The Linda Gage Memorial Award


It is always gratifying to find that so many contestants have entered the Linda Gage Memorial Award. Entries have come from all parts of the United Kingdom and the Irish Republic.

The entries, quite rightly, cover a variety of topics. They range from the intriguing and well produced 'Children of Chaos' by Maiko Nishiyama and Kirsten J. Beasty (University of Westminster) which makes good use of sound effects and music, to an investigation into the cause and effect of 'El Nino' by Katie Keward (City University).

There are, however, several important points to be made, which both contestants and lecturers should bear in mind.

Voice Presentation
If candidates intend to follow a career in radio or television, they must always remember that their voice is an essential attribute. You may have a very important story, but unless listeners can understand clearly and easily what is being said, that story is valueless. More attention should be paid to writing the script. It should be brief, clear and use logic to carry the story forward. Grammar should not be ignored.

Before a script is recorded, it should be read aloud several times, until the reader feels comfortable with it. Words and phrases that look fine on the page can present difficulties that a little re-writing may fix. How something is said is often as important as what is said.

Candidates must spend time on learning how to use their voices using variations in pace and speed and strategically placed pauses.

They must learn how to 'tell' a story and not just read a script.

Many candidates have good stories but failed to keep the topic clearly in mind. They wandered off the main lines of the story. Tight editing was required but not executed.

The story must always be kept in focus. It is easy to lose the attention of the listener.

Brian Hayes/Lawrie Douglas
June 1998

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