Tuesday, July 6, 2021 7:18 am
Radio Presenters, Stop Killing Us
By Ifemesia Iferenta
The kind of often putrid English that assails our ears from the radio these days is scandalous!
Do they audition presenters for pronunciation/grammar checks anymore! Why so much awful English annexing the airwaves????
I remember vividly in 1995 when I commenced commercial broadcast presentation on OGBC 2 FM (which was then the,NUMBER ONE radio station in Lagos and the entire South-West), the standards were so breathtakingly high!
When I arrived the OGBC 2 broadcast complex at Abeokuta that year, despite the fact that I was already well-known and was given celebrity treatment on arrival, yet, the management asked Toyin Sogbesan and Busayo Olaifa to subject me to a pronunciation grill.
On my arrival at the,OGBC, one of the reporters at the station,, Timi (author of the book, “AMAZING FACTS AND ACTS”), was so excited to see me that he quickly fished out press clippings on me he had been collecting for a good while. I was humbled, quite! But all that did not rescue me from being given an austere pronunciation test with a battery of rather exotic words. I had to wade through this drudgery before I was given the thumbs up to go on air, and this was despite the fact that I was to present a SPONSORED program, (“RADIOVIDEO”), I had created!!!!
When I later started presenting my independent commercial programs on OGTV (also in Abeokuta), the presentation standards were so high that I might have been presenting on BBC!!!
When I subsequently ‘decamped’ to Lagos Weekend Television (LTV 8) in 1998 and started presenting my popular, box office home video program, MEGA MOVIE LIVE every saturday morning (syndicated on both EKO FM and OGBC 2 as “RADIOVIDEO”), the standards were so painstakingly rigorous that you could not survive more than one edition if your pronunciation dripped misdeamenours!
During my broadcast stint at Premier FM, Ibadan, and other FRCN stations,
horrendous pronunciation and half- baked, slip-slop grammar were anathema. The FRCN stations were particularly and punctiliously strict on this. They will brusquely yank you off the air for polluting their airwaves!
I remember on one occasion when I mispronounced the word “BLACK MARIA” live on air (pronouncing the word as it was spelt). Immediately I signed off, a livid-looking Head of Presentation was waiting for me outside the studio and gave me a nice little homily on that!
But today, broadcast standards have fluttered away with the contumacious winds, plummeting to an all-time low! Repugnantly BAD grammar and awful pronunciation rules the airwaves today with braggadocio! It is a nightmare to listen to many radio presenters today (including even some Duty Continuity Announcers, DCAs)! What a national disaster!
(My picture here in the radio studio is a recent one while presenting my new independent book and reading culture programme,, Bookataria, on Harmony FM 103.5 and TNT 102. 5 FM between 2017 and 2019, sponsored by a coalition of book stakeholders)