10 Possible Careers as a Communication Arts Student (1/3)

I haven’t written for this blog for a very long time. I was busy during the first semester of my first year in college, and finally I’m done with it. I’m currently taking up Communication Arts (CA), and for the past 4 months I’ve been learning a lot about this course. Despite times when my mind plays with doubts of belonging to this course, I’ve been appreciating what I’ve learned about communication, as well as mass media—it's forms, history, and growth.

Often, moments come when I think of what career I will have upon finishing CA. Many ideas come to my mind, both usual and odd. There are those that I caught from what I’ve learned from media history out of watching television archives and listening to foreign stations and old airchecks—all of them through the World Wide Web.

Here are those possible careers that come to my mind, and some of them are conceived and perceived as dreams

1. Continuity presenter on television

This is more than a voice-over. It is something more spontaneous, more creative, and more interesting (at least for me).

I got this idea from discovering how television broadcasting appeared in United Kingdom, especially around 60’s to early 90’s, thanks to the vast library of TV Ark

In UK, only three channels used to dominate the airwaves: BBC1 and BBC2, the public broadcasters, and Independent Television (ITV), the private/commercial broadcaster. In both channels, there is someone who serves as a “companion” or a “host” that guides viewers throughout the station’s broadcast until (before they started to operate 24 hours around the ‘80s) they close down, or sign-off.

On BBC, broadcasts are presided by live announcers. On every station of ITV for each region in the country, however, the presenter takes this role. Here are examples of what I mean:

What’s interesting here is that the presenter is not just heard, but also seen. He introduces the programs, as well as says the next airing of those programs. He says the schedule for the day, as well as birthday greetings. He greets you “Good Morning”, and he wishes you “Good Night”, and even reminds you to switch-off your TV set before you sleep (when the TV’s all black, before the signal finally goes out).

Since discovering this, I’ve been so amazed at how Brits broadcast on-air. For me, it looks cool. However, this style of broadcasting has gone away. Later on in the 90’s, the stations no longer have in-vision continuity, but voices remain doing the job.

2. Continuity announcer on TV

If ITV had presenters, BBC has announcers. They do the same thing ITV used to do, without the faces.

Here in my country, there are announcers too, but they exist in recorded plugs, brought-to-you-by’s, and broadcast notices.

Knowing that BBC take these jobs live fascinates me a lot. In fact, announcers don’t end the broadcast with any station notice (“This is…A commercial television station…”), but simply with tomorrow’s weather report, a bit of reminders, a bid of “Good Night”, and finally “God Save The Queen” (on BBC 1). What a friendly way of dealing with audiences…and telling them to sleep!

It also interested me that I spotted public broadcasters in US that did this as well in the 80’s, although only limited to plugs and station IDs. I’m not so sure whether they announce on-air or pre-taped, though.

Credit: bbc.co.uk
3. Continuity announcer on radio

I got this idea when I started listening to WDCB, a public radio station in the Chicago area playing jazz and blues. The continuity announcer’s job there, as I’ve observed, are mentioning the schedule of programs (“…Monday nights at 8”, for example) and telling the donors/supporters of the station (“Support for WDCB comes from…”).

This work is much more evident when you listen to UK's BBC Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra. The announcer does the same thing as those on BBC1 or BBC2 do. Wow, this tradition continues on BBC, both on TV and radio.

4. Newsreader in an FM station

Only few do newsreading live and local on FM, nowadays. One of them is government-operated DWBR 104.3, where the news is simply delivered on top-of-the-hour, without any almost-distracting sound effects or background music. Like this one:

I also got inspired, again, from listening to public radio and old airchecks (here's an example) I’ve heard from YouTube. 

Here is this dream to read the news either on the classical music station (that would’ve been an achievement!), or the alternative music station. Or I’ll perhaps settle on the oldies station’s news every 55 minutes past the hour (although not always like that) or on DWBR’s top-of-the-hours.

Is it still costly to have a segment like this on FM?, I wonder.

(To be continued)

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