Arizona Public Media
AZPM on Facebook AZPM on Twitter AZPM on YouTube AZPM on Google+ AZPM on Instagram

AZ Week Notebook – January 6th, 2011


When it comes to broadcasting, I can find NPR on the car radio and have almost mastered the TV remote control, fully capable of setting it to digitally record and eventually play back a wide range of programs. Those skills were the extent of my broadcasting experience, until very recently.

"We can teach you the broadcasting part," Arizona Public Media News Director Peter Michaels said in our early discussions about my taking on the Arizona Week gig.

Indeed, the teaching and subsequent learning are big, big parts of it, all designed to bring good journalism to the fore.

Each day, I spend considerable time in front of the camera and lights practicing being natural as I read my scripts on the Teleprompter. Each day, a patient studio crew critiques, coaches and encourages me en route to the program's debut on Jan. 14.

Today, we added a new element. I spent nearly an hour in a closed-loop radio booth wearing a headset that allowed me to hear my voice the way others hear it. I worked to replace my monotone with inflection and the somewhat leisurely cadence of my speech with something approaching the subtly urgent tone that newscasters have. I read the script over and over, until my voice was on the edge of hoarseness.

All the practice has as its goal my ability to put my best face and voice forward when we go on the air a week from Friday.

About AZ Week Notebook

News and commentary from Arizona Week producer/host Michael Chihak and interns Melanie Huonker and Lucy Valencia.