PRESENTING THE NEWS

16     Newsreading mechanics

‘Radio news is bearable. This is due to the fact that while the news is being broadcast the DJ is not allowed to talk.’

– FRAN LEBOWITZ

Speed

The acceptable pace of newsreading, like hemlines, seems to go up and down with fashion. My first attempt at newsreading was giving the headlines at the end of a half-hour radio programme. I was told to go at it as fast as I could and duly complied. That evening, still flushed with pride and wonder, I asked a friend what she had made of my debut as a newsreader. ‘Couldn’t understand a word of it,’ she said, with characteristic bluntness, ‘you were gabbling.’

The right reading pace is one which is comfortable for the reader, clear to the listener, and ...

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