Radio and Television Announcer

The duties of radio and TV announcers are determined by their employers. Radio announcers communicate by means of the radio to their listeners. They need to have an aptitude for communicating with people, particularly an invisible audience. Radio and TV announcers usually specialize in introducing recorded music, presenting the news and weather forecasts; reading commercials, or commentating on sport or matters of local interest.`


Newsreaders prepare and deliver news, sports and/or weather reports, gathering and rewriting material so that it will convey the required information and fit specific time slots.  They attend press conferences in order to gather information for broadcast, provide commentary and conduct interviews during sporting events, parades, conventions and other events.  They read news flashes to inform audiences of important events. 


Other show hosts announce musical selections, station breaks, commercials or public service information and accept requests from the listening audience. They may comment on the music and other matters, such as weather or traffic conditions.  In some shows they discuss various topics over the telephone with viewers or listeners. They locate guests to appear on talk or interview shows, and interview show guests about their lives, their work, or topics of current interest.


Other tasks are to describe or demonstrate products that viewers may purchase through specific shows or in stores, to make promotional appearances in public or private events in order to represent their employers, to moderate panels or discussion shows on topics such as current affairs, art or education, and coordinate games, contests or other on-air competitions, performing such duties as asking questions and awarding prizes. 


They need to keep daily programme logs to provide information on all elements aired during broadcast, such as musical selections and station promotions. 


Some announcers conduct research to prepare programmes which are relevant and meaningful to the audience. They select programme content, in conjunction with producers and assistants, based on factors such as programme specialities, audience tastes or requests from the public, and study background information in order to prepare for the programmes or interviews.  Sometimes commercials are recorded for later broadcast.  Others develop, create, record and produce their own special programmes.

Radio and television announcers work in radio or television studios. Controls, turntables and electronic equipment surround those who introduce records. Television announcers work under bright, hot lights in front of cameras. Announcers may also be required to make appearances in the community for charity, social and community events. They are required to work irregular hours in shifts. The work setting is pleasant, but at the same time exhausting. Although they must work a minimum of 40 hours per week, they usually work more and are available every day of the week on the announcer’s timetable.


How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects


  • National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course

  • National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course


Each institution has its own entry requirements.



What to Study

An announcer receives in-service training at the SABC and other recognised broadcasting training institutions. A candidate for the post of announcer must pass a microphone audition.

The following are important in an audition:


  • voice quality

  • free speaking ability

  • reading ability

  • knowledge of mother language and other languages

  • knowledge of music

  • ability to communicate

  • pronunciation and expression.


Employment


  • television stations

  • commercial radio broadcasting stations


Further Information

Contact any of the Regional Managers of the SABC in Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Polokwane or Bloemfontein - refer to the telephone directory for addresses and telephone numbers as well as M-Net and eTv.


Getting Started


  • try to develop an outgoing personality and ability to speak in front of others by working on school newspapers and yearbooks, and participating in drama clubs or productions

  • become well read and well informed in a variety of areas

  • arrange an appointment to visit a radio or television station to speak to an announcer

  • try to obtain vacation or part-time work in a radio or TV station


Programmes by Study Institutions