Any student or practitioner of broadcast, communication and production would know that research is a very basic skill in media. Fact-checking is essential because when you present material , you want to make sure that the information has been tested, confirmed and verified before it is released to the public.
Research and fact-checking are SOPs specially when one is doing an information-heavy show such as news and current events. Presenters who handle special interest, music and other talk programs must also rely on good research to get trustworthy information on the topics they talk about and the personalities they feature on the show. With the rampant dispersal of fake news and parodies, the radio practitioner will have to exert more effort to single out legit sources of information.
Presenting for a radio show is a fun experience but ample time must be allotted for preparation: plan out your hours and talk points, segments on your show, commercial breaks, songs and public service announcements or PSAs. Earlier this week, I caught a weekend radio talkshow where the host talked about INTROVERTS AND EXTROVERTS. I decided to tune in for a while to see where the banter would lead to, and to my utter disappointment, the radio host’s statements revealed that 1) she did not do prior reading or research on the nature of introverts and extroverts 2) she had a very naive perception of introversion and extroversion.
There is a way to present a question or a topic to the listeners wherein you invite them to journey with you as you seek answers and a resolution by the end of your program. We can call this PHRASING OF THE QUESTION or simply, PRESENTATION OF THE TOPIC. This makes it clear that “Hey, I’m no expert in this subject matter but I want to find out the answer. If you guys are interested to join me in this quest, come along with me!”
The radio presenter I caught over the weekend just painfully blurted out her misinformed opinions on what introverts and extroverts are like.
“Boring yang mga introverts.” “Basta extrovert, maingay at masaya.”
I’m not sure if she got feedback on her live chat, but situations like that need to be called out by the management (that is, if they monitor their on-air staff often) not to reprimand the talent but to educate her on a better way to have handled the topic. Sometimes it can get so exciting to talk about a topic or event while it’s trending and very recent but research is still key. You want to know if the angles you’re thinking of presenting have already been done. What new thing or new information are you bringing to the table? How can you frame the topic in a different light?
Research and preparation may take time, maybe it’s not the most exciting part of the job, but that is part of a radio practitioner’s responsibility as part of the media. There might be a wealth of information and new development but it is also necessary to discern what important details need to be shared. A story should be crafted in such a way that it is interesting, relevant and something that gives valuable information to the audience.
Whether you work in radio or not, may you embrace the value of proper research, even in the simple act of sharing something on Facebook. Like I said, fake information is abundant and you have to be vigilant to weed out trash.
Remember: Purveying wrong and false information can also reflect on your personal brand, so be wary of what you click, share and react to online.
❤ Mrs. Ingrid P.