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Despite the advent of the Internet and the many advances in technology, people still consider television to be an essential broadcast medium. This precious source of information and entertainment was invented in 1927, and still holds a place in most people’s hearts. Let’s have a deep dive into what goes into making a television broadcast these days.

The Television

TV is a responsibility, not only in entertaining people but using this medium of television in positive ways to teach people and enlighten people.”

– James Van Praagh

Let’s have a look at some of the most important aspects of a television station.

Personnel

A television production is a team effort. Watching from the control room, a television producer can detect potential problems. For example, he may adjust a newscast and add or change a news story. He must also produce the newscast according to a fixed time period.

Matt Ellis, a news director, claimed that:

A news producer is the architect of the program. He is responsible for choosing the news content, slotting the stories and writing much of the copy. He oversees the presentation of the news broadcast from the control room.”

On the other hand, television scriptwriters are responsible for the content that will be presented to the general public. For instance, they use word-processing programs to set up a table for their script text and follow the same 5 W’s and 1 H writing rule.

Before a meal is presented, it needs to be garnished. Similarly, editing refers to the task of taking pre-recorded materials and converting them into a finished audio-visual program. Therefore, editors use linear editing or nonlinear computer editing software to combine shots together in their selected order. They choose the best shots, add filler sequences and can even change these sequences if required.

Unlike radio presenters, television anchors do no need to look down on papers but instead look into the camera lens while reading their scripts. For instance, scripts are entered into a TelePrompTer from which anchors will read the content. However, TelePrompTer operators must match the screen’s information with what is being said on the news.

Furthermore, a television director is responsible for the overall production process. For example, a television director may organise an editorial meeting to brainstorm the news producer and the reporters. His objective is to generate story ideas for newscasts day and evening. He may also use the IFB (interruptible frequency broadcast), which is a monitoring system for one-way communication between the director and on-air talent, facilitated by using earpieces. For example, during a news program, the director can talk to the news anchor about the latest breaking news.

Now let’s talk about the graphic department. Graphic artists create computer graphics, credits and other computer-generated content. At the same time, the art director works on the set design, location and those graphics that will appear on the television screen. The sound recordist has the responsibility to record the whole soundtrack of a programme while photographers have the tasks of building shot sequences. The latter is also responsible for media colour production.

The task of a technical director is different compared to that of a television director. He is in the master control room and oversees the presentation of the audio and visual aspects. However, the audio and microphone levels are more controlled by the audio staff.

Moreover, the engineering department protects, maintains and improve all technical equipment associated with the production process. Television engineers are further responsible for satellite transmission and live story coverage.

Studio, Budget and Equipment

Unlike a private radio station, a television station has a much larger budget and resources.

Let’s start with the studio. A television studio has several rooms which are all separated from the exterior. It consists of a production control room that includes a video monitor wall, a special effects generator, an audio mixing console, a character generator and camera control panels.

Sound is the main ingredient of an auditor’s capability to create a perception of realism. Thus, in a television station, lavaliere and dynamic microphones are used for tv programmes while hand-held microphones are used during live broadcasting. Moreover, ENG (electronic news gathering) equipment, including cameras, microphones, news vans and satellite trucks plays a crucial role in news gathering and outside broadcasting.

Did you know that lighting is another essential aspect of a television station? Proper lighting is needed to create a specific setting of a programme as it can provide television cameras with sufficient illumination for more high-quality pictures.

Production Process

The pre-production stage consists of writing a television script, gathering of the staff, choosing the appropriate set, graphics and costumes. The second stage which is the production phase starts with rehearsals where scenes are prepared, television presenters or actors are called on the sets and shots are recorded and reviewed. The last stage is when the final shape of the programme is obtained. It includes cutting recorded visuals into a suitable length and organising them in an appropriate sequence. It also consists of the use of captions and other effects to obtain the finished media product.

What we only hear has usually less impact than what we see and hear at the same time. A television’s strength is the screen as people like to see things with their own eyes compared to a radio. Hence, it can be noted that television, as a medium, can not only communicate sound just like the radio but can also display printed words on the screen like a newspaper and broadcast high-quality videos.

So, what do you think is better as a medium? TV or radio? Please share your comments!

Broadcast media represents an effective and integrated form of communication in our society. In today’s article, we will look at the oldest form of broadcast media – the Radio.

The Radio

First created in the 1890s, the radio works when messages are sent through electromagnetic waves. The radio signal is similar to an electronic current that can go back and forth very quickly.

Suppose you need to make a meal; you will need the proper ingredients and utensils. Similarly, two crucial components have contributed to the success of the radio: equipment and staff.

Personnel

According to the UNESCO,

‘…the recruitment of the broadcasting personnel should be on talent, creative ability and an aptitude for broadcasting….’

One of the most important people of the radio is the radio producer. He or she is responsible for coordinating the content of all the radio programs, generating ideas and recording and editing programs. This person is also responsible for budget management. As a radio producer, he or she is supposed to have a good understanding of language, so as to edit news scripts and advise newsreaders on the correct pronunciation so as listeners can better understand the news being read out.

Next, we have the radio presenter, most known as a radio jockey or as an RJ. This is the person hosting shows on the radio. The RJ represents the image and reputation of a radio station, and therefore have the responsibility of communicating with and engaging their audience. They not only inform and educate but also entertain you with their charming personalities and addictive voices. In a way, their job is to attract as many listeners as possible.

Next, the technical department consists of people who operate and maintain equipment ranging from studio machines to transmitters. Engineers manage equipment that can regulate signal strength and a range of sounds to adjust volume and audio quality.

Do you know what the role of a radio programme broadcaster is? If not, let me tell you that he or she is a person who has the proper expertise to identify the propagation characteristics of a radio station and where the signal is the strongest. As a result, this can help decide upon the appropriate programme technique for listeners in difficult reception areas.

Lastly, we have an audio producer whose job is to write audio scripts, create sound effects and ensure that the best audio is considered. He is also responsible for the final edit of a programme.

Studio, Equipment and Sound

Radio is a sound-only medium, which implies that the quality of sound should be genuine and the signal should be reliable as substandard and muffled quality sound can negatively affect listeners and discourage them from listening to the radio news.”

A radio studio is constructed based on some acoustic principles that can help create quiet places where news-reading programmes can be held undisturbed. For instance, the materials used to build the internal walls have unique acoustic properties that can absorb and reflect sounds at different frequencies, preventing outside sounds, like footsteps and traffic noise.

Found in the radio studio, the control room is a soundproof room which consists of high-quality monitoring loudspeakers, studio signalling systems, echo equipment, consoles and the VU (Volume Unit) meter which shows the level of sound output. A high-quality computer system can also be found, which is essential as it is used to store all the radio shows, news recordings, voice-overs and so on.

Now, let’s talk about a bit about the most important radio station equipment: microphones! Nowadays, dynamic condenser microphones are popular in radio stations as they are resistant to ambient noise. For example, the Shure SM7B is a type of microphone favoured for radio news broadcasting as it does not need to be handled. Besides, some microphones also consist of windscreens that can keep irrelevant noise such as the sound of breath to the minimum.

As per the details mentioned above, have you been able to glimpse some aspects of a radio station? Please share your comments!

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