Sound Reporting: Hosting

In Sound Reporting: The NPR Guide to Audio Journalism and Production, author Jonathan Kern discusses the role of program hosts.

He likens them to good hosts off the air:

They are consummate story-tellers who have a keen sense of what needs to be explained, what facts can be left out, and how to keep people waiting for the story’s conclusion. They make clear and concise introductions — to interviewees, to reporters, and to commentators. When they are speaking with a guest, they don’t dominate the discussion or draw undue attention to themselves; they keep the focus on what the interviewee has to say. They also listen attentively and know how to draw people out by asking thoughtful questions. They speak fluently, and their voices are pleasant to listen to. And they maintain — or seem to maintain — a high level of energy and concentration, even when they have gone many hours without sleep or food.

Kern says they are also seasoned journalists and they play critical editorial roles on their programs.

News Directors should study Sound Reporting and require their journalists to read it.