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So You Want To Be A News Reader?

As I have never been a newsreader I have included this advice after speaking to fellow colleagues working within the industry and include it here as helpful guidance only. If you want to comment or add anything you think is missing feel free to drop me a line as I am always looking to improve the information provided on my site.

To to be a journalist on radio usually requires that you have a qualification in journalism and media from a college or university. This is due to having to know the law around what can and can't be broadcast. Your local college or university should be able to help you out in finding a course you need.

A few websites that can help or point you in the right direction on courses are

The national union of journalists can be found here and most if not all journalists working in radio are members of this organisation.

Read, listen and watch the news every day - you need to live and breath news and current affairs. Read as many newspapers as you can especially local ones to ensure you know what's going on in your local community if you're applying to work on your local station. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you’re learning, journalists should be confident and inquisitive.

Print out stories from news sites on the web and practice reading a bulletin to yoursElf. Listen to as many newsreaders as you can and learn how they deliver a story, how they use their voice to emphasise words and sentences.

If you want to make a demo then there are details on my website at this page how to make a demo obviously it's written for presenters but you can adapt the info to include news stories instead of promos, scripts and things. The demo should be no longer than about 3/4 mins and will include different styles of news story from hard hitting to a light hearted one.

The news demo will also need to show that you can prioritise stories by importance and structure a news bulletin with the most important one as the opening story and probably a light hearted one as the last story. Normally news presenters are expected to be able to read a story and be able to link it with a piece of audio from say an outside reporter and this needs to be included in your demo.

The demo can be recorded onto MD, CD or MP3.

There's more info around journalism and books you can buy on the subject at this website

Further Reading

Broadcast Journalism: Techniques of Radio and Television News by Boyd

Focal Press ISBN 0-240-81024-4
Basic Radio Journalism - by Paul Chantler, Peter Stewart

Focal Press ISBN 0-240-51926-4
Contemporary Radio Programming Strategies by David T. MacFarland

LEA ISBN 0-8058-0665-2
International Radio Journalism by Tim Crook

Routledge ISBN 0-415-09673-1
Interviewing for radio Media Skills by Jim Beaman

Routledge ISBN 0-415-22910-3
Journalism A Career Handbook by Anna McKane

A & C Black ISBN 0-7136-6796-6
Journalism Online by Mike Ward

Focal Press ISBN 0-240-51610-9
McNae's Essential Law for Journalists -by Tom Welsh. Walter Greenwood, David Banks

OUP ISBN 0-19-9284-18-0
Radio in Context by Guy Starkey

Palgrave ISBN 1-4039-0023-X
The Universal Journalist by David Randall

Pluto ISBN 0-7453-1641-7
The Broadcast Journalism Handbook by Guy Hudson

Longman ISBN 1-405-82434-4