Radio News Delivery: How to Sound Like a Radio Broadcaster

Listen to a short news broadcast, such as the NPR Hourly News Summary.

These stories will typically include audio clips from newsmakers, and perhaps the noise of crowds or nature. But we’re just focusing on the sound of the radio journalist’s voice.

Don’t try to sound like “an announcer.”  Forget the barking style of voice that radio announcers always seem to have in movies when they “interrupt this program with a special bulletin.”

Radio News Delivery.mp3
(By the way, a typical radio story is just 50 seconds long, which is about how long it took me to read the following.

A radio newscaster’s voice begins each story on a high pitch, with the first sentence of the story ending with a slight drop.

The second sentence starts at exactly this same pitch, which is an important audio cue that we’re still on the same subject.

Note this slight boost of energy in the third sentence, which is important because the tone can’t keep dropping forever.

Although I wouldn’t do it when delivering a hard news story, I’m about to hang my voice, indicating I’ve got plenty more to say.

My speech is formal but conversational, with both high and low pitches within each sentence, though the general trend has been downward.

You can always tell the final sentence in a radio journalist’s story; it slows down just a bit, and its pitches are the lowest of the whole piece.

For the New Media Journalism program at Seton Hill University, I’m Dennis Jerz.

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