On the radio waves - Jennifer Henderson


Most people shy away from public speaking, some fear it more than death but, for journalism student Jennifer Henderson speaking on radio to thousands of listeners comes naturally.

‘I love the adrenaline rush of broadcasting, knowing that your voice is reaching so many different places simultaneously. Radio is an immediate media; information can be shared over kilometres and kilometres in a matter of seconds,’ Jennifer said.

As one of the producers of the daily current affairs show Panorama on student radio 90.7 SYN FM based at RMIT in Melbourne, Jennifer sees the value radio has in democracy and helping people spread awareness of their cause.

‘Radio has the power to preach to the masses, it is one of the oldest mediums therefore a lot of people listen to it. By broadcasting news and information through radio to the public, they become educated and have the power to act on issues to achieve change,’ Jennifer said.

Panorama focuses on what’s happening at the moment, whether it is overseas or down the street and usually has a specific relevance for youth. The radio show investigates issues by interviewing people involved in events and issues.

Every week people involved in community activism pitch ideas to Jennifer with the aim to score air time however, she is wary of who presides over the treasured air waves.

‘Most activists are keen to have their ideas in the media to promote their cause. I have to be careful in accepting their offers because Panorama is an objective current affairs show that can't be biased one way or the other, we have to show both sides of the issue,’ Jennifer said.

However, if you have an awesome idea and the confidence to speak on radio, it is just a matter of the producer or reporter interviewing an opposition figure to make the story objective.

Radio’s anyone’s ball game

Talking on the radio is all about self confidence. Jennifer advises people to remain relaxed and in control of your voice, so that when you talk it doesn't come out as a squeak!!

‘The most challenging aspect of speaking on radio is sounding natural. When the little red light comes on, it’s very easy to become tongue tied or speak like you're the queen. People can relate to natural conversation and the more staged the voice on the radio sounds, the more listeners you lose,’ Jennifer said.

Radio is a fantastic median to reach people at all times of the day; at work, school or at home. If you have the confidence and the passion, you’ll have no dramas convincing radio producers or journalists to hand over the microphone and to speak on radio.

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