Announcing is a profession inherent in the field of Radio, it was born with it. When television emerged, the main component of this new medium was images in motion, with or without a voice to support them. A good television program, in my opinion, needs to be understood by way of animated images that can do without voice. If the story told on television is understood only by way of images in motion and gestures, then we are in the presence of a legitimate televisual product. That’s why should differentiate between what is “transmissible” – which is everything – and what can be broadcast by television and radio, two categories that depend on the adequate use of the codes of each medium in particular.
In the case of television, placing a man or woman announcer, presenters, interviewers and interviewees in front of a camera, without resources like atmosphere, appropriate gestures and adequate set design, is nothing but “making radio visible,” although I admit that many interesting things can be said. This can be done, provided it‘s justified. An announcer on camera telling news is nothing but “televised radio” unless there are images supporting them: they are the protagonists. Radio, however, relies on voices, while other resources like music and effects are supporting sounds. The voices of presenters are in charge of suggesting images, and if they don’t succeed, their objective is not achieved either.
For Cuban Radio, it’s a cause for satisfaction to celebrate Presenters’ Day on December 1st. Over its more than 88 years of existence we have inherited talented presenters, which justifies our pride. From the long list of names, we should mention those of German Pinelli, Consuelito Vidal, Ibrahim Urbino, Bellita Borges, Dinorah del Real and many more of yesterday and today, as well as others who, though less known nationally, have established guidelines in municipalities and provinces that many others follow.
We have been celebrating this day for years, and satisfaction increased with the announcement of the recent creation of the Federation of Spanish American Broadcasters, which declared July 27 as the Spanish-American Announcing Day.
In addition to justified joy, every new celebration demands facing up new challenges. The profession of broadcasters should always be respected in all of its dignity, and that respect starts at home. Why? Because presenters –men and women- see to it that it is so. Perseverance and love towards their profession as well as their eagerness to better themselves are their main mottoes.
For a long time now, radio in Cuba organizes makeup and advanced courses to which resources and experts are destined. This is commendable, although the interest to improve their skills should come from presenters themselves. It is absolutely necessary to eradicate “vocal showing offs” and prioritize – so it increases – the quality of speech, which is good, but that can and should be even better. It is not merely a matter of insisting on presenters so they attend lectures and workshops, but the other way around, that is, they should look for them and try to learn something new every day, in addition to trying to be updated in all the fields of knowledge possible.
Self-satisfaction damages all human activities. To believe that you’re “the best among the best” makes you stop and stagnate, it generates a concept of self-satisfaction that does not exist -even though some wrongly refer to the “satisfied self-satisfied,” a description I consider stupid- since there is always something you need to learn, even from the lesser-known or famous people. The best school is life, practice, trying to be better as a natural tendency, and contact with people, which always teaches you a lot.
I wouldn’t like to be labeled as hypercritical; it is not my intention. We have enough reasons to be proud -not every reason like some are accustomed to saying, since reason, truth and good things are never unnecessary- and these reasons acquire greater meaning and validity if deep inside us there’s the conviction that we can achieve a qualitatively better announcing with every day that passes.
A Happy Day for Cuban Presenters!
Translated by Daysi Olano