Radio DJ vs Radio Presenter


Over the past while the issue of what a Radio DJ is and what a radio presenter is, has come up in conversation many times. Probably because, in college, the category at this years Hybrid Awards was titled ‘Radio Presenter’ while at the Smedias it was titled ‘Radio DJ’. I would consider the two to be very different.

Firstly if someone said to me that they were a DJ, I would presume that they were a mixmaster playing pumping tunes. If someone is a Radio DJ, I would say that they were a ‘This is.. that was.. ‘ type of person who works on a CHR station filling the listeners head with back to back tunes and a few funny tidbits along the way with their ‘less talk’, as a lot of them brand themselves.

I’ve only been involved in radio since last September after not doing anything in the radio field for something like thirteen years but I never considered myself a DJ, even as a young whippersnapper broadcasting from a garden shed. Even now if someone says ‘oh you’re a DJ’, it doesn’t particularly feel right.

When I filled out the form for the Hybrid Awards there was a section asking something like ‘Write a brief statement of why you submitted this work’. I put down that I wanted to be more than a ‘This is … that was..’ presenter. If I was listening to the radio I want to be engaged, I like to hear opinions and questions. If I want to listen to music, I can stick on itunes.

I guess the kind of show that the Culture Cafe is, is the kind of show I feel pretty comfortable doing, saying that, I’m always up for trying something different. Hello all potential employers 🙂 The Culture Cafe is a mixture of chat, music, reviews, movies, events, instudio sessions. More than A DJ, doing the show is probably more like a co-ordinator, or a referee making sure all the parts fit well together and move between them with ease.  Maybe even a conductor, within that then its my job to introduce the pieces, ask the questions I would want asked if I was listening at home, keep the programme interesting.

Some might say that is the job too, of a producer. Perhaps, seeing as I do my own research, get the guests, choose the music, choose the events and topics in the ‘Arts’ to look at. But I also feel that doing all this gives me an extra edge as I interview people. I know the backgrounds and what they’ve previously been up to. I just haven’t been handed their latest biography to read before talking to them.

Recently someone in the ‘business’ told me I was doing too much work for my show ? I was flabbergasted. How could you do too much ‘work’ ? The Culture Cafe to me is more than the time its on air. Its everything that surrounds that hour or two hours every week that people can listen to.

Nobody in radio says they prep.. whatever, its because I prep that I can have fun and relax with my guests and not be on edge. In radio if you’re nervous it sounds like you’re bored, if you’re bored so is you’re listener. I want to make radio my listeners can enjoy.

Mr DJ pic from here