Media doesn’t pay well. Once you accept that, it can be a great industry to work in. But, if you accept that, you might also have to accept the need to be multi-skilled and possibly work more than one job.
In my years in media, I have made tea, been a celebrity guest booker, a researcher, a presenter and a producer. Also, for the last 8 years, as a freelancer, there is one job that is a constant in my world. It’s one of the more unusual jobs in media, one that most people hear me doing but few actually know what it’s called. I am a TV continuity announcer.
So, what do we actually do? And how? Well, on RTÉ 1 and 2 we are the voices who introduce every programme live, forward sell future programmes on the end credits of shows and sometimes warn you of adult content such as strong language, scenes of sex or surgery and all in the tightest of time frames – on RTÉ 1, for example, the animations before programmes are usually only 12 seconds long.
But, in case you think we sit there and do 12 seconds of work and then get paid to watch programmes, think again. We also operate the channel’s main Twitter accounts, prepare breakdown scripts in case of technical problems and keep alert for any glitches on-air. Below is a little glimpse behind the scenes of the workplace for the voices of the people you never see.