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Helloooooo! I had a hard time settling on what my AMA would be about, especially since people are multi-faceted and one specific thing doesn't define them. But I settled with this because not many people know others who are in broadcasting or journalism!

So a bit of background...I've worked in radio for all of my adult life. I started off in music radio and worked there for 9 years, starting as an intern and then working my way up. I transitioned my career into journalism after that, primarily in radio but with other mediums as well.

Feel free to ask me anything you'd like to know about working in radio or journalism!

<3

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What do you find most fascinating about journalism, and what made you transition from ‘regular’ radio broadcasting?
Hi Pixie! I hope this question isn't too political, and feel free to not answer if you think your answer will lean too far in that direction.

Recently a lot of people have lost faith in the news. Even I question a lot of reporting because even if journalists are reporting the facts as they know them, I can't help but wonder if they've been deliberately been given a skewed version of the truth. What has this challenge been like, and any do you have any other insider opinions?
How did you actually get into the broadcasting and journalism world, if you don't mind me asking? If you've been in it for that long, I would guess that you didn't just start a blog. Heh. Did you apply to the radio station specifically or get placed there?
MissPixie Topic Starter

LittleLilac wrote:
What do you find most fascinating about journalism, and what made you transition from ‘regular’ radio broadcasting?

For me, the most fascinating thing about journalism is definitely being a running chronicle of history and even how journalism itself has changed overtime. There are a lot of things that have happened throughout the course of history that if there wasn't some form of journalism to record the events, it might've become lost over time. So it's interesting to me to be able to go back and look at old articles or listen to old broadcasts to observe how journalism is different and how it's changed.

I transitioned from music radio to journalism because the job that I moved for fell through. And with the changes that were happening in the radio industry, it made it exceptionally hard to get a job in music radio with a decent enough wage to live off of. Towards the end of my music radio career, I had already started leaning more into journalism, so that helped me to land a job where I currently am. The pay and job stability was a lot better compared to any other offers I got in music radio.

Thank you for asking insightful questions! :D
MissPixie Topic Starter

Claine wrote:
Hi Pixie! I hope this question isn't too political, and feel free to not answer if you think your answer will lean too far in that direction.

Recently a lot of people have lost faith in the news. Even I question a lot of reporting because even if journalists are reporting the facts as they know them, I can't help but wonder if they've been deliberately been given a skewed version of the truth. What has this challenge been like, and any do you have any other insider opinions?

I'm so glad you asked this question! Journalism, in its most true form, is just the fact and presents both sides of the story and is neutral/devoid of opinions. It's meant to present information and let the viewer/reader form their own opinions. Of course there are exceptions where both sides can't be presented, such as "the other side" not commenting or refusing to answer - and if that's the case, it would be noted in the story that so-and-so has refused to comment or has not yet returned contact. Usually, if a journalist is given misleading information, it's pretty easy to realize this and fact-check it by consulting other sources, resources, etc. Depending on who or what the misleading information is about, or where it comes from, this could be a quick and easy process or something that's really long and drawn out and why you won't hear about it until years later. It's a frustrating thing all around, especially when given factually wrong information, but usually there's consequences for people who do that on purpose.

The stream of information from sources is also why during breaking news situations, there's not a lot of information or some mistakes made in stories because things change as they develop, not everything is going to be known right away, news can't report on hear-say and we have to wait for actual information to come out. Mistakes happen, sometimes we're given wrong information and report it because there was no reason to suspect that what we're given is wrong.

Another thing to factor in is that with the rise of social media and internet blogging, a lot of people have deemed themselves "journalists" or "reporters" when that's not the case at all. And then you have some media companies who try to present themselves as news, but they have an agenda or specific that they're trying to push. So people see these stories and take it as is. I think people have also started gravitating towards information sources that confirm their views and beliefs, which has also lead to mistrust in other sources. From my experience, opinion pieces are known and labeled as such, so that people who take in that information know that it's just this person's opinion. If they're not, then they're intentionally trying to be deceptive towards their consumers.

I hope this answers the question sufficiently! If not, feel free to ask follow up questions! :D
MissPixie Topic Starter

Shinyrainbowlithogra wrote:
How did you actually get into the broadcasting and journalism world, if you don't mind me asking? If you've been in it for that long, I would guess that you didn't just start a blog. Heh. Did you apply to the radio station specifically or get placed there?

I got into broadcasting because I applied for an unpaid internship for the morning show at my favorite radio on a whim and got accepted. I can't quite remember what the credentials were, but I know that personality and work ethic played into it a lot because they wanted someone who would continue in radio afterwards. Before the internship was over, there were job openings at the radio company that I applied for and I got hired. So there was a point where I was going in for the morning show, going to school, then coming back to the station in the evening for my paid job. And even after my internship ended, I stuck with the morning show for an additional year (unpaid) to keep learning. I eventually got promoted and worked my way up to other jobs within the radio company that I was working for until I left on my own choice to further my career elsewhere.

For my internship, that was applied for with the radio station specifically. For my current job, I was recommended to the managers at the current station I work for after I was let go from another station due to budget cuts. Unfortunate, but job loss due to budget cuts is a highly common thing in broadcasting.
This is quite interesting MsPixie! I’ve dabbled in radio and broadcasting myself as a teenager, volunteering for a community radio station In Seattle (KRAB 107.7 FM). Of course broadcast radio changed a lot since then as I found out when I volunteered a couple years back at 4ZzZ in Brisbane

My question(s) are about your morning show experience... we’re you on-air or off-air (support)? And... did they still do remote air-checks?
Sanne Moderator

Aaah this is so cool!!

What's the most surprising thing you learned about this industry after you joined it?
MissPixie wrote:
Shinyrainbowlithogra wrote:
How did you actually get into the broadcasting and journalism world, if you don't mind me asking? If you've been in it for that long, I would guess that you didn't just start a blog. Heh. Did you apply to the radio station specifically or get placed there?

I got into broadcasting because I applied for an unpaid internship for the morning show at my favorite radio on a whim and got accepted. I can't quite remember what the credentials were, but I know that personality and work ethic played into it a lot because they wanted someone who would continue in radio afterwards. Before the internship was over, there were job openings at the radio company that I applied for and I got hired. So there was a point where I was going in for the morning show, going to school, then coming back to the station in the evening for my paid job. And even after my internship ended, I stuck with the morning show for an additional year (unpaid) to keep learning. I eventually got promoted and worked my way up to other jobs within the radio company that I was working for until I left on my own choice to further my career elsewhere.

For my internship, that was applied for with the radio station specifically. For my current job, I was recommended to the managers at the current station I work for after I was let go from another station due to budget cuts. Unfortunate, but job loss due to budget cuts is a highly common thing in broadcasting.

Thank you!! That's really neat. :)
MissPixie Topic Starter

Rogue-Scribe wrote:
This is quite interesting MsPixie! I’ve dabbled in radio and broadcasting myself as a teenager, volunteering for a community radio station In Seattle (KRAB 107.7 FM). Of course broadcast radio changed a lot since then as I found out when I volunteered a couple years back at 4ZzZ in Brisbane

My question(s) are about your morning show experience... we’re you on-air or off-air (support)? And... did they still do remote air-checks?

For the morning that I worked at, I started off-air mainly doing paperwork, commercial logs, creating the games that we used to give away prizes. Then I made a few guest appearances, only coming on to comment on things now and again. When I finally got hired on as a paid producer, I also got a weekend on-air shift (solo hosting). So since I was on the weekends, I commented and was brought on to talk more during the morning show. I would also fill in for one of the regular hosts for the entire shift if they were out sick or on vacation.

I'm not sure what you mean by remote air-checks because to me, the terminology of air-check means a performance review with a boss that randomly pulls part of your shift and listens to it with you while you get critiqued. And remotes to me mean showing up someplace to broadcast from somewhere else that's not the station, like at a concert venue before a concert, or from a place that's a station-sponsored event. Or remotes could also mean showing up to a place of business, setting up a tent, and handing out prizes to people who show up.

As far as I know, air-checks still happen. And remotes still happen, but far less frequently and people who are on air rarely show up to them unless it's broadcasting live for one reason or another due to staffing cuts and most radio stations operating on bare bones staff.
MissPixie Topic Starter

Sanne wrote:
Aaah this is so cool!!

What's the most surprising thing you learned about this industry after you joined it?

I think the most surprising thing is how drastically different everyone looks compared to how they sound. I always imagine people look a certain way based on voice alone, so seeing them and seeing that they looked completely different compared to what I imagined was a bit of a shocker. When I started in radio, selfies and websites and social media weren't really a huge integral part of daily operations. So there was no real way to look up the people I heard or see what they looked like before meeting them.
The Quotes
MissPixie wrote:
Rogue-Scribe wrote:
This is quite interesting MsPixie! I’ve dabbled in radio and broadcasting myself as a teenager, volunteering for a community radio station In Seattle (KRAB 107.7 FM). Of course broadcast radio changed a lot since then as I found out when I volunteered a couple years back at 4ZzZ in Brisbane

My question(s) are about your morning show experience... we’re you on-air or off-air (support)? And... did they still do remote air-checks?

For the morning that I worked at, I started off-air mainly doing paperwork, commercial logs, creating the games that we used to give away prizes. Then I made a few guest appearances, only coming on to comment on things now and again. When I finally got hired on as a paid producer, I also got a weekend on-air shift (solo hosting). So since I was on the weekends, I commented and was brought on to talk more during the morning show. I would also fill in for one of the regular hosts for the entire shift if they were out sick or on vacation.

I'm not sure what you mean by remote air-checks because to me, the terminology of air-check means a performance review with a boss that randomly pulls part of your shift and listens to it with you while you get critiqued. And remotes to me mean showing up someplace to broadcast from somewhere else that's not the station, like at a concert venue before a concert, or from a place that's a station-sponsored event. Or remotes could also mean showing up to a place of business, setting up a tent, and handing out prizes to people who show up.

As far as I know, air-checks still happen. And remotes still happen, but far less frequently and people who are on air rarely show up to them unless it's broadcasting live for one reason or another due to staffing cuts and most radio stations operating on bare bones staff.


Ah yes... the power of a word. I am familiar with the two terms of which you speak. I was thinking more of the tech side and the word I should have used instead of ‘air’ was ‘signal’ .. as in remote signal checks, or transmission signal monitoring. The engineer at KRAB called them ‘air checks’ which he shortened from ‘over-the-air signal checking’ of the actual broadcast signal put out by the transmitter. Of course we were using a vintage (by 1970’s standards) transmitter and the instances of ‘dead-air’ tended to happen a bit more often.

A follow-up questions on your journalism side. ...
What is your most interesting story you reported on?
Have you ever had a ‘scoop’ of your own?
MissPixie Topic Starter

Oh! Yes. I had to do transmitter readings and logs as part of the job for sure. But now most of the tech stuff is handled strictly by engineers since the equipment has gotten a lot more sensitive and technical. Like, just pushing the wrong button can shut down the transmitter permanently instead of getting a reading.


It's hard to pin-point the most interesting story I've reported on. In the 9 years of me working at the news station, a lot has happened. I think the most interesting part about the job is when other news outlets, like the BBC and such, call me and I get to be chatting about a story internationally. One of those stories happened to be about the power company doing preventative power shut offs during high wind no rain weather events so that more wildfires wouldn't spark. Basically, they were mandatory outages that people had to prep for. And so when it was announced and when it happened for the first time, I was going a lot of chats with other news outlets around the world to give the story.

I've had several scoops that turned out to be really big story. The most recent one was when I found out that San Francisco and the neighboring counties were going into lockdown due to the pandemic before it was officially announced in mid-March, so we were the first station to report it.
That is awesome! One more question before I leave the mic.
How did/do you see the future of traditional AM and FM broadcast radio with so many streaming and satellite radio service options out there?
MissPixie Topic Starter

Interestingly enough, every 10 years or so, there's this swell of panic about how the radio industry is dying due to technology and what have you. While it has changed a lot of things, especially in regards to how radio is available now, it still remains a viable business - especially in regards to news. The radio station that I work for simulcasts on an AM and FM signal, and we're also streaming via online platforms/apps and smart speakers.
Streaming and satellite is cool and all, but people always fall back to live local radio - especially during times of natural disasters where they want to be the most informed about things. Plus, it's free.

Interestingly enough, with the change of streaming and satellite options, it has changed the way ratings are done. Previously, it was done by people filling out surveys and the amount of people responded with they're listening to your station, etc. But now, with all the technology, we can track how many people are listening and HOW LONG they're listening.

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