Air your talent
Want to be heard more than be seen? Dream of becoming another Amin Sayani or a more contemporary Shamshir, Karan or Nitin? Well, there's a whole world of possibilities awaiting you.
With a number of private players ruling the airwaves now—Radio Mirchi, Radio Mid Day, Red FM, Radio City and the like—there has been a resurgence in radio's popularity. The FM boom has done for radio what the satellite channels did for the tube. It has thrown open a host of job opportunities, making radio jockeying one of the hot options for youngsters with the gift of the gab, an ear for music and a passion to entertain.
Radio jockeying is not just about gushing and tongue-in-cheek remarks. It is also about keeping people informed.
Even when you are off the air, it makes demands on your time. You have to stay up-to-date by browsing the Net, reading books and magazines. You will also have to woo the muse by brooding over your script.
Necessary personal attributes
A friendly and interesting voice is a necessary attribute, but not an all-sufficient one. The RJ must be able to research his own script and break it into interesting modules. Humour is the lifeline of radio chatting; the RJ cannot afford to compromise on that. In most cases, a radio jockey has a talking time of just six minutes in a programme spread over an hour. The challenge, therefore, is to find something witty to say and then say it clearly and directly in a manner that will leave a mark.
Is radio-jockeying a lucrative profession?
Though the salary may not be mind-boggling, it is decent enough. An RJ can command a salary from Rs 15,000 to Rs 70,000 depending on factors such as experience and market value. More importantly, radio-jockeying will open up numerous vistas in television and films. Reason enough to float on air.
RJs also find part-time work with channels like Discovery and National Geographic who hire them for voice-overs and dubbing.
To become a radio jockey, one does not require any specific academic background or qualification. For a jockey, what is important is staying with current musical trends and responding to listeners’ feedback.
Though a number of universities and institutes, including the Indian Institute of Mass Communication and Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, offer courses in communication or broadcasting, t here really is no comprehensive training course to be an RJ. The field is talent based but a background in theatre can be of big help. The best places to check out to obtain training are the British council, the National School of Drama and the Young Men's Christian Association which hold short-term courses in public speaking. The course content is designed to improve the pitch, intonation, and modulation of voice.
- AIR also offers a two-month in-house training course to its radio jockeys.
- The Take One Academy of Broadcasting, Chandigarh, offers trainees a chance to present a show on the local AIR channel once a week.
- The Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA), which takes in students through CAT (IIM), offers internship with FM radio channels like Radio Mid Day, Red FM and Radio Mirchi as part of its one-year postgraduate programme in Broadcasting Management (www.mica-india.net).
- You can also check out a course conducted by the Xavier Institute of Communications, Mumbai-400001, called ABCD--Announcing, Broadcasting, Compering and Dubbing.