The following responses were contributed by Melvin Lindsey of WKYS-FM Radio in response to a questionnaire circulated by The Washington Post. The material is intended to provide students with an idea of what working as a radio announcer might be like, and some steps the student can take to prepare now for a career in that field.

Lindsey is a 1973 graduate Wilson High School and a 1977 graduate of Howard University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications. NATURE OF THE WORK

"It sounds easy and fun. But it's work . . . I have to prepare for each show. First, for about a half-hour before each show, I voice {record} commercials to be used for the show. Then I go through my older record collection to pick out tunes I think would be appropriate for that evening. Then for the next five hours, I sort of spontaneously play records, taking requests from the audience and using my own judgement." EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS

"While you're in high school it's important to set patterns of excellence for yourself. That's habit-forming. Try to be the most outstanding student in class. That kind of attitude carries throughout life.

"You need to do well in English. Be versatile, learn a little about a lot of things.

"You can't graduate from high school and expect to be an announcer. This business is very competitive. Most announcers have some kind of college degree. You should choose a college that's in one of the major media markets, like New York, Boston, Houston, or Washington, D.C.

"Broadcasting schools give an opportunity to get hands-on experience with the equipment, but in most stations, due to union regulations, you can't touch the equipment.

"Also, to get an edge, you need to get into some kind of internship at a radio station. Volunteer your time if you have to. The exposure you get and the contacts you form during an internship are valuable. You should call the personnel division of radio and TV stations in this market and inquire about internship opportunities. Be very serious and aggressive about it.

"Radio announcers start at about $15,000 and the sky's the limit. It depends on the market and your reputation."


"The main point is to be versatile, charismatic, and well-informed.

"Being a radio announcer is not just playing records. Playing records is not even the major part of it. Radio announcing is a lot different from deejay-ing a party or club. In radio, you have to have the voice and the feel. You have to be entertaining, informative and a companion for your audience."