The primary objective of a journalist is to provide first-hand information regarding an incident to the public. Journalists and reporters have the task of evaluating a situation and then provide adequate information so that the public can create an opinion about it. However, journalism does not deal with reporting incidents alone. It has to provide people with information regarding the social, political and economic conditions of the world. Journalism has undergone numerous changes over the year. It began with the print media but has diversified into many other streams like audio journalism and social media journalism depending upon the source that journalists use, to provide information to the public. Before the advent of television, people had to rely on newspapers and radios to get information. During World War II people would tune in to various radio stations to get information about the war. World War II led to a fast-paced development in what is now known as radio or audio journalism. Herein reports would be read out by newsreaders and reporters, which people would listen to. This would help the audience get a better understanding of the political and economic condition of the world and the outcome of the War. As technology progressed, audio journalism too, has undergone numerous changes.
Radio or audio journalism traces its roots back to World War II. In the early 1930s, after the invention of the telephone and the telegraph, the radio soon began to be identified as a suitable method of communication. During World War II the radio was the preferred media of communication amongst the soldiers, politicians and world leaders. Soon it was understood that it could be used to provide information to the common public as well. Thus, radios became a household product, and people would tune in to various radio stations like the NBC (National Broadcasting Company) and CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System) to learn more about the War and the political situation the world over. Radio soon became a household product not only in America and Europe but also became an essential item found in Asian households. Audio journalism was able to consolidate global public opinion regarding World War II.
While using the radio to deliver information to the public, journalists have to ensure that the report is developed in such a manner that people can easily understand and grasp the information. The information provided to the public through radio should be strictly adhering to the protocols of responsible journalism. Audio journalism too had to follow specific rules like the print media to ensure that information delivered through this media does not incite the public. People tuning into the radio to gather information about the political, social and economic condition of their countries should not be misguided. Since they are unable to see the actual incident, the report they hear should be honest and responsibly delivered. During the early stages of audio journalism, newsreaders would read out statements and stories without the support of any video clip. Hence, the script writers had to be careful about developing a report that was genuine and honest. With the advent of television, audio and video journalism began to merge. Soon journalists had video clips to support the information that they were providing. Now scripts had to be developed which aligned with the videos that the public could view. Audio journalism now has become an all the more responsible job because it can now be both ‘seen’ and ‘heard’ by the public.
With the advent of social media and television, it was considered that audio journalism would not survive for long. However, podcasts and modernised radio broadcasts soon began to empower audio journalism. This form of journalism now started to provide information to the audience and to entertain them with sensational news. Podcasts by celebrities, interviews with music artists and entertainment news have completely transformed audio journalism. Youngsters nowadays tune into radio stations through their mobile devices. They do so to get information about the entertainment industry, celebrity news as well as to listen to music. However, while people tune into the radio to be entertained, such programmes are often punctuated with news provided by audio journalists. Herein the primary objectives of journalists are to provide information subtly. Important political news, traffic updates and even socio-economic news are provided in between radio programmes. This process of delivering information has entirely changed audio journalism and empowered it into becoming an essential tool that provides critical information to the public.
The future of audio journalism lies in successfully combining television and radio. It is a common sight nowadays to see radio journalists with video cameras, digital cameras and flash recorders. This is to ensure that the information that the audio journalist is providing is supported by adequate visual details. Sometimes audio recordings are played on radio stations so that the public is convinced about the authenticity of the data or the information. These recordings can be conversations amongst individuals or other such records, which will convince the public that the news that the journalist is providing is genuine. Here too, the information provided by the audio journalist needs to be scripted, so that it is aligned with video recording. Additionally, the script developed by the writer should be lucid without any ambiguous information. This will ensure that people remain interested in gathering information and getting news of the world through radio stations.
Hence, audio journalism has transformed itself entirely over the years. From its beginning as a mode of communication during World War II, audio journalism has been wholly converted media moguls into a method for delivering information regarding entertainment industry, politics and socio-economic conditions of the world. However, audio journalism needs to stay true to the significant objective of journalism, which is to provide accurate information to the public honestly and responsibly.
Mar 17, 2020