I was looking at some old notes that I first got when I started in radio in the 90’s – and one of the pages I had written on/over/and scribbled topics on was this one… TOPICS TO AVOID ON-AIR.
I wondered if they were still relevant today, so I showed them to a couple of the Jocks I worked with and they agreed that they were still VERY relevant – so I thought I would share them with you.
I will add that I was doing a late night talk back show – so it was very hard to avoid some of these at the time.
And if you are a host who wants to make a name for themselves – then sure you can ignore these – but if you are new to the industry – I would play it safe to start with…
1. Politics: Politics can be a divisive topic, and it’s best for Jocks to avoid discussing political issues that can alienate listeners with different views. If politics is discussed, it should be done in a non-partisan way.
2. Offensive language: Avoid using any language or making jokes that could be considered offensive to listeners. This includes racist, sexist, homophobic, or derogatory remarks.
3. Sensitive topics: Sensitive topics such as death, religion, or personal struggles should be avoided unless there is a specific reason to discuss them in a respectful and appropriate manner.
4. Controversial opinions: Be careful about expressing controversial opinions on sensitive topics, such as race, gender, or sexuality. If it is necessary to share an opinion, it should be done in a respectful and thoughtful manner.
5. Defamation: It is important for Jocks to avoid making statements that could be considered defamatory towards individuals or organizations. This can include spreading false rumours or making accusations without evidence.
Most of the time I would have thought that all of these would be obvious, some are very hard to adhere to, too.
But there you have it – my top 5 topics to avoid on-air.