Electronic Journalism

Lesson 07 : Formats of Radio Programmes


A talk, not to be confused with a talk show -- a style of radio program that will be reviewed later in this module -- is a short, scripted story or commentary usually presented by the writer and based on personal experience, observation or analysis. It is often a personal account of the impact of an issue or event in someone's life. It may also be an opinion statement about a political, ethical or moral issue.

Talks can be used to highlight the impact of an issue on individuals or spark discussion on a topic. Generally, they are about two minutes long.

Structure of a Talk

An effective radio talk uses storytelling techniques to grab the listeners' attention and help them identify with an issue or experience. These techniques include:

  • A clear compelling introduction to hook the listener
  • Painting pictures with words so that the listener can imagine what is being described
  • A friendly, personal tone - not a patronizing or preachy tone - to make the listener feel the speaker is talking especially to her
  • Suspense, twists and surprises

Programs that use Talks

The following programs use talks to supplement or lead into stories:

  • Magazine programs
  • Talk shows

A news program may sometimes include a personal commentary about a current event or issue, but other kinds of talks do not usually appear in news shows.

These are the several types of formats that can appear in radio programs.

Last modified: Thursday, 29 March 2012, 7:48 AM