Shah Rukh Khan played the part in Dil Se; and more famously, so did Vidya Balan in Lage Raho Munnabhai. We’re talking about being a Radio Jockey, one of the most exciting and dynamic career opportunities available for GenY today.
During the October mid-semester break, I had the privilege of featuring in the evening radio show at 93.5, Red FM, Visakhapatnam. It was during this hour long rendezvous with radio that I got a good exposure to the life and work of a Radio Jockey (RJ). There are several myths about this profession that prevail in the minds of the hoi polloi. Here are some that I’d like to clear, from my own personal experience:
1. A full time career
Every RJ gets a show and each show has an allotted time slot. So you get to hear the RJ over the radio only during his/her show, which never lasts beyond three hours (maximum). But does this mean that a RJ works only for three hours during the day? Not at all! A RJ does jockeying for the duration of his show and spends the rest of the hours doing other jobs at the radio station like technical work, field reporting, managing playlists and running other errands. A RJ also works in a 9 to 5 work format. And this is why RJing is now considered a full-time profession, rather than a part-time job that one presumes can be done over the summer holidays to earn some pocket money.
2. Graduation is a pre requisite criteria
Since Radio Jockeying has become a full-time profession, radio channels are willing to accept only those applicants with at least a graduation degree. The nature of degree, however, is non-exclusive. You need not be a media or arts student to pursue this career. But before you step into this field, you need to have spent three (or four for professional courses like Law and Engineering) years in college. RJing, like any other career, requires commitment and life experience, which employers perceive is only possessed by mature graduates.
3. Yak non stop? Not really!
Have you heard people saying: “You talk so much, try becoming a RJ!” or “You’re such a spontaneous conversationalist!You must try your hand at RJing!”? Well, your guess about Radio Jockeying could not be more off the mark. Today, we are making use of such evolved technology at radio stations. Most of what you hear is not live, rather it is pre-recorded. So every time the RJ goofs up- stammers, stutters or blurts out something inadvertently- he/she can delete the audio file and re-record the same. So even if you’re not very good with thinking at your feet and creating free-flowing content on the go, worry not. You can still consider Radio Jockeying as a profession!
4. Personality and appearance matter
A RJ is known by his/her voice. But that’s not all that matters today. Now-a-days, RJs get sent on field reporting trips as well, where a RJ has to go to a particular place ( a mall, a press conference, a concert etc) and interact with the public, collect live footage and relay the same back to the radio station. Therefore, a good personality and presentable physical appearance will only enhance the RJs ability to engage with the masses and collect their opinions, views and comments. Therefore, it’s not just the RJ’s voice that will carry him/her through, but also his/her personality and physical appearance.
Like other jobs in the media world, Radio Jockeying provides the perfect platform for the creative soul. It comes with its fair share of glamour and popularity. And like any other career, RJing also comes with great responsibility: to deliver meaningful content and make a positive difference to society.