Are you a high school or college student? Are you interested in joining your campus' radio station but are unsure if it's worth your time? Or, are you faculty wondering what starting a school station might offer your students? We're here to tell you what radio broadcasting can offer to students who get involved with it.
Being a broadcaster is more than just speaking into a microphone and playing music, so students can learn a variety of skills across many different fields. There are several tech, communication, musical, business, and creative skills that go into it. Even for those that don't end up pursuing radio broadcasting post-graduation, the skills learned are a real foundation for many different career paths.
Obviously, there's a lot of technical work that goes into being a radio broadcaster. At a school's studio, students learn how to work with microphones, how to create music playlists and rotations, and maybe even some things about program scheduling, audio editing, radio frequency, FCC regulations, and radio's history.
Now that we've entered a digital age, all of the technical skills students learn from taking part in their school's station can come in handy for other fields. Similar skills are used for TV broadcasting, internet livestreaming, sound design and engineering, news anchoring, voiceover work...the list goes on.
For those looking to be a DJ who speaks on air, they will be getting a lot of public speaking practice. Besides learning how to speak clearly into a microphone and with good diction, they'll also figure out how to create good energy, build a rapport with other speakers, and deliver announcements for all kinds of news.
Students may even learn some additional skills, such as how to interview guests on air, breathing and voice exercises, or how to create natural transitions while talking to an audience. Ultimately, the public speaking practice students get from a school's program will help fill them up with a lot of confidence around public speaking – an invaluable skill in any career.
With social media being all the rage, students will most likely be using some digital platforms to promote the school's radio station. This is where the marketing skills come in. Perhaps they'll make announcements on the radio station's Facebook page, or maybe assist in creating audio trailers for an upcoming live event. After all, listeners are a key part of a radio station, so students can take this real opportunity to develop strategies to grow an audience.
Besides social media marketing skills, other marketing skills students might learn are graphic design, data analysis, problem-solving skills, and possibly even how to land sponsorships. Learning how to market a radio station correctly not only sets students up for a future broadcasting career, but also a job in business.
Yes, there are some written communication skills that play a part in radio broadcasting. It seems odd to be talking about writing skills in radio, but the first time a student looks at their microphone and then asks what they should say, they realize they need to write scripts and prepare.
Script writing extends into talk shows, radio drama programs, and sometimes even guest and telephone interviews. Copy and commercial writing are huge parts of radio broadcasting (and so many other careers!), and taking part in a school's station teaches students how to do both of those things quickly and effectively.
Most importantly, a school's radio station teaches students how to be a team player. Planning and presenting radio shows requires a great deal of collaboration. On top of that, many schools run their radio station traditionally: assigning roles and responsibilities for presenters, engineers, station management, etc. Students will learn to work with a lot of different kinds of people in order to get tasks done – a vital skill to master in life. Sometimes it can be challenging, but ultimately, it's extremely rewarding. Maybe even the most rewarding thing they'll gain from a school's program!
Additionally, working on a team will set students up for a bright future. There's no greater power than networking once students graduate. As they say, sometimes it's who you know, not what you know that can help you in your career. Taking part in a school's station is a great opportunity to get some low-stress practice at networking, and some of those relationships might just become some of the most pertinent and meaningful of students' careers and lives.
Want to learn more about utilizing internet radio as an educational institution? Visit this page.
How can Live365 help your school get broadcasting? Live365 is a one-stop shop for internet radio stations, providing powerful streaming tools, licensing, monetization, and listening distribution. And, we offer streaming solutions for colleges, high schools, and educational organizations, allowing you to simulcast your AM/FM station or run a station directly from the cloud. To get started, just head to this page, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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