Every day, many people tune in to radio news. In Britain alone, every week over 12 million listen to news bulletins from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on five radio networks.
The language of the news media, especially of radio news, offers a number of areas which are worth researching and investigating. An investigation of the linguistic features of the language in radio news - similar to any other investigation - needs a definition of what is to be studied.
I will start by providing some background information to the topic radio', namely by summing up the most important events in the history of radio. After illustrating the most interesting turning points of the development of radio in the past, I will talk about radio news in general, before I will explain specific details about how to write and read a news text for a radio station. The last chapter includes full transcriptions of two radio texts and normal' newspaper texts as well as their analyses and comparisons. I will have a look at similarities and differences on radio writing and newspaper language.
2. The History of Radio
"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this?
And radio operates in the same way: You send signals here; they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat"
2.1 Samuel Morse
The first visible evidence of the history was the invention of an electromagnetic telegraph by Samuel Morse in 1836.
Morse, born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, was educated at Yale College and later became interested in chemical and electrical experiments. He also invented a code, now known as the Morse code, for use with his telegraph instrument. Samuel Morse tried without success to obtain European patents for his telegraph. (cf. Microsoft Encarta, 1994)(Source: Microsoft Encarta, 1994)
2.2 The following years
In 1873, the British physicist James Clerk-Maxwell announces the theory of electro-magnetic waves.
In 1888, Heinrich Hertz produces the first electro-magnetic waves by supplying an electric charge to a capacitor and then short-ciruiting it. The energy from the resulting spark is radiated in the form of electromagnetic waves and Hetz is able to measure the wavelength and velocity of these so-called Hertzian waves. In 1894, British physicist Sir Oliver Lodge uses a device called the coherer to detect the presence of radio waves and demonstrates that these waves could be used for signalling.
2.3 Guglielmo Marconi
Guglielmo Marconi (1874 - 1937), an Italian electrical engineer, was born in Bologna and educated at the University of Bologna. As early as 1890, he became interested in wireless telegraphy, and by 1895 he had developed an apparatus with which he succeeded in sending signals to a point a few kilometers away by means of a directional antenna. In 1899 he established communication across the English Channel between England and France, and in 1901 he communicated (Source: Microsoft Encarta, 1994) signals across the Atlantic Ocean between Poldhu, in Cornwall, England, and Saint John's, in Newfoundland, Canada. His system was soon adopted by the British and Italian navies, and by 1907 had been so much improved that transatlantic wireless telegraph service was established for public use. (cf. Microsoft Encarta, 1994)
In 1914, the thermionic valve could be used as a radio generator which produced a carrier wave capable of being modulated by speech.
Marconi transmitted speech over 50 miles.
This Marconi magnetic detector is a mechanical device with a clockwork.
This Marconi 10' induction coil was part of the Marconi emergency transmitter. (Source:...