How to become a Radio Jockey (RJ)


There was a time when radio personalities were considered to be announcers and nothing more. It was only after 1999 that the popularity of radio shot up and the ‘announcers’ came to be known as Radio Jockeys (RJ). With the arrival of FM/AM channels, they became celebrities and enjoyed popularity among the masses.  Even today, radio is much loved among people because of the Radio Jockeys and their craft of bonding with the listeners. This also explains the sharp increase in the number of radio channels in the country. So, do you want to know how to become a Radio Jockey (RJ)?

This rise in number of channels has opened up the doors to new opportunities for the youth who are interested in mass media. A career as a radio jockey (RJ) can be a fascinating one and if you happen to be someone with a quirky personality and who loves to talk, this might just be the right career path for you.

However, one thing to keep in mind is that it’s not all fun and games. In fact, the job of an RJ is a very responsible one. They don’t simply entertain the masses by hosting music programmes or playing music but it is also up to them to inform and educate the people about important as well as regular events such as traffic updates. They also conduct interviews with celebrities and known personalities.

A mixer used by a radio jockey

Tips on how to become a Radio Jockey

Being an RJ is a talent based profession and much of it will depend on your skills and personality with your voice being the most powerful tool. But besides a pleasing voice, there are certain other skills that you must be adept in, such as:

Voice modulation

An RJ’s only connect to the listeners is their voice. How the listeners relate to the show will depend on what they say and more importantly, how they say it. Thus, it is important that RJs have a strong command over language as well as the subtle art of voice modulation. It also helps to create an environment that suits the different moods of the show.

Improvisation

RJs are humans as well and sometimes they make mistakes on-air. Moreover, radio jockeying is an interactive profession and live calls and music requests are a part of most radio programmes. This at times results in awkward situations and having good improvisation skills and presence of mind are a must to smoothly handle them.

Diplomacy

An RJ has to be diplomatic when tactfully covering up a mistake or dealing with difficult live callers. It is important that RJs do not lose their cool. Improvisation is necessary but not in a manner that is offensive to the listeners.

Script-writing

RJs often have to write their own scripts. While it isn’t necessary to be an expert or to prepare a word-to-word script, one should be able to come up with new ideas and a basic outline for the show. This also leaves room for a more natural flow.

Flexibility

Being an RJ is nothing like a routine job. You might have to host shows as late as 11:00 PM in the night or even as early as 6:00 AM in the morning.  Hence, it is important to be flexible with timings and be comfortable with working at odd hours.

In India, there aren’t many specialised radio jockey courses available. The three month certificate course at Jahangirabad Media Institute seeks to cover this gap by offering a course that is structured on industry insights and relevant