Radio Workshop Parte 1 (2016)Apunte Inglés
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I. RADIO BROADCASTINGS: THE BASICS.
What is radio? Almost an universal medium of communication (ordinary)? Aural medium: adapt the formal written language, rediscover oral traditions.
Advantage: the sound of human voice is trust.
Coexistence with other media --> strengths and weaknesses.
From its first tentative experiments and the early days of wireless, radio has expanded into an almost universal medium of communication. It leaps around the world on short waves linking the continents in a fraction of a second. Community radio makes broadcasters out of listeners and the Citizen Band gives transmitter power to the individual. Whatever else can be said of the medium, it is plentiful. It has lost the sense of awe which attended its early years, becoming instead a very ordinary and ‘unspecial’ method of communication. To use it well we may have to adapt the formal ‘written’ language which we learnt at school and rediscover our oral traditions.
Main characteristics: 1. Radio makes pictures.
It is a blind medium but one which can stimulate the imagination so that, as soon as a voice comes out of the loudspeaker, the listener attempts to visualize the source of the sound and to create in the mind’s eye the owner of the voice. Radio’s pictures are any size you care to make them. The radio writer and commentator chooses words with precision so that they create appropriate pictures in the listener’s mind, making the subject understood and its occasion memorable.
2. Radio speaks to millions, and at the same time to the individual.
Radio is one of the mass media. The very term broadcasting indicates a wide scattering of the output covering every home, village, town, city and country within the range of the transmitter. Its potential for communication therefore is very great, but the actual effect may be quite small. A station in a highly competitive environment may have quite a small share of the total listening, but if it manages to build a substantial following to even one of its programmes, let alone the aggregate of several minorities, it will enjoy a large reach. The mass media should always be interested in reach.
-Audience share is the amount of time spent listening to a particular station, expressed as a percentage of the total radio listening in its area.
-Audience reach is the number of people who do listen to something from the station over the period of a day or week, expressed as a percentage of the total population who could listen.
Radio on headphones happens literally inside your head. Radio is much more a personal thing, coming direct to the listener. There are obvious exceptions: communal listening happens in garages, workshops, canteens and shops, and in the rural areas of less developed countries a whole village may gather round the set. However, even here, a radio is an everyday personal item.
3. Speed and simplicity.
The medium is enormously flexible and is often at its best in the totally immediate ‘live’ situation. No waiting for the presses or the physical distribution of newspapers or magazines. Radio is immediate. The recorded programme introduces a timeshift and like a newspaper may quickly become out of date, but the Más en www.unybook.com gperez1783 medium itself is essentially live and ‘now’. Radio speeds up the dissemination of information so that everyone knows of the same news event, the same political idea, declaration or threat.
The basic unit comprises one person with a microphone and recorder rather than even a small TV crew.
This encourages greater mobility and also makes it easier for the non-professional to take part. Sound is better understood than vision, with on-line radio, cassette players and stereo equipment found in most schools and homes. For the broadcaster, radio’s comparative simplicity means a flexibility in its scheduling.
4. Radio has no boundaries.
Radio is no respecter of territorial limits. Its signals clear mountain barriers and cross deep oceans. Radio can bring together those separated by geography or nationality. Programmes have a liberty independent of lines on a map, obeying only the rules of transmitter power, sunspot activity, channel interference and receiver sensitivity. Even these limitations are overcome for radio on the Internet. Any studio can have a worldwide reach.
5. Transient nature.
It is a very ephemeral medium and if the listener is not in time for the news bulletin, it is gone and it’s necessary to wait for the next. Broadcasting imposes a strict discipline of having to be there at the right time. The radio producer must recognize that, while it’s possible to store programmes in the archives, they are only short-lived for the listener. The transitory nature of the medium means that the listener must not only hear the programme at the time of its broadcast, but must also understand it then. The impact and intelligibility of the spoken word should occur on hearing it – there is seldom a second chance. The producer must therefore strive for the utmost logic and order in the presentation of ideas, and the use of clearly understood language.
6. Radio is background.
Radio allows a more tenuous link with its user than that insisted upon by television or print. The medium is less demanding in that it permits us to do other things at the same time. We read with music on, eat to a news magazine, or hang wallpaper while listening to a play. Radio suffers from its own generosity – it is easily interruptible. Because radio is so often used as background, it frequently results in a low level of commitment on the part of the listener. If the broadcaster really wants the listener to do something – to act – then radio should be used in conjunction with another medium.
7. Radio is selective.
There is a different kind of responsibility on the broadcaster from that of the newspaper editor in that the radio producer selects exactly what is to be received by the consumer. The selection process takes place in the studio and the listener is presented with a single thread of material; it is a linear medium. Choice for the listener exists only in the mental switching-off which occurs during an item that fails to maintain interest, or when actively tuning to another station. In this respect, a channel of radio or television is rather more autocratic than a newspaper.
9. Low cost.
Relative to the other media, both its capital cost and its running expenses are small. The main difficulty in setting up a station is often not financial but lies in obtaining a transmission frequency. Such frequencies are safeguarded by governments as signatories to international agreements; they are finite, a limited resource, and are not easily assigned. However, because the medium is cheap to use and can attract a substantial audience, the cost per hour – or the cost per listener hour – is low.. The relatively low cost once again means that the medium is ideal for use by the non-professional. Radio can reduce its costs still further by using an automated playout system whereby the station provides a full output schedule without anyone being present to oversee the transmission. The broadcaster should never forget that, while it’s easy to regard the technical installations (studios, transmitters, etc.) as expensive, the greater part of the total capital cost of any broadcasting system is borne directly by the public in buying receivers.
Más en www.unybook.com gperez1783 10. Surprise.
Unlike the CD we play or the book we pick up at home, selected to match our taste and feelings of the moment, music and speech on radio is chosen for us and may, if we let it, change our mood and take us out of ourselves. We can be presented with something new and enjoy a chance encounter with the unexpected. Radio should surprise. Broadcasters are tempted to think in terms of format radio, where the content lies precisely between narrowly defined limits.
Types of radio station Radio is categorized not so much by what it does as by how it is financed. Each method of funding has a direct result on the programming that a station can afford or is prepared to offer, which again is affected by the degree of competition which it faces. The main types of organizational funding are as follows: ● Public service, funded by a license fee and run by a national corporation.
● Commercial station financed by national and local spot advertising or sponsorship, and run as a public company with shareholders.
● Government station paid for from taxation and run as a government department.
● Government-owned station, funded largely by commercial advertising, operating under a government appointed board.
● Public service, funded by government funds or grant-in-aid, run by a publicly accountable board, independent of government.
● Public service, subscription station, does not take advertising and is funded by individual subscribers and donors.
● Private ownership, funded by personal income of all kinds, e.g. commercial advertising, subscriptions, donations.
● Institutional ownership, e.g. university campus, hospital or factory radio, run and paid for by the organization for the benefit of its students, patients, employees, etc.
● Radio organization run for specific religious or charitable purposes – sells airtime and raises income through supporter contributions.
● Community ownership, often supported by local advertising and sponsors.
● Restricted Service Licence (RSL) stations, on low power and having a limited lifespan to meet a particular need, e.g. one-month license to cover a city festival.
1.2. Technical and operational aspects (NO EXAM) Aula Global Slides.
1.3 The language of radio.
Society has increasingly relied on images created by others to give form and definition to the world in which all live.
Rediscover the power of human imagination, explore the concept of the 'theater of the mind', understand the design factors which need to be considered in the creation of audio works for the ear.
What's the essence of human imagination? Hearing = listening.
The goal of good audio design is to effectively engage the listener in active and attentive listening --> participation. A good design means a good combination of voices, music, sound effects and silence.
-The nature of radio and audio design Radio (audio) is participatory medium which actively engages the listener in the on-going processing of aural information. Audio design is the process of creating meaning through the use of aural imagery.
The audio designer recognizes the limits of the medium and strives to engage interaction between the sound stimulus and the listener's interpretative ability which is multisensory.
Each individual fills-in details beyond the limited audio information provided.
Más en www.unybook.com gperez1783 -The theatre of the mind The power of silent film as 'mute' medium. Non-verbal, non-visual/aural. Generate the missing 'visual' details within the scene.
Radio lacks the multi-channel characteristics of other audiovisual media relying only on the elements of sound and silence.
This 'blindness' is both the weakness and strength of the medium (Arnheim; Radio: the art of sound - 1936).
An effectively designed audio work may facilitate a listener's integration of life-based experiences into a 'movie' created within the 'theater of the mind'. Each individual becomes his or her own movie director.
Good audio production design can expand human experience throughout the multi-sensory image building capability of the mind.
- The language of radio: the elements of audio design Storytelling is the art of oral communication and is integral to the design of effective audio. Effective design begins with a well written script.
Scripting begins with understanding the effective use of words, and spoken words are framed and accompanied by music. In addition to music, sounds and silence are two ambient elements to consider.
Words (voice): talk is almost always described as primary code. But it is not simply a matter of the words themselves which are being spoken: words are provided by a particular voice. Words, as used in audio, are written to be spoken and have paralinguistic characteristics which the designer must consider: the tone of voice, vocal emphasis, pacing, and regional accent, all have an effect on listener perception. Continuity from spoken narrative.
The spoken word is more effective when it approximates that of daily speech compared to that of being read aloud from a printed page (pre-scripted --> performed = theatrical; delivery should sound natural).
Music: is the radio programming-tool par excellence for delivering the right audience to the right objectives. This choice extends beyond the records being played to the whole 'incidental' music woven into a station's output: jingles, music 'beds' (backs the voice), signature tunes that accompany and frame the spoken words (sound library). Design element: may be used to establish a setting, enhance action, or evoke a human response = may originate from within the scene itself; literal or metaphorical. Music libraries and labels: perceptions and conventions. So, speech can often add a significant amount of meaning to the records played on music radio stations. But it remains true that music, in and of itself, excites and communicates.
-Jingle (indicativos; sintonía, careta): generic term for a short piece of music (+station name, frequency; sung strapline)->on -air branding imaging, sonic branding, audio logos...
-Bed (colchón): backing track; music with no sung/spoken part at all or the music-only section of an individual jingle.
-Custom packages (bandeja de continuidad): collection of beds, transitions (cortinas), acappellas (jingles sung 'dry') written and performed to the station's requirements.
Sounds: includes all non-language and non-musical sound: natural sounds or sounds effects. Sounds are elements of the contextual soundscape which gives added depth and meaning to an audio production. Can provide the listener with a sense of place, or help define the attributes or actions of a character or may take on other significance. We call 'treatment' to things we do to sounds; effects generators, distortion (pitch and volume control, reverb, delay or echo, chorusing, etc). Use credible sounds.
Silence: silence = dead air. Used as a void, creates the impression that something may have gone wrong. On the other hand, it may facilitate a listener's ability to imagine completion of an action that, for some reason or another, cannot be represented through sound. The silent pause will suggest that a transaction has taken place between 2 individuals. Don't underestimate the value of silence.
Más en www.unybook.com gperez1783 1.4. Writing and reading for the ear Writing words to be heard by the ear = words to be read by the eye --> layout of sentences, their order and construction must be totally clear and unambiguous at their first hearing.
Today basic rules after some general considerations: -The listener comes first: avoid talking about your listener but to the listener.
-The aim must be clear: grab the attention in the first sentence, tell something in the second.
-Write conversational language: it's about the storage of talk -Presentation is about reading a script properly: reading, presenting, is the art of retrieving talk out of storage.
The idea is that: - Writing for radio is not writing to be read but to be spoken and heard.
- If we want people to listen, we have to make programmes listenable-to.
- So, the key to radio scriptwriters is to write in a way that sounds natural when spoken.
Writing for the ear: the basics 1. Simple thoughts simply expressed.
-Simple and short words and sentences.
-Logic structure and order of ideas.
3. Pictures and stories.
Simplicity 1. Know what you want to say (a) 2. Express it simply (b) -Use short sentences and short words -Follow the basic sentence structure S-V-O -But avoid telegraphic writing (“joining words”) 3. Express it logically -Ideas must be in the right order (cause-effect) -One idea per sentence which logically links into the next sentence Aim to be simple but avoid being simplistic.
(a) The ability of some people to die more than once is illustrated in this headline: A suicide bomber has struck again in Jerusalem.
The afterlife seems to exist according to this writer: Sixty women have come forward to claim they have been assaulted by a dead gynecologist.
(b) With what his political opponents called a leap in the dark, the Prime Minister today committed Britain to a European daylight saving regime. Whose political opponents? Who are the political opponents? What leap in the dark? Instead of Jim, who is about to leave school, where he’s been for five years, which included a time as head boy, is looking for a job → Jim has been at school for five years. This included a time as head boy. He’s now about to leave and is looking for a job.
Reiteration 1. Importance of repeating main ideas (radio is ephemeral).
-Clarity! Emphasis! 2. Reiteration ≠ simple repetition Más en www.unybook.com gperez1783 - Avoid using the same words twice The hurricane swept across the Florida coastline at midday, bringing 120 mile an hour winds. By this evening the hurricane will be well inland. It sounds better if the second “hurricane” is replaced by “tropical cyclone”.
- Take it into consideration at the ending of your talk.
You must match your strong opening with a memorable ending: give the listener something to hold on.
Pictures and stories 1. Illustrate what you are saying, tell a story.
With the exception of news, instead of strings of facts or complex concepts, turn them into evocative anecdotes and metaphors.
Turn a new 100,000-ton cruise liner into a ship as tall as Big Beg with enough power to light a city the size of Leganés.
-Turn to comparisons.
Tips to consider -The first sentence is vitally important; hook -Do not begin a story with “As expected” -Be positive; affirmative sentences -The plan was not successful -->The plan failed -Use everyday language (≠ literary, academic words) -Colloquial language ≠ sloppy or slang; -Assistance, request, terminate help, ask, end -Clichés; adjectives -self-made man, true confession, astute lawyers… -serious danger, high-speed chase, serious danger… -Be careful with the use of abbreviations and acronyms - ITU = International Telecommunication Union Tips to consider II -Be careful with double meanings.
-The Union said the report was wrong.
-The Union, said the report, was wrong.
-Keep it happening now: present tense; active.
Doctors have expressed surprise at the length of hospital waiting lists.
Doctors say they’re surprised at the length of hospital waiting lists.
The police officer was hit by a single shot fired by Paul Paul.
Paul fired a single shot at the police officer.
-Dates: be friendly .
-Numbers: use figures if you must, write in words! 9.8% → nearly 10% €50 → 50 Euros 400,000 → 4 hundred thousand.
-As regards news (feature stories ≠ news stories) -Do not describe news as good, bad, shocking or horrendous. Tell the story and let the listener decide.
-Never start a news report with a question - Keep adjectives to a minimum and use them only when they give additional info -Facts must be preserved -Quotation marks should be avoided Direct speech Read Basic “Radio Journalism”, chapter 4 (Chantler & Stewart) Más en www.unybook.com gperez1783 News -Best short definition: that which is new, interesting and true -Basic of news and current affairs broadcasting has always been - to separate for the listener the reporting of events (news) from the discussion of issues and comment -give both, or more likely all, sides of an argument Reading for the ear: news reading and presentation -It hardly matters how good a content is or how well it is written: it comes to nothing if poorly presented -A presenter must be friendly but respectful, informative but also helpful - Style and rate of delivery: type of content and station - The following are the basics: Talk to the listeners, not simply read to them Understand what you read -You can’t expect to communicate if you have not fully grasped the sense of it yourself -Be early. Check what you have to read (the listener blames the newsreader) -Read your copy out loud in advance if you can - The person at the mike has the obligation to read properly but also the right to have a well-written and properly set out piece Breathing -Be in control of your breathing: couple of deep inhalations before you start and brief inhalations while you read. If you try to speak on almost empty lungs, your voice will sound thin and strained.
-If the text is well written the right place to breath is at the end of a sentence (breathing is equivalent of punctuation).
-Take the opportunity to breathe just before the mike is opened: it sounds bad to have a story starting with the reader taking a gulp or air.
-Relax: scrunch your shoulders, stretch, yawn.
-Forcing the voice into a lower register can result in injury to the vocal chords: Making the most of what you already have is a lot better than trying to be something you’re not .
-Smoking doesn’t help! Pronunciation - For listeners to understand you fully, good pronunciation is essential - Words must be pronounced fully and properly - Do not cut words short - Radio pronunciation is not informal speaking - Proper pronunciation means proper articulation. Pay attention to how you articulate when you speak - Open your mouth - Be especially careful when pronouncing vocals Inflection - A monotonous reader is the one that has no inflection in the voice at all or the rise and fall in pitch becomes regular and repetitive: it is the predictability of the vocal pattern that becomes boring.
- When reading for radio, your voice must fluctuate.
- Certain words deserve more emphasis than others.
- If you read in a loud voice, you are doing it wrong. If you read in a soft voice, you are doing it wrong. If you read in the same voice you would use if the other person were sitting in the same room with you, you are probably doing it correctly.
Speed - The usual speed for reading on radio is three words a second.
- In practice your style has to fit with the overall station sound.
Más en www.unybook.com gperez1783 - Don’t run! Corrections -Use common sense because they depend on the type or error -If it is a verbal slip, it is quite unnecessary to do anything about a misplaced emphasis, a wrong inflection -Do not panic if you stumble on a word, just breathe, re-read the word if necessary and keep on going as if nothing had happened -If it’s about a sensitive word (important figures, names, etc.) or the listener might have misunderstood the meaning, put it right - It’s not the end of the world, what is needed is a correction with as little fuss as possible Continuity presentation -It’s about providing a continuous thread of interest even though there are contrasts of content and mood -It requires sensitivity -And capacity to face serious situations which might occur - “filling the air” The job of presentation is always to expect the unexpected Tips to consider: the 7 Ps of good presentation 1.Posture -The sitting position must be comfortable to allow good breathing and movement. Avoid cramped or slouching postures.
2.Projection -The amount of vocal energy used must be appropriate to the content. Do not shout: what is required is not volume but clarity.
3.Pace -The delivery of words must be correct. Too high a word rate can impair intelligibility or cause error. In Spain we usually say don’t run.
4.Pitch -There must be sufficient rise and fall to make the overall sound interesting. Reading can’t be monotonous. But avoid forming a predictable repetitive pattern but bear in mind animation in the voice should be used to convey natural meaning.
5.Pause -Suitable pauses and silences must be used intelligently to separate ideas and allow understanding to take place.
6.Pronunciation -You must cope adequately with worldwide names and places. You must be familiar with people in the news; musical terms in other languages… learn the basics of phonetic guidelines. If you don’t know, ASK! 7.Personality -Would be the total sum of all that communicates. The visual image that emerges that should be appropriate to the programme.
↓ REMEMBER The simplest way of getting the style, projection and speed right is to visualize the listener sitting in the studio a little way beyond the microphone.
Think of the listener as one person.
Additionally -Sit comfortably but not indulgently.
-Breath normally and always take a couple of extra deep breaths before beginning. Be careful with audible breathing.
-Bear in mind practicalities such as don’t eat beforehand (especially sweets) because it thickens the saliva and have water near at hand (but away from equipment).
-Always have a pen or pencil for corrections, emphasis, etc.
Más en www.unybook.com gperez1783 -If you wear glasses make sure you have them with you.
-Don’t wear anything that could knock the table or rattle.
-When dealing with the script, separate the pages so that you can deal with each one individually and give yourself space to put down the finished pages.
-Check the clock, headphones and the mike as well as your voice level.
-It’s very difficult to know how you sound without listening to a recording. Try to make an “air-check” of your readings.