THIS is not the first time this columnist has observed the trend by some newscasters to rush through the news bulletins when they know that this is different from reading.
Some newscasters have continued to run through news bulletins, in a monotonous way or chant-like type of reading, leaving the listeners wondering whether they were listening to news or acapella.
Radio presenters need to know that a news bulletin is one of the most important aspects of radio broadcasting and should be treated with such seriousness.
The responsibility that the radio station carries in disseminating news, which can be defined as newly-received or noteworthy information, especially about recent events, is significant.
It is that magnitude of disseminating news that rests on the newscaster or news presenter to communicate the news as accurately and in a simple manner to the listeners.
The newscaster needs to have good communication skills including an easily-understandable “on-air” delivery.
It is also annoying to listen to some newsreaders who want to sound ‘English’ who end up anglicising vernacular names and places.
Mispronouncing local and foreign names is the worst thing a worthy newscaster could do and can be avoided since it shows unprofessionalism that is contrary to being sober and original.
Even local names and places should be pronounced the way people belonging to that tribe pronounce them. Examples of local names and places that are mispronounced abound.
Note that eastern names like Mbewe, Mkandawire, and Chawinga are pronounced with a light ‘b’ thus Mbebe, Mkandabire and Chabinga.
Names which are found in two provinces are usually pronounced differently eg Mwaba and Mwaaba, Mumba (the ci-Bemba version ) and Mumba the eastern version, Kaluba (the Luapula or Northern version and Kaluba the eastern or Malawian version. Place names like Chililabombwe, Kabwe, Ndola, Chinsali have been anglicised to unrecognisable versions.
The newscaster can, before going on air, ask a producer how some words or names are pronounced and literally write them the way he/she would say them.
Call it phonetic sound! Newscasters can also be part of part of the news preparation team, checking on spellings, names and finding out how best to pronounce them, constant rehearsing of the news and most importantly understanding what they read.
Not every radio presenter can read news, just like not every presenter can interview guests.
At least one listener phoned through to one of the usual live phone-in programmes on one of the radio stations and asked an interesting question; “I want to find out whether the contributions we make on these phone in programmes are acted upon by relevant authorities, or we just talk, talk for the sake of talking on radio?”
PHOENIX 89.5 FM (PUNCH, PANJI)
A listener, Sam Phiri from Ndola phoned to find out the full name of Radio Phoenix sports presenter, only known as Punch, infact Sam wondered whether Punch and Panji was one and the same person.
Not at all, the full name of Punch who comes with sports updates is Puncherello Chama, while Panji, who comes with ‘Akale Kesu’, reminiscing the old good days every Saturday mornings is Panji Banda.
SUN FM 88.5 FM
It was wise of Prophetess Trich to have avoided predicting the result on Zambia National Soccer Team, Chipolopolo against Sudan’ Falcons when she appeared on Sun FM weekly ‘The Voice’ programme. In a conversation with Dannet Siame, only known as Dannet, Prophetess Trich wished Chipolopolo luck but could not predict the results, knowing how serious listeners take words of the clergy.
Dannet has a unique way of broadcasting, playing uncommon tunes each time he takes to the airwaves, the fast-talking DJ usually flows calmly during his late evening presentations.
One of Dannet’s best shows is ‘Twilight’, the Sunday evening
presentation of mellow music that go down well with the serenity of the night.
Featuring on the Public Forum programme which was anchored by Kausa Mbasela on Sun FM, George Mpombo articulated a number of issues in his usual bombastic style.
Dr Mpombo’s response to one caller who asked him to tone down on his big-worded language was that, words flow natuarally and that he does not realise he utters them.
ICENGELO 102.9 FM
Radio Icengelo opened its studios to the public on Saturday 14, November allowing listeners to enter the studios, mingle with presenters to have a feel of broadcasting.
Interestingly, there was a delighted listener who phoned another radio station to tell them about their experience at Radio Icengelo; “Radio Icengelo invited us to their studios, we had great fun, you should emulate them, try to do that as well.”
Rodney Mutale who is Assistant Superintendant, Services in Human Resources at Konkola Copper Mines made observations on the article published in this space on Teddy Daka ‘Man Child’ who featured on Chishala Chitoshi ‘Gesh Groove’s Flava FM.
“Morning Jack, Hope you are good? Just want to make one or two comments on the article about my 80s Disco DJ.
First of all am happy about the article, Teddy Daka alias ‘Manchild’ was a genius with his JVC musical outfit.
• Correction, he was not based in Ndola but Kitwe. • His mobile disco outfit was voted the best mobile disco outfit in Zambia in 1983.
All in all, the article brought back memories of the good old days. Regards.”
Garry wrote from Ndola; “Dear Jack, I wish to thank you for the good work you have continued doing, bringing radio into our homes especially that it is not possible for us to listen to all the important programmes.
Like other observers have rightly stated, I also feel strongly that radio presenters, more so at community radio stations, can do better than their current performances.
It hurts to listen to some radio personalities who misfire on radio, particularly when they are reading news as they keep stammering over some words, people’s names included.
And while I am on this thought, on Friday last week, during the ‘What the papers say’ morning segment on Radio Phoenix, I was amazed that the amiable Chanda Kangwa, who is otherwise known as DJ Roxy, failed to pronounce ‘tabernacle’.
That was in reference to a story about an account which the Zambian Government has opened at ZANACO, where members of the public could contribute towards construction of an inter-denominational church which will be known as the House of Prayer for all Nations Tabernacle.
Roxy was later to read Kalumbila Mine as Kulambila Mine, and she did so in an English accent. Come on Roxy, do not misspell and Anglicise local names especially that you are an indigenous Zambia, born and bred in this country.
Otherwise, you are doing well on ‘Breakfast with Luchi and Roxy’. I particularly enjoy listening to the Pulse because most of the topics that you float smoke me out of my comfort zone, and make me reflect deeply on the many unsettling issues around us.
Stay tuned, don’t touch that dial! – firstname.lastname@example.org 0955115777