Standards of radio broadcast diminish
"Cring , Cring" my cell phone rings and I would have never thought, though I judged right who the caller was; a board member of another radio station calling to compliment me on my "Rhythm & Rhyme" programme on Monday 26 February on Vibes Radio. The compliments thrilled me coming from such a source, a man whom I not only respect but also his judgement on matters of programming on the airwaves. However he was quick to add that I said the phrase "Of course" a number of times-something he said I should watch. I took it in good spirit and will attempt to make amends.
I too like the caller have complimented all radio stations at some time or the other during my over two decades of my vocation as columnist on the arts. Whether it was for the pioneering work of Dennis Joseph or the skills of Felix Henderson or the intellect of Steinburg Henry or Matt Peltier's ability to have a talk show following and still raise much needed assistance for those in medical need or Vibes radio for its music and DJs and recently DBS's manager for his level of innovativeness and inclusiveness.
Indeed the voices of Shemaine Green, Marilyn Pascal, Mickey Bruney, Peter Richards, Steinburg Henry, Tim Durand, Dennis Joseph, Raymond Lawrence, Josette Seraphine, Bosom Buddy Ted Dailey, Alvin Knight, Ferdinand Frampton, Rudy J himself and we are not even venturing as far back as Jeff Charles , Barnet Defoe or Papa D. So I paused and realized something was wrong. Such talent has disappeared from radio or maybe they have not been given a chance to blossom through training and exposure as in the days when radio was king. Well today post Maria, RADIO IS STILL KING.
There is great potential in the unique tone of a Hazzari or the obvious potential in announcers or programme host such as young Garvin or the wonderful talent of Tyrella Alexander, Kamala Aaron and of course Kawana and Milia both talented creole announcers.
Yes, the Ivona's and Curtis' are there on their final decade in this business, but there seem to be a dearth of the quality of the 70 & 80. The problem is not so much the DJ's; we have a good contingent in Wadix, Mr. Mix, Dr. Labadie, DJ Smooth, RS Digital, Major Mystic-all solid in their own right; however, classy announcers seem to be a thing of the past.
Some say we have become a visual people and so the descriptive elements and mastery of language is no longer a major factor in radio broadcast since the advent of television and social media. So why are USA and British reporters so eloquent with their pronunciation and intelligent as well as efficient, knowledgeable, researched and pointed during interviews?
It's now not necessarily worst on the Nation Station but they must come under greater scrutiny as its state-owned and supported by tax dollars and has a history of quality to emulate. I think it would be fair comment to say that only once in the Nation's station's history I have found it to be wanting of quality announcers who have a command of the language, an ability to communicate, and knowledgeable on matters of public interest. When names of villages or common enough surnames cannot be pronounced properly on air, during death announcements, then we know we have a problem.
The descriptive elements and skills are sadly lacking in ball by ball commentary in sports. Ossie Lewis is now of age and commentator Joseph Thomas, two of our best over past decades. The latter is hardly heard, like Ossie, he can no longer be considered to be in his prime. Now anything goes in sports or Calypso commentary. Even the descriptive elements in the attire of contestants at pageants get a serious pounding. If you are at home one would be lost as no real imagery of what is happening is conveyed.
There are announcers and host of important talk shows whose grammar, diction and stress fall on the wrong syllables over and over and over again. Some do not possess the desired radio etiquette when dealing with callers or issues they may not be in agreement with. ALL RADIO STATIONS ARE GUILTY AS CHARGED.
What has radio become? We can even follow the exploits of our Dominican or regional players in regional tournaments. Thanks to Vibes in recent times we have been getting some cricket. We no longer relay Calypso shows from Antigua, Barbados or TNT. In a world of more communication we know less about each other. So what is the media's role?
Still I don't to just cry die as there are so many limitations with pay, sponsorship, incentives, training, but one would agree that the NATION's STATION must take the lead in employing, training. For instance, who presently in the media has been formally trained up to a diploma or degree level in Mass communications?
It is because I love DBS just as the former educationist who always calls to correct the use of grammar and pronunciations. We just want them to do better. It's clear this time around, DBS must take the lead and in this case, the others will be forced to follow.