With their great power to reach people and to affect them, radio and television help to shape our society and our culture. In similar, if sometimes less obvious ways, other media and arts constantly touch us and affect us -whether through music, drama, or the graphic arts. Much of the impact that we feel from all of these fields is made possible by technology that came about only during this century and that continues to develop rapidly. Broadcast, media, and art technicians play a crucial role in making this changing array of methods and machines work on a day-to-day basis. They operate new and complex equipment, and they help solve the problems that inevitably arise as new generations of technology are introduced.
Duties of a Radio Broadcaster
As part of the radio careers of the radio broadcasters and technicians, they operate, maintain, repair, set up, and monitor the over-all radio programming, and occasionally help design the electronic, electrical, and mechanical equipment used to help make a wide variety of kinds of entertainment and communication possible. Moreover, many of these broadcasters and technicians are involved with broadcasting live radio jobs and television programs or with recording broadcasts for later transmission. These technicians work in studios with cameras, sound equipment, lights, and at transmitter sites with transmitters and microwave equipment. They also work at remote locations with portable cameras, microphones, lights, and communication links to the main station. Other media and arts technicians may be involved with educational efforts, helping to operate equipment or perform other technical services in schools, museums, or planetariums. Media and arts technicians may also be involved with the equipment and techniques required for printing books, developing photographs, or presenting live entertainment. Interestingly, several of the technician occupations are involved with photography. Some of the principles of photography can be traced back to the sixteenth century. The growing use of cameras has been accompanied by an increased sophistication in the workings of cameras and of the equipment used to develop film. Today, photographic equipment must be serviced by trained technicians. Likewise, laboratories that develop film rely more and more on sophisticated equipment and skilled technicians to operate the equipment and oversee photofinishing processes.
Furthermore, most of the remaining technicians work in a broad area sometimes in this referred to as craft technology. There are workers who have combined a craft working skill with some form of specialized training. In many ways, these workers are the descendants of traditional craft workers who used methods handed down from generation to generation or through apprenticeships organized by craft guilds in order to provide high quality radio station jobs to the clients. Furthermore, broadcasters and technicians work in a wide variety of settings, including the broadcast studio itself. There they may set up lights, microphones, and cameras; or they may operate a control-room console, selecting the pictures and sound that go on the air, switching from camera to camera, from the studio to recorded video or audio material, or from the studio to remote location transmissions.
In the radio employment as a team, broadcasters and technicians are working at remote sites, broadcasting a sports event or a live interview or news event, unloading and setting up their equipment, locating a telephone transmission link to the studio or setting up a microwave transmitter, and test their equipment and transmission link before broadcasting. They may go on location with only a reporter, and in this situation, they have to perform all technical functions of the broadcast. Broadcast technicians working in large urban stations will generally find that their work is specialized. However, they may also find that they move from area to area frequently as the station rotates responsibilities, varying work tasks and ensuring the widest possible experience within the technical staff. In smaller stations, technicians often perform many technical functions within one day’s shift, from maintaining equipment to cueing and playing recordings or films.
In radio job, probably the most demanding technical work, broadcast technicians have to perform the installation and the maintenance of the complex electronic equipment that is the heart of a broadcasting facility. Because the technology of broadcasting is constantly changing, this occupies a considerable part of their off-the-air working time. People who are interested in becoming broadcast technicians should have a sincere interest in electronic devices, be above average in intelligence, and capable of learning radio repairing and radio communication. They should be in good health, have sound vision and hearing, and have a keen sensitivity in dealing with different people.
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