Hosting a Radio Show During An Election Year

As an on-air talent, we know what topics are off limits when we are on a music centric station. Normally, it is HIGHLY advised to steer clear of politics and religion. Honestly, steer clear of those topics with family too. That can cause a very interesting Thanksgiving dinner…not talking from experience or anything. Anyway, we want our listeners to feel safe and comfortable with us. We don’t want them to get tense as soon as certain triggering words come out of our mouth. A lot of us learned, first hand, what this is like when the pandemic began. With it being an election year, how do we tip toe around it? I mean, we know what CNN and Fox News’ agendas are, right? We don’t want people to “know” what our “agendas” are. How do we navigate this year?

Clearly, we will probably have to talk about it at some point. Your management may tell you to not even address it at all, and that’s completely ok! It’s safe that way. IF you are a station that does talk about newsworthy topics in your, let’s say, your morning show, there is a neutral way of getting the information across.

First of all, if you are in a morning show, discuss with your partner how you want to go about this. And please…RESEARCH RESARCH RESEARCH!!! Don’t ever use just one site for your information. Read a plethora of articles so you get ALL sides of the information. There are very Democratic and Republican leaning forums so it’s important to get the straight info. Gather the FACTS, discuss with your partner, (if you don’t have one I highly suggest talking with your PD.) In fact, before you go on air with this, make sure you discuss with your PD so they are away of what’s being said. They will also want to make sure what you’re saying is straight forward information.

The only time you should mention politics is after a debate or the actual election itself. It’s not important to discuss something political parties said that may have garnered thousands of Tik-Toks or retweets. We are here to relay the facts and substantial information only. There’s no need to go into detail on events that don’t need your listener’s attention. We want to maintain as Switzerland as possible.

I don’t think this needs to be said, however, Do NOT, under any circumstance, voice your opinion. Don’t make a snarky noise, don’t huff and puff, don’t giggle. Relay the facts and get out. This doesn’t have to be an entire break.  Add it at the end of the weather, “and in last night’s debate, so and so’s key points were, and so and so ……” Done. You got the info out, you mentioned an important piece of history, now move on.

Again, if your management decides to avoid the topic altogether, that’s what you need to do. If they say to touch on it slightly, this will help to give you a little outline on how to approach a sensitive topic. Remember, we are here to relay the facts only and get out. If you are music centric, keep it music centric. We don’t have to be political analysts.

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