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Radio Project. This icon indicates that teacher’s notes are available in the Notes Page. For more detailed instructions, see the Getting Started presentation. This icon indicates that a useful web address is included in the Notes page.

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radio project

Radio Project

This icon indicates that teacher’s notes are available in the Notes Page.

For more detailed instructions, see the Getting Started presentation.

This icon indicates that a useful web address is included in the Notes page.

This icon indicates the slide contains activities created in Flash. These activities are not editable.



In this unit you will be studying the radio as a form of media. You will look at different radio stations, how radio programmes are created, and what goes into them. You will also create a radio show of your own.

Before you can plan and tape your own radio programme, you will need to understand some more about how these programmes are created. You will be learning about:

  • target audience
  • the role of the D.J.
  • the play list
  • creating news bulletins, advertisements and interviews.

Radio and the Media

Radio and the media

Radio is very different from other forms of media, such as television, cinema or magazines. Write down your ideas about how it is different on the brainstorm below.

It incorporates a variety of media, such as adverts and music.

You hear rather than see it.

It is relatively cheap to produce, compared to television or cinema.

Listeners can often contribute directly, e.g. on ‘phone ins’.

You can do other things while listening to it.


Radio stations

There are lots of different radio stations available for us to listen to.

  • National radio stations are available throughout the U.K. An example of a national station is Radio One, run by the BBC.
  • Regional or local stations serve a specific community and cannot be picked up outside a particular area. An example of a local station is Capital Radio in London.
  • Pirate radio stations are generally run by individuals, who set up their equipment without a licence, and are therefore working illegally. One of the first pirate radio stations was Radio Caroline. This station was run offshore, from a ship.

Radio stations

Radio stations fall into two categories, depending on whether they are run for profit, or as part of a public service (i.e. the BBC).

  • Public Service radio stations are funded through the television licence fee. They are designed to serve the wider community and do not make a profit. Because of this, they do not need to broadcast advertisements.
  • Commercial radio stations are intended to make a profit. They broadcast advertisements and will sometimes run competitions where listeners can win large sums of money. They need to attract large numbers of listeners so that advertisers will want to run their adverts on that particular station.

Radio stations

What are your favourite radio stations? Write the names on the brainstorm below.

Favourite Radio Stations


Target audience

As with any form of media, radio stations and the programmes on them aim to attract or appeal to a specific target audience. Their target audience might be:

  • a specific age of listener, e.g. teenagers and youngadults, or pensioners and the over 50’s
  • a particular part of the community, e.g. Black or Asianpeople
  • people from a particular ‘family type’, e.g. mothers withyoung children, single people
  • people who like a specific type of music, e.g. R&B, jazz, easy listening.

Target audience

When you create your own radio show, you will need to think carefully about what your target audience is going to be. The target audience you aim to appeal to will have an impact on:

  • the type of music you play
  • the advertisements that you run
  • the competitions that you create
  • the type and amount of news and sports coverage
  • the style that you or your D.J. uses to perform
  • the people who you might choose to interview.

The D.J.

Presenters on the radio are often known as ‘D.J.s’. The Disc Jockey, or D.J., is the person who presents the radio programme, introducing the music tracks, interviewing any guests, and so on.

Many radio stations now use two D.J.s, particularly to present their morning shows. Often, the two presenters will have contrasting styles, or may be male and female, giving them a wider appeal to different listeners.

Although nowadays radio stations use CDs to play their music, we can still see the original type of D.J. on the club scene, where mixing vinyl has become an art form.


The D.J.

D.J.s use many different styles, and before you create your own programme you will need to decide what style you are going to adopt. Here are some aspects of style for you to think about:

  • Are you going to talk a lot, or simply introduce the music tracks?
  • Are you going to have a cool, calm persona, or a more lively and enthusiastic one?
  • Will you work with a partner whose style contrasts well with yours?
  • What target audience is your style designed to appeal to?

The play list

The play list is a list of tracks which a radio station will be playing at any one time. Some stations have a limited range of tracks that they play, mostly those songs that are currently in the charts. Other stations play a wider variety of music, some current, and some from previous decades.

For a band trying to sell their current single, getting on the play list of a top radio station can be crucial. It is usually very difficult for an unknown band to get ‘air time’.

When you are creating the play list for your own radio show, you will need to decide whether to include one style of music, or a mixture. Again, bear your target audience in mind.


Programme content

In the next part of this unit, we will be looking at what you might include in your own radio programme. Here are some ideas for you to be thinking about:

  • music
  • advertisements
  • interviews with celebrities / important news figures
  • news and sports bulletins
  • travel and weather reports
  • local information.

Programme content

Complete the following activities to help you prepare for making your own radio show:

  • Listen carefully to a radio programme of your choice. Make notes about what is included. Are there adverts, interviews, competitions, music tracks? How long does each of these last?
  • Find three different radio stations and decide what their target audiences are.
  • Listen to at least two different D.J.s. Make notes on their styles.

The jingle

A ‘jingle’ is a short piece of music (or a catchphrase). Radio stations will often have a ‘station jingle’, and also a jingle for each individual programme. Here are some points to consider when creating your jingle:

  • It needs to be short and catchy, so that your listeners willremember it. It could rhyme to make it more memorable.
  • It should sum up the appeal of your station or your radioshow to your target audience.
  • It might be set to music, or it could simply be a phrasethat you use to describe your station.
  • You should use it at various points during yourprogramme, almost like a punctuation mark.

The jingle

Below you will see some examples of jingles for imaginary radio stations. As you read them, try to imagine how they might be said or sung.

Radio Seven

It’s my idea of Heaven

Radio Blue

Comin’ to you

With the morning crew

Manchester FM

FM for music

FM for magic


The jingle

Now it’s your turn to practise creating a jingle. Write jingles for each of the stations / programmes listed below:

  • Jazz Radio – a late night show that presents the latestjazz tracks.
  • Radio Dublin – a lunchtime programme for students andyoung people.
  • Somerset FM – a morning show, giving news for farmersand other local people.
  • Radio Eight – a late night sports programme.

The music

Now start to think about what kind of music you are going to play on your radio show. Remember, you must ensure that you appeal to your target audience. Brainstorm your favourite tracks below.

Favourite Music Tracks


The music

When you introduce a piece of music on your radio show, you need to think carefully about how you are going to do it. Your listeners will want to know the name of the track, and who is performing it. You might also want to give them an idea of your opinion about the track.

Radio presenters will sometimes allow listeners to phone in and dedicate a track to someone, perhaps for their birthday, or some other occasion. You might decide to do this in your own radio show. Remember, too, that the way you present the music will be a big part of your style, and must appeal to your target audience.


The music

Here are some examples of how you could introduce some imaginary tracks.

Here’s the latest kickin’

tune from Slim Gal Tubby.

This one goes out to all the

crew at Mixers Niteclub

with love from Adele.

Know you’re gonna love it.

This is 'Kickin’ up a Storm'.

Have you heard the new

song from The Spicey Boys?

Just out on their new label,

this is 'Lovin’ u 4ever'.

Give us a call and let

us know what you think.

We really like it here!


The music

Here are some activities to help you develop your skills as a D.J., and learn how to present music on your radio show:

  • Practise presenting each of the tracks you listed on your ‘favourite music tracks’ brainstorm. You could work in groups to devise your introduction, then perform them to the class.
  • Now choose one of the tracks and try to come up with five different ways of introducing it. Use different styles, dedications, and so on.

News and sports bulletins

The vast majority of radio stations provide their listeners with news and sports bulletins, usually on the hour or the half hour, i.e. at 9am or 9.30am and so on.

  • How will a radio bulletin differ from a television news report?
  • What might be the difference between news / sports on a national and a local radio station?
  • Why might a radio station use a different presenter for their show and their bulletins?

Travel and weather reports

Radio can be a very useful source of information for drivers and other travellers. They can’t watch a television report while on the move, but they can listen to the radio.

Radio offers a very immediate form of reporting. As soon as the news of a traffic jam or bad weather is given to the radio station, it can be reported to the listeners.

Travel and weather reports tend to follow the news and sports bulletins, although they may interrupt a programme for an important bulletin. These reports will normally be brief and, if your radio station is a local one, will focus mainly on the local traffic and weather conditions.


Travel and weather reports

Most radio stations are sent traffic and weather information by the police and by the regional weather centres. Some radio stations will also have their own helicopters or reporters on motorcycles, who can give detailed and up to date local information, particularly during the morning and evening rush hours.

Radio stations based in large towns, will also give information about public transport, letting their listeners know about any delays on the trains, tubes or buses.

Regional radio stations based near the coast may also give information on high tides, and on conditions at sea.


Travel and weather reports

Below are examples of the type of information that might be sent to a radio station by the police / weather centres. Write your own reports making them as detailed and imaginative as you can. Try to add a little of your own style, rather than just reporting the information.

Traffic - Collision, Junction 3 of the M4. Three lorries involved. Chemical spillage. Big queues expected.

Weather - High winds, possibly gales. Force 6 - 9. Storm front moving in from the west. Heavy rain expected.

Traffic - Roadworks on the A571. Traffic jams expected. Traffic lights not working on the B690.

Weather - Sunshine and showers. Rain becoming heavier during the day. Possible ground frost tonight as skies clear.



There are many different types of radio interviews, depending on the station and the programme where they are taking place. If you decide to include interviews in your radio show, think carefully about whom your target audience would be interested in hearing.

On commercial music stations, interviews tend to be with musicians or bands who are ‘plugging’ their latest single. The presenter will have a brief discussion with the singer, which is usually followed by playing their new single, perhaps live.

On current affairs programmes, interviews may be held with politicians, writers, and so on. These interviews will usually be in more depth and will discuss the issues raised in detail.



Working with a partner, choose one of the interviewees and subjects below. Then, either improvise your interview, or write a script and then rehearse it.

The Prime Minister - Discussing a new policy on crime.

A famous singer - Talking about his / her latest single.

A well known writer - Discussing his / her new book.


A famous footballer - Talking about how the team is getting on and the most recent match.



As we have already seen, adverts are found on commercial radio stations. The advertisers will look carefully at the target audience before deciding to place an advert on a particular radio station.

Regional radio stations tend to carry more local adverts, and generally speaking less money is spent on producing these.

Because of the nature of radio, and the fact that is heard rather than seen, the voice in the advert is very important. Advertisers will sometimes choose a well known voice to present their advert, perhaps someone connected with the product they are selling. For instance, a famous television gardener might be paid to record an advertisement for a garden centre.



When you are creating adverts for your own radio show, you should bear the following points in mind:

  • Try to make your advert as memorable or catchy as possible. Use music if you can. Adverts that rhyme, or use a catchphrase, are generally easier to remember.
  • Keep the advert short and snappy. The longer an advert is, the more the advertisers have to pay for it.
  • Think carefully about the type of advertisers who would use your radio station / programme. What is your target audience? What products would they be likely to buy?
  • If you are good at doing impersonations, why not mimic a famous person who might advertise this particular product?


Working with a partner, create an advert for one of the products below, writing a script and then performing your advert to the class.

A new French restaurant with a celebrity chef.

A garage that specialises in repairing bodywork on cars.

A night club advertising a special ‘ladies night’.

A national chain of supermarkets.



As with adverts, competitions are more usually found on commercial radio stations, and some radio stations offer large cash prizes as an incentive. They are an excellent way for a radio station to encourage its listeners to become regulars.

Some of the most commonly used competitions are:

  • Answering questions to win a prize.
  • Putting a sticker from the radio station on a car. If the listener’s car is spotted with the sticker, the owner wins a prize.
  • Phoning in when you hear a particular track. (This is an excellent way to make people keep listening to a station.)

Structuring your show

Now you are almost ready to write your radio show. However, it is essential that you structure your programme carefully first. It will need to have a clear beginning, middle and end. In order to do this, it is a good idea to make a plan. In your plan, you should include:

  • Notes about the order that the items will come in.
  • Information about how you will open and end the show. Remember, an exciting opening is important to grab the listeners!
  • Rough timings of each item.
  • A good balance between music and talk. You can’t just play your favourite tracks, then sit back and relax!

Writing a script

Now that you have learnt more about radio programmes, you are ready to write a script for your own show. Remember to think carefully about the following points, which will all have an impact on the type of show you create:

  • Whether yours is a national or local station.
  • What your radio station and show are called.
  • What your target audience is.
  • What sort of style your D.J. or D.J.s are going to use.
  • What your play list is going to be.

Writing a script

When you write your show, use the correct layout, just as you would if writing a ‘normal’ script. Below is an example of how your script might start.

[Jingle - 'Enjoy your day the only way with Radio Happy Times'.]

Presenter: Hello and welcome to the morning show on Radio Happy Times. It’s a lovely sunny day here in Luton and what better way to start your day than with the fantastic new track from those gorgeous boys, EastWorld. This is called 'Moving Up'.

[Music Track - 'Moving Up' by EastWorld.]


Taping the programme

When you have finished writing your script you are ready to record it. While taping your show, make sure that you stop recording and rewind the tape to listen to what you have done at regular intervals.

  • Make sure that you have the following things ready:
  • Any tapes with jingles on them.
  • Any tapes or CDs of music that will be played on your show.
  • A decent tape recorder and blank tape.
  • A CD player, if you are including tracks from CDs in your show.
  • Your script, with one copy for each person and your lines highlighted so that you can see them easily.