a lot of people very quickly. Over-use of a phrase like “here in Torquay ” can make someone in those other areas feel like an eavesdropper, instead of a member of the wider community we serve. Similarly, steer away from too many ‘in-jokes’ or personal references.
Time Calls You should also vary the way you make time calls, but don’t get into the habit of using unnecessary words. Telling the time is a simple operation. Don’t say “5 past 3 o’clock” or “10 to 5 o’clock”. “10 to 5” is just fine. Both “half past four” and “4:30” are OK as is “quarter past” and “4:15”. If we were to get really pedantic we could say that “The time is 1 o’clock” is almost a tautology, and that “It is 1 o’clock” couldn’t be anything but a time call.
Requests Don’t Go Overboard! Sometimes it can feel as though no one is listening, and many presenters, desperate for some sort of indication of life out there, start pleading for people to phone in requests. The problem is that once the phone starts ringing, you can easily spend more time looking for songs than concentrating on your program. You could lose input into the program and have it totally dictated by others and find that you’re always having to apologize ‘On Air’ for not being able to find so-and-so’s request. All that said; you could end up feeling even worse because no one rings up.
Sensitive Material It is important to remember that some of your audience may be much more conservative or much more liberal than you are, about certain issues. Don’t make judgments according to your own sensitivities on certain subjects. ‘BAY-VIBES’ deliberately seeks an audience from diverse sectors of the community so it is important to be mindful of each individual’s sensitivities, beliefs, rights, and so on.
The acceptability of ‘dirty words’ has changed markedly in the last few years, but this does not give presenters a right to say, or play, what they like. Much depends on the context, delivery, and the target audience. As is always the case in broadcasting, if in doubt, leave it out until you’ve had time to check with a member of the Management. Do not assume that just because you’ve heard words or phrases used elsewhere on BAY-VIBES, that it’s automatically acceptable on your program. A literature program or a documentary special on language may be permitted a more liberal use of the language than a regular magazine program.
Gratuitous use of expletives/swear words by presenters is specifically forbidden as a matter of station policy.
‘BAY-VIBES’ Policy on Coarse Language in recorded material for broadcast
‘BAY-VIBES‘ Community Radio Station, policy pursuant to Community Radio Codes of Practice-Programming/OFCOM:
‘BAY-VIBES’ Community Radio will not broadcast material that may:
- (a) incite, encourage, or present for its own sake violence or brutality,
- (b) mislead or alarm listeners by simulating news or events,
- (c) present as desirable the use of illegal drugs, the misuse of tobacco or alcohol as well as other harmful substances, and
- (d) glamorise, sensationalise, or present suicide as a solution to life problems.
In particular, broadcast material should not provide explicit details about the method and/or location of a suicide attempt, or death. We will attempt to avoid censorship, where possible. However, in our programming decisions we will consider our community expectations, community interest, context, degree of explicitness, the possibility of alarming the listener, the potential for distress or shock, prevailing laws or community standards and the social importance of the broadcast. We will not broadcast material that is likely to stereotype, incite, vilify, or perpetuate hatred against, or attempt to demean any person or group, on the basis of ethnicity, nationality, race, language, gender, sexuality, religion, age, physical or mental ability, occupation, cultural belief or political affiliation. The requirement is not intended to prevent the broadcast of material which is factual, or the expression of genuinely held opinion in a news or current affairs program or in the legitimate context of a humorous, satirical or dramatic work. We will have programming practices that protect children from harmful material but will avoid concealing the real world from them. We will be guided in this regard by community expectations.
We will follow applicable privacy laws by:
- (a) respecting people’s legitimate right to protection from unjustified use of material which is obtained without consent or through an invasion of privacy,
- (b) only broadcasting the words of an identifiable person where:
- (i) that person has been told in advance that the words may be broadcast, or
- (ii) it was clearly indicated at the time the recording was made that the material would be broadcast, or
- (iii) in the case of words that have been recorded without the knowledge of a person, that person has indicated his/her agreement prior to broadcast.
In conjunction with the Draft Policy, BAY-VIBES accepts the use of certain language, which might be considered coarse and/or offensive by some people, in recorded material which is broadcast. However, mindful of our responsibilities to the community, and especially children in the community, the following conditions apply where presenters wish to ‘air’ such material:
- Prior to broadcasting any such material, a presenter is required to provide examples of the material they wish to ‘air’, to the nominated representative of the Management Committee.
- Material containing the word f*ck is acceptable as long as it is not used to excess, is not gratuitous, and is relevant to the context of the material in which it is contained.
- Such material may only be broadcast between the hours of 21,00 pm and 0530,
- A warning is to be issued, prior to each track, to the effect that the track contains language that some may consider coarse and/or offensive.
- The terms “m****r f***er” and “c**t” are not permitted at any time.*
*Note: This paragraph MUST be read to presenters under 16 years of age by a parent or guardian.
As a community radio station, we do not support conduct or language, which may reinforce negative stereotypes. Such language should not be used. The presenters and management at ‘BAY-VIBES’ aim to remove discrimination. Titles of address, rank, occupation and status should be used in a manner which treats everyone equally, regardless of sex: “John Jones and Eva Davis will be responsible for the seminar”, not “Dr John Jones and Miss Eva Davis will be responsible for the seminar”. There is no reason to use titles indicating marital status as only women are identified by such titles. The practice is discriminatory and marital status is usually irrelevant to the topic being discussed. Use a first name, an academic title, a neutral role description, or nothing at all.
- For example: “Susan Smith”, “Susan Smith, Senior Lecturer in English”, “Dr Susan Smith” but NOT “Mrs. Susan Smith”.
- When listing names, use alphabetical order, except when order of seniority is more important.
- Word Endings Nouns denoting occupation or function which have feminine endings should NOT be used.
- Use manager NOT manageress.
- Job titles which have man as an ending carry explicit overtones of exclusion for women and can be avoided with a little imagination.
- Ground staff or keeper – NOT groundsman,
- security officer – NOT security man,
- The word chairman has caused considerable debate and is frequently amended to chairperson or simply to chair.
- Convener is often now used for committees.
Personal pronouns cause the most headaches. It is usual to use the word he as a blanket term for a noun of unspecified gender but this has the effect of excluding women so completely, that they virtually cease to exist. There are several solutions. The most cumbersome is to say he or she or he/she.
- It is better to rewrite the sentence in the plural
- NOT “the good manager will give his staff regular pay rises”, BUT “good managers will give their staff regular pay rises”.
- Or the sentence can be re-cast in the impersonal.
- NOT “The seniority of an officer is based on his length of service”, BUT “seniority of officers is determined on the basis of length of service”.
Race, Age and Sex Specification
Gratuitous race, age or sex specifications, are to be avoided. The age, race or sex of a person should not be mentioned, if it is irrelevant to the topic.
- Sex and Race: For example: “The officer, a woman in her fifties, recommended that Lenora Chou, a Jamaican, be offered the position”.
- The offensiveness and irrelevance of these descriptions becomes more apparent if the race and sex are reversed:
- “The officer, a man in his fifties, recommended that Tom Jones, an Anglo Saxon, be offered the position”.
- Age: People can be discriminated against on the basis of their age.
- There is no need to mention it, unless it is important — such as in reference to a court appearance, where the age of the person helps clearly identify them.
- Sexual Orientation: You have a responsibility to avoid reinforcing bias against people on the basis of their sexual orientation. As a general rule, avoid gratuitous references to sexual orientation.
- Any discussion of issues related to sexual orientation should be accurate and informed. Avoid negative stereotyping for some one from the Lesbian/Gay/Biosexual/Transgender Community/ LGBT, and do not encourage discrimination or sensationalism.
- Use terms like ‘partner’ instead of spouse, and don’t assume everyone belongs to a traditional family.
- Disabilities: Generally you should avoid words, which imply a lack of something, or some kind of inferiority.
- It is negative to talk about what is absent or lacking, rather than a person’s capabilities.
- ‘Acceptable’ terminology changes all the time, but as a rough guide you should use terms which are accurate and non-degrading
- DO NOT USE:
- cripple’, ‘handicapped’, etc. We suggest: ‘uses a wheelchair’/ ‘is a wheelchair user’/ ‘has a physical or mobility disability’
- the blind’: “people with a visual impairment” / ‘the deaf (and dumb)’: “hearing impaired”, person with ‘mutism’
- ‘defective, deformed, abnormal’: specify the disability: ‘limb deficient’, ‘person with cerebral palsy’, person who had a stroke’
- ‘insane, mental, psycho, demented, lunatic, etc.’: person with/who has a… a mental health condition’, ‘… psychiatric condition”, ‘… cognitive impairment’, ‘… Alzheimer’s Dementia’, ‘… dementia’, … Parkinson’s Disease, … Epilepsy, and so on
- ‘Mongol’, ‘Mongoloid’: “person with Down Syndrome”
- ‘the disabled’: “people with a physical/ sensory/ mental health/cognitive or intellectual or Learning Disability disability”
‘BAY VIBES’ is proud of its efforts to provide access and information to people with a disability.
As with all of these ‘sensitive language’ issues, the main requirement is to simply be fair and accurate when dealing with matters relating to disability. Avoid terms like ‘sufferer’ and ‘patient’.
Word Order or Word Choice
It is customary to list pairs of nouns in the same order: he and she, men and women, doctors and nurses, husbands and wives. Where there is no reason for this order and where it implies a stereotyped view of status, the order should be varied as a means of breaking down the stereotype. Be careful in your choice of adjectives. The use of different adjectives to describe the same characteristics, denotes bias. For example; ambitious men and aggressive women, cautious men and timid women, strong men and dominating women, they all rely on antiquated assumptions of male/female characteristics/roles.
Some Final Points about Presentation
In addition to becoming familiar with this module, make sure you are aware of the various legal considerations pertaining to broadcasting, such as defamation. There is no substitute for hours of practice when it comes to announcing. Don’t underestimate the value of listening critically to other presenters both, on ‘BAY-VIBES’ and other stations. You will pick up valuable information on, what is successful, and what is not and you will develop sensitivity to the radio medium. Tape yourself regularly, (this applies to experienced presenters as well as beginners) and critically evaluate your performance. There is always more to be learnt, so there is no room for complacency. There is no doubt that radio announcing is a very personal thing. It is a communication between you and your listener. But, even though the individual style of each presenter is one of the things, that makes community radio so appealing, there are still certain Dos and Don’ts that apply across the board. Take note of these and you can become, with practice, a professional broadcaster. If you are sincerely trying your best, do your ‘due diligence’, nobody can ask for more. No one likes to make mistakes, but they will occur. If you do make a mistake, don’t get frustrated, don’t panic; learn from it, relax and move on.
Some Legal Aspects of Presenting/ Definitions
Contempt of Court You can comment on a crime, before somebody is about to be charged with an offence, and after the person has been convicted and the appeal time has expired; but not after the person has been charged or while the case is being, or is about to be considered by a court. During this time the matter is considered “sub-judice” – i.e. under consideration of the Court. Remember that a court case is not over, until any appeals have been heard. During the trial: A fair and accurate report of the proceedings can be given, but no comment. To make such comments whilst the matter is “sub-judice” would be considered to be a Contempt of Court.
Defamation* While the laws of defamation even in common law systems vary from country to country, a basic definition can be found in the British Defamation Act of 1962 which says defamation is: The publication of any false imputation concerning a person, or a member of his family, whether living or dead, by which
- (a) the reputation of that person is likely to be injured or
- (b) he is likely to be injured in his profession or trade or
- (c) other persons are likely to be induced to shun, avoid, ridicule or despise him.
Publication of defamatory matter can be by
- (a) spoken words or audible sound or
- (b) words intended to be read by sight or touch or
- (c) signs, signals, gestures or visible representations, and must be done to a person other than the person defamed.
What You Cannot Say
- You cannot make defamatory remarks.
- You cannot comment on matters which would be considered to be in Contempt of Court.
- You cannot make slanderous, blasphemous, obscene, or seditious statements, nor any statements which may be considered to be in contradiction of any Anti-Terrorism legislation.
What You Can Say
- Basically nothing relevant to Legal Matters.
The Golden Rule is “IF IN DOUBT, LEAVE IT OUT !!!”
Always check with Management first!
I, ……………………………………………., have read and understood the contents of this page, and agree to its directives, or (if under 18) agree to have a responsible adult* sign on my behalf.
Signed: ……………………………………. Dated: ………………………………..
* A “responsible adult”, in relation to a minor, means an adult who is:
- (a) a parent, step-parent or guardian of the minor, or
- (b) the minor’s spouse or de facto partner, or
- (c) for the time being, standing in as the parent of the minor.
Refer also to the latest issue of the Presenter’s Agreement. Presenters, who wish to progress further with the contents of this section must attend a separate Training Session
Periodically, an ‘On-Air’ Presenter will receive complaints from members of the public, about something they have heard on ‘BAY-VIBES’.
EVERY COMPLAINT*, RECEIVED FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC, MUST BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY, AND IT IS MANDATORY THAT YOU RECORD THE EVENT IN THE COMPLAINTS BOOK, WHICH IS PROVIDED FOR THAT PURPOSE.
* The STATION requires all complaints to be dealt with in a timely manner.
How are complaints received at the Studio?
- Via the telephone/email – more likely
- Via the Fax – less likely
As an ‘On-Air’ Presenter you are required to carry out the following steps:
- (a) Treat each call seriously.
- (b) Do not argue with the caller.
- (c) Record the details* in the book provided, then proceed to step (e), if (d) does not apply.
- * You must record the caller’s name and contact details; telephone number and/or an address, (postal and/or email), as well as details of the complaint (including date and time).
- (d) When the caller refuses to provide contact details, then note the time and date of the call in the book, and take no further action. However,, under the same conditions, and ONLY, if the call is in regard to ‘BAY-VIBES’ exceeding the sponsorship time limit/hour, the matter is to be recorded, and then you must proceed to the next step.
- (e) You must contact a senior member of management immediately after receiving the call and advise the details of the complaint.
(a) Faxes normally contain the sender’s number at the top of the sheet.
b. Record brief details in the complaints book, and arrange to physically transfer the fax to the office for filing as soon as you can.