By Dave Cupp, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
These are times of great change for those of us who have traditionally taught students how to create news stories for radio and television. We are now trying to prepare students as well for challenges posed by new platforms, which could fall under umbrellas labeled ‘electronic’ ‘online’ ‘emerging’ and/or ‘digital’. Indeed, we’re engaged in an RTVJ renaming discussion right now, trying to decide what we should call ourselves to better reflect our new reality.
As we retool our classes to include new skills, I hope we can also upgrade instruction in an area that I fear is too often neglected – voice. Whether our students are working on-air or online, if they are sharing their stories by speaking we should be helping them to speak more effectively.
To that end I’d like to get an exchange of ideas going, exploring best resources and best practices. If you’ve come across something that works well, I’d like to know what it is and I’m sure your colleagues would as well.
To get the ball rolling, here are a couple of suggestions:
Dr. Ann Utterback literally wrote the book on broadcast voice. The fifth edition of her Broadcast Voice Handbook contains the latest research on what broadcast news directors are seeking vocally in the people they hire, and includes a chapter on voice for the new media. You’ll find the book, and contact information for Dr. Uttterback at http://www.utterbackpublishing.com/.
I also highly recommend David Alan Stern’s “The Speaker’s Voice.” which includes three CDs with a companion text/drill manual. It’s available at http://dialectaccentspecialists.com. This is an excellent resource for anyone doing self-guided voice work. Dr. Stern has also produced a series of recordings to help speakers who hope to reduce their accents, whether domestic American or foreign.
How about you? If you have any resources you’d like to share please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to pass them on. Thanks.