Being Professional

These guidelines are from a handbook about Community Radio
a. Prepare for The Program
A radio program must present new ideas, information and points of view. Hence, an announcer should always read, research and secure information from reliable sources. He/she must organize the program well before going on air.

b. Do Research
The community broadcaster should look for new and useful information. A person cannot give new, interesting and comprehensive information if it is not researched and available. Radio requires a lot of fresh information every minute of airtime. A broadcaster can only inspire other people if he/she has something new or interesting to offer. The most persistent researcher and inquirer will some day end up as the most reliable source of information for other people.
c. Keep a Good Taste
The broadcaster should always choose wholesome topics, language, jokes and presentation. Obscenity, blasphemy, profanity and vulgarity have no place in broadcasting, much less in a community broadcast. Curse words are forbidden. Listeners, especially children and youth, should always be able to uphold the announcer as a model of propriety in action and language.
d. Tell the Truth
The announcer/reporter must report only facts gathered from reliable sources. If information has not been adequately researched and verified, the broadcasters should avoid using it on the air. If unverified
information needs to be aired for the sake of forewarning the people, the announcer should clearly identify those pieces of information that have not been checked for veracity.

e. Verify Information
The announcer should seek and check all information with the most credible sources such as libraries, books, knowledgeable persons, competent authorities, involved persons and the records of the event in question. Half-truths or distortions of the truth should not be allowed on the air.
f. Be Fair
A reporter shall avoid introducing his/her own bias, prejudice,
partiality, inclination or personal belief when reporting an event or
describing a situation. Objectivity shall never be compromised.
g. Maintain the Innocence of the Accused
Dealing with allegations and accusations always requires utmost care and integrity. The accuser should be clearly identified, including his/ her position and relation to the accused as well as clarifying his/her, possibly biased, viewpoint. A broadcaster shall bear in mind that a person is presumed innocent unless proven guilty. Cases pending in court are subjudice, that is, merits of the case cannot be discussed in public, particularly in the media. Reporting the records and facts of the case being tried is, however, allowed.
All sides of a controversial story should always be sought by the responsible broadcaster to balance the report.

h. Respect the Rights of Everybody
The urge, and even the right of the community to know, is not a license or the announcer to breach a person’s privacy. Information withheld by a person for personal or family reasons should not be transgressed
in the name of public information. A reporter should respect off-therecord information confided and entrusted to him/her by an interviewee.

i. Prefer the Positive/Constructive Approach
A positively minded announcer/reporter will find at least ten interesting and useful pieces of information for every major unsavory conflict. When dealing with a problem, the most important aspect is the discussion of solutions, suggestions, recommendations and possibilities for resolution.

j. Determine Hearsays, Gossips, And Rumors
There is a lot of unfounded information, rumor, hearsay, gossip and chatter delivered to radio station personnel. It is always tempting to repeat them on the air. However, all information should be validated
before it is aired. It is better to take time and validate information than be the first one to disseminate disinformation. The latter may also have legal consequences.

From How to do Community Radio

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