APA Style Broadcasting

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Learning to Write in APA Style


The field communications covers a variety of professions. From public relations to radio broadcasting, it is the umbrella that covers them all. The following paper will discuss such topics as the discourse used in communications, history of how the radio came to be, communication skills needed in the radio broadcasting world, resources professionals use in radio broadcasting, and the differences in APA and MLA style manuals.


Discourse is a scary word to many students. The ones that understand what it is and grasp how to get it do just fine, but the ones that do not understand are also the ones that are too afraid to ask for clarification. To define what discourse means, many look to dictionaries or search the web for a good definition. To find the definition of discourse you cannot just stop there. Paul Elbow gives his definition and Paul Mcllvenny (2007) states that:

Discourse encompasses the use of spoken, written and signed language and multimodal/multimedia forms of communication, and is not restricted to 'non-fictional' (eg. stylistics) nor verbal (eg. gesture and visual) materials. Although early linguistic approaches judged the unit of discourse to be larger than the sentence, phenomena of interest can range from silence, to a single utterance (such as "ok"), to a novel, a set of newspaper articles or a conversation. (para. 1).

What Mcllvenny is stating is that discourse can be something simple like a one word response, or it can be as complex as an academic journal. When professors give students the task of reading academic journals, many shudder in the thought of reading through a thirty-page document just to have to look up every other word. Peter Elbow (1991) states:

…It is definitely alienating for many students to be asked to take on the voice, register, tone, and diction of most academic discourse. If we have to learn a new intellectual stance or take on difficult intellectual goals, we will probably have better luck if we do not at the same time have to do it in a new language, style, and voice. (p. 149).

The easy way out for many students is to skim through the document, and make it seem as though they understood exactly what the document said. They are able to mimic well enough to get by, the professor slaps down an A, and the student calls it good without ever having to learn what any of those words are, or why they even should understand them. The problem with discourse is that it is very specific. a doctor and a radio announcers discourse is going to be very different. Elbow (1991) states, “ And so- though we may be modest, open, and democratic as persons- the price we pay for a voice of authority is a style that excludes ordinary readers and often makes us sound like an insecure or guarded person showing off” (p.148). A student trying to read a journal of medicine when they are an agriculture student is not going to understand a word of the discourse. If asked to explain what they read, many would do as they have done before when asked to translate what Shakespeare meant, they would guess. They would cover up the anxiety of not understanding by guessing and hoping that it is right. According to Elbow (1991) students deal with their insecurity by making up excuses about everyone having their own opinion and are entitled to it. This happens a lot in the classrooms here at UMC.

So how is discourse taught? Here at our univisersity it is taught in courses like research methods. This course gives students the opportunity to read a certain number of journals articles from your field and understand what they are talking about. In the Journal of Marketing Research, the vocabulary is one that can be understood fully. Communications discourse uses APA Style Manual for writing any paper within the field. when The words and discourse used in the articles are pretty basic. The professionals that write these journals do not write over the heads of the readers. Elbow (1991) says, “Academic discourse also teachers a set of social and authority relations: to talk to each other as professionals in such a way as to exclude ordinary people” (p.146). This is not necessarily true. Some professions talk very straightforward. Like in the article, The Shopping Momentum Effect from the Journal of Marketing Research the author Ravi Dhar (2007) states, “Shopping momentum occurs when an initial purchase provides a psychological impulse that enhances the purchase of a second, unrelated product” (p.370). This statement is not too complicated or written in such a way that ordinary people could not understand what is being said. There is a vast understanding that if a reader of an unrelated field picks up a biology or medical journal they will not understand the discourse, but to state that all discourse is written this way is preposterous. Almost any journal relating directly to communications uses discourse that any reader should be able to grasp. Elbow (1991) states, “Thus there is a grain of truth in the old perverse chestnut of advice: ‘First say what you are going to say, then say it, then say what you've already said'” (p 144). This works in almost all writings, and deficiently works for the discourse concerning communications. If a student does not have formal training or education in discourse from there time in school, and are entering the field of communications, they should be able to pick up the discourse quite rapidly since it speaks right to the reader.

Many students would agree with Elbow's (1991) statement, “First, life is long and college is short. Very few of our students will ever have to write academic discourse after college” (p.136). Therefore, students do as they know they can, and that is to slide by and hope for the best. Discourse is a word that when broken down means how professionals in a field talk to one another. This can be complicated and hard to understand, but it can also be straightforward and welcoming. What most students see when they see the word discourse, is a scary word that they do not understand. What should happen one day is that they will see it and be happy to know what it means, and not be scared to learn it and understand it.


The History of the radio dates back to the 1800's. There are many men and discoveries that led up to the radio that audiences listen to today. From the genius of Tesla to the work of Marconi, the world would be a different place without the radio.

It all started with a man by the name of Nikola Tesla. This is not a name that is many times associated with radio, but he gave more to the field then any other big names out there. In the TV production Tesla, Master of Lightning, Robert Uth states that:

Nikola Tesla was born a subject of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1856 in a mountainous area of the Balkan Peninsula known as Lika. His father Milutin, and his mother Djuka, were both Serbian by origin. Tesla's father was a stern but loving Orthodox priest, who was also a gifted writer and poet. At a young age, Tesla immersed himself in his father's library. Tesla's mother was a hard working woman of many talents who created appliances to help with home and farm responsibilities. One of these was a mechanical eggbeater. Tesla attributed all of his inventive instincts to his mother. Tesla began his education at home and later attended gymnasium in Carlstadt, Croatia excelling in his studies along the way. An early sign of his genius, he was able to perform integral calculus in his mind, prompting his teachers to think he was cheating. (para. 1-2).

It is interesting to think that such a smart man would struggle so much just to accomplish his goal of someday going to America and capturing the energy of Niagara Falls. Tesla's journey had barely begun as he finished up his studies at polytechnic school. According to Robert Uth (2000), After Tesla's discovery in Budapest, he was hired by electric power companies in Strasbourg and Paris to improve their DC generation facilities. Tesla tried to interest investors in Germany and France in his concept of an AC motor, but with no success. Tesla decided it was time to move to America and meet Thomas Edison. At the age of 28, Tesla traveled to New York City, and met Edison in his office. He explained his plans for an alternating current motor. Edison did not much care, as it seemed to him to be competition. Edison did hire him to do work on improving his DC generation plants. Tesla only worked for Edison for a few short months and then conflicts arose. Tesla worked digging ditches for a while and then investors took interest in him. Mr. A.K. Brown, of the Western Union Company, took notice and invested in Tesla's idea for an AC motor. (para 1-10).

From that time until he placed a patent in 1891 Tesla worked on a variety of projects. The patent in 1891 is especially important because of its direct relation to the radio. Tesla's initial goal was to approximate the frequency of sunlight and create lamps of revolutionary brightness and configuration. his hope was to do away with Edison's incandescent lamp, which utilized only five percent of the available energy. Tesla was able to accomplish this goal through a device known today as a Tesla coil. This development took the ordinary sixty-cycle per second household current and stepped it up to extremely high frequencies which reached into the hundreds of thousands of cycles per second. The coil could also was able to generate enormously high voltages. With these high frequencies, Tesla was able to develop some of the first neon and fluorescent illumination.. Although these were great, his discovery of November 1890 outdid anything he had done. Tesla found a way to illuminated a vacuum tube wirelessly. He transmitted energy through the air. By early 1895, Tesla was ready to transmit a signal 50 miles to West Point, New York. Tesla was not able to do this because a building fire consumed Tesla's lab, destroying all his work. A young Italian experimenter, Guglielmo Marconi received a patent in 1896 for the first wireless telegraphy in England. Later he used a Tesla oscillator to transmit signals across the English channel.(Uth, 2000, par. 1-3)

Poor Tesla was a man of great strength and faith, but how from here on out the fight to be known as the inventor of the radio becomes a larger fight. Tesla's career makes it very obvious that no patent is truly safe. Due to the fact that Marconi's family had connections with the English aristocracy his stocks soared in the 1900's. Marconi ended up transmitting across the Atlantic ocean in 1901 and Edison jumped on board to help Marconi to start American Marconi. Tesla sat back and watched Marconi succeed because he knew that Marconi was using at least seventeen of his patents. In 1904 though Tesla could not sit back and watch any longer. The U.S. Patent office reversed their previous decision and handed the patent for the radio over to Marconi. Tesla sued Marconi after he won the Nobel peace prize in 1911 for infringement. Tesla didn't have the money to keep up with all the costs that come with a court case and it wasn't until after his death in 1943 that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Tesla's patent for the radio number 645,576. Although this decision may have been selfish on the side of the courts. Marconi at the time was suing the U.S. government for using his patents in World War I. To stop this from continuing the court simply restored the patent back to Tesla. (Uth, 2000, para. 5-8).

The story of Tesla is not one that many know, but it is important to recognize the work of not only the men whose names are in the books but also those not names. Bev Parker (2007) of the National Academy of Engineering tells about James Maxwell:

James Clerk Maxwell, the Scottish physicist grew up in Edinburgh. He was very interested in Michael Faraday's work on electromagnetism. Faraday explained that electric and magnetic effects result from lines of force that surround conductors and magnets. Maxwell drew an analogy between behaviors of the lines of force and the flow of liquid, deriving equations that represent electric and magnetic effects. In 1855, he produced a paper which built on Faraday's ideas, and in 1861 developed a model for a hypothetical medium, that consisted of a fluid which could carry electric and magnetic effects. He also considered what would happen if the fluid became elastic and a charge were applied to it. This would set up a disturbance in the fluid, which would produce waves that would travel through the medium. Maxwell finally published his work in 1873. (para.1)

From there Heinrich Hertz helps to bring the radio to life by detecting radio waves. James Jenkins, (2007) of Spark Museum states:

Heinrich Hertz was a German Physicist who received his Ph.D. from the University of Berlin in 1880. In 1883, he began his studies under James Clerk Maxwell. Between the time of 1885-1889, as a professor of physics at Karlsruhe Polytechnic, Hertz produced electromagnetic waves in the laboratory and measured their lengths and velocity. He showed that the nature of their reflection and refraction was the same as those of light, confirming that light waves are electromagnetic radiation obeying the Maxwell equation of 1864. (para. 1).

The test that Hertz used was primarily very basic. Julian Rubin (2007) states:

He used an oscillator made of polished brass knobs, each connected to an induction coil and separated by a tiny gap over which sparks could leap. Hertz reasoned that, if Maxwell's predictions were correct, electromagnetic waves would be transmitted during each series of sparks. To confirm this, Hertz made a simple receiver of looped wire. At the ends of the loop were small knobs separated by a tiny gap. The receiver was placed several yards from the oscillator. According to theory, if electromagnetic waves were spreading from the oscillator sparks, they would induce a current in the loop that would send sparks across the gap. This occurred when Hertz turned on the oscillator, producing the first transmission and reception of electromagnetic waves. Hertz also noted that electrical conductors reflect the waves and that they can be concaved reflectors. He found that nonconductors allow most of the waves to pass through. (para. 2-3).

The publications of Hertz's experiments are still published today. The following two figures show how Hertz's experiments were conducted. Julian Rubin (2007) provided the figures.

Guglielmo Marconi is one of the most famous names that is attached to the discovery of radio. He was born in Bologna, Italy in 1874. As a boy, he studied the works of Maxwell, Hertz, Righi, Lodge and others. In 1895, Marconi succeeded in sending wireless signals over a distance of one and a half miles. In 1896, he was granted the first wireless telegraphy for his demonstration in England. He started the Wireless Telegraph and Signal Company Limited in 1897 and gave demonstration in Italy for their government. There he transmitted over twenty miles. Marconi established wireless communication between France and England across the English Channel in 1899 and built permanent wireless stations at The Needles, Isle of Wight, at Bournemouth and later at the Haven Hotel, Poole, and Dorset. On a historic day in 1901 Marconi took out his famous patent No. 7777 for "tuned or syntonic telegraphy" and used his system for transmitting the first wireless signals across the Atlantic between Poldhu, Cornwall, and St. John's, Newfoundland, a distance of 2100 miles. (Gardin, 2007, para. 1-3).

This was a huge achievement and in the next few years he continued to refine and expand his inventions. Karl Grandin states:

Between 1902 and 1912 he patented several new inventions. In 1902, during a voyage in the American liner "Philadelphia", he first demonstrated "daylight effect" relative to wireless communication and in the same year patented his magnetic detector which then became the standard wireless receiver for many years. In December 1902 he transmitted the first complete messages to Poldhu from stations at Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, and later Cape Cod, Massachusetts, these early tests culminating in 1907 in the opening of the first transatlantic commercial service between Glace Bay and Clifden, Ireland, after the first shorter-distance public service of wireless telegraphy had been established between Bari in Italy and Avidari in Montenegro. In 1905 he patented his horizontal directional aerial and in 1912 a "timed spark" system for generating continuous waves. (para. 4).

Marconi received many awards for his work but one that he most honored was the Nobel Prize in Physics.: The radio continues to progress, which brings us to Lee De Forest. Mike Adams (1996) states:

Lee De Forest was born in Iowa in 1873 and then moved with his family to Alabama. He attended prep school in Massachusetts and then attended Yale University. In 1896, De Forest received his PhD in Physics. De Forest's doctoral dissertation on radio waves was probably the first doctoral thesis in the United States on the subject. In 1902, De Forest founded the De Forest Wireless Telegraph Company, but like other firms he would start, it failed because of poor business practices. De Forest was extremely creative and energetic, but often was unable to see the potential of his inventions or grasp their theoretical implications. Many inventors tried to improve the Fleming diode, most without success. The only one who succeeded was New York inventor Lee de Forest. In 1907, he patented a bulb with the same contents as the Fleming diode, except for an added electrode. This "grid" was a bent wire between the plate and filament. De Forest discovered that if he applied the signal from the wireless-telegraph antenna to the grid instead of the filament, he could obtain a much more sensitive detector of the signal. In fact, the grid was changing ("modulating") the current flowing from the filament to the plate. The invention was called an audion. In 1913, AT& T installed audions to boost voice signals as they crossed the US continent. (para. 1-4).

This is where the discovery of radio gets blurry. In the end, there is no real clear line as to really made the invention. Mike Adams (1996) of the California Historical Radio Society states:

After the wartime ban on wireless ends in 1918, De Forest sets up a station in High Bridge, New York and broadcasts music, news, and election returns. The Federal Radio Inspector shuts him down. (para. 5).

Then radio really starts to advance quickly. According to Adams (1996), in November of 1920 Westinghouse asks to go on air on regular basis to send out music and they will sell radios for the service. KDKA goes on air to broadcast the election returns of the Harding-Cox presidential election. Within a few years there are hundreds of stations entertaining thousands of people who buy or own receivers, mostly crystal with earphones. In 1927 the Federal Radio Commission is established to clear up the air space. The Radio Act of 1927 re-assigns frequencies and for the first time makes radio stations for the public interest, convenience, and necessity. Through out the depression people looked to the radio to uplift them. President Roosevelt is the first “radio president” and his “fireside chats” help to give confidence to Americans. In 1934, the FCC is formed and replaces the FRC. They regulate the radio similarly to the way the old FRC did.

The radio started as just the discovery of waves, and now consists of AM/ FM stations. Broadcasts are made everyday through numerous different stations. They keep the listener informed where ever they are.

Communication Skills

The radio broadcasting profession is almost completely based on how one can communicate on and off the air. To get a better feel for what radio broadcaster's responsibilities are and what it takes to be a great radio broadcaster, the following are suggestions found on career sites and universities. One of the descriptions found was on the Northern Arizona University's website (2004):

The Radio Announcer is responsible for producing, writing, and editing news programs, along with serving as a radio announcer and news reporter. A Radio Announcer conducts interviews, operates equipment, and represents the station at industry and community functions and events. Radio Announcers carry the responsibility of producing professional quality radio programs and for exercising professional news judgment in determining news and information that is appropriate for broadcast. (para. 1)

As the description shows an announcers job does not just consist of sitting in a soundproof booth reading news and entertaining material, and providing a music selection. There are many other aspects of the job that are not widely known by the public. It would be extremely difficult for a person to graduate from high school and walk into an announcer's job. This is because, “announcer jobs are very competitive and most require formal training through either a bachelor's degree in a related field or training in private technical college.” (Career Overview, 2007, para. 10). While deciding whether to go to college for a career in radio broadcasting, it is important to keep in mind some skills that will be needed to compete. Since this field is very competitive, according to Career Overview (2007), an announcer should acquire some basic skills that will get them ahead in the game. The appropriate voice is one the number one key points to becoming an announcer, they must also have timing and grammar. There are vocal quality courses offered through some college programs to help improve this vital aspect. An announcers voice is not the only important aspect of their job. They need to make sure they maintain a tidy physical appearance because they may not always be in the sound booth. There are times when the announcer must conduct interviews, be on scene, or market something. This means they will be in public so their appearance is very important. Being knowledgeable on an array of topics anywhere from sports to politics or music to current events this will help the announcer be able to further their on air discussions and interviews. The last tip is to become as computer savvy as possible. Sometimes being on air can be hectic so it is important to be able to handle stressful environments. The audience is always looking for a new personality with a unblemished style and voice. (para.12).

If the area of announcing is still appealing, it is important to keep in mind that most announcers are hired at a smaller station to begin with. When this happens, announcers usually take on more responsibilities then just running their program. They also must be able to accomplish other tasks as Career Overview (2007) suggests:

Tasks such as running a transmitter monitoring, commercial sales, program logging, advertisement production, and control board operation. Technological improvements have allowed announcers to assume many of the tasks previously seen as too difficult. In many stations, an announcer performs both these operating and announcing tasks. They are also usually heavily involved with fundraising and promotional efforts. (Para. 4).

The duties surrounding the announcer are very dependent on the size of the radio station. If the radio station is large then there will more then likely be technician that will do a lot of the work, and the announcer will just have to do the on air speaking and handle incoming calls from the audience. According to State University (2007), when it comes to the hours that a professional in this field will have to work it will vary at around the forty hours a week mark. What each type of announcer does during that time is what differs. Television announcers get to enjoy a more comfortable pace while the radio announcers and disc jockeys have to be able to keep up with the world of rapid fire talk as they are speaking directly to audience members on a day to day basis. (para. 5).

Since the field of broadcasting is so highly competitive Career Overview (2007) suggests some quick tips to getting ahead of the game and becoming a more marketable graduate. It is important to gain experience in the field by taking part in as many internships as possible. It shouldn't matter whether it is paid or not, what you are trying to do is to open the doors to more opportunities to learn and experience different aspects of television and radio broadcasting. If you want to find a job straight out of college it is smart to look at smaller stations as they are more opt to hire beginners. Their salary may be low but it is important to first get your foot in the door. This is especially true if you want to someday work in a larger station. They hire based on the applicant's track record of experience on the air and internships. (para. 14).

There is always a main goal in a field like broadcasting. State University (2007) states:

The aim of radio broadcasting is to attract as many listeners as possible so that companies will pay more money to advertise on a particular station. One way to get people to listen to one station over another is to hire likeable announcers. Popular announcers often get jobs at big stations. Some announcers who have attracted large followings sell their services to stations on a freelance basis. Staff announcers may get their own radio shows, and many announcers move into management jobs where they can plan and produce new shows. Employment opportunities for announcers are expected to decline through the year 2014 due to the increasing consolidation of radio and television stations, the advent of new technology, and the growth of alternative media sources such as cable television and satellite radio. (para. 5).

This means that when it comes to being hired, it is important to make sure that you have what it takes and that your resume reflects that through all the hard work you show. The National Broadcasters Training Network (2007) suggests:

Be patient - This may not be the most popular advice, but it's important to know a broadcasting career takes time, so do not get frustrated early on. Do not be in a huge hurry to mail your stuff to every station in the area. Take some time, perfecting a sample of your best work. Most employers only watch the first thirty seconds of each reel, so make sure to take some time prioritizing. If you are mailing a tape, include a label with your name address, phone number, and if you want your tape back, include a self-addressed envelope. Similarly, understand that each position you are applying for probably has a high volume of applicants; so do not feel distressed if you do not hear back right away. A general response time is three weeks to a month, so after that it is acceptable to call and check on your application, but not before. Remember: a broadcasting career takes time, so practice patience from the beginning for a frustration-free job search. (para. 2).

When it comes down to it, there are few jobs and many applicants so just to keep on top of what is going on out there. The National Broadcasters Training Network (2007) suggest:

Read trade publications and industry news to stay up to date on what is happening in broadcasting, industry slang, and what companies are hiring and firing. Also, maintain a good driving record. If a company cannot insure you, they cannot hire you, so watch that road rage. Good driving skills and reading a weekly broadcasting magazine are two hidden practical ways to get an edge on the competition. (para. 6).

When it comes to the broadcasting career field, it is important to find a good school with a high reputation for job placement, get internships and apprenticeships though out college, and keep up to date on what is going on in the broadcasting world. These tools can lead to having a good broadcasting job and becoming an ideal member of the profession.


When it comes to resources used for radio broadcasting, it varies a lot by what kind of a station you are at. If you are at AM station you may have different resources then an FM station. Also the size of the station will affect this. You may only report on one subject at a large station or you may report on everything at a smaller one.

I talked with Angela Kenyon from KMRS 1230 AM in Morris, Minnesota about what resources they use at her station. Angela stated that, “the stations differ a lot even between regions so when starting at a radio station there is always a new system to learn. Here at KMRS we use some basic websites like Weather Eye Weather Center, ABC News, radio 411 and News Net. We also read local and regional newspapers, community boards, city board meeting minutes, and police reports to get a feel for what is going on in our area. As far as other resources, we read a magazine called US Broadcast. This tells all about the new equipment, shows that people are putting on, and any information updates that we need to know about. This one is required for all employees to read.” (personal communication, November 17, 2007) To give a better look into what all of these resources are I went out and researched each of the sites and came up with a little bit of information. The Weather Eye Weather Online (2007) states:

Weather Eye began operations in 1987, and has since become the premiere forecast service utilized by the radio industry. With over 400 affiliates nationwide, Weather Eye enjoys the distinction of being the largest provider of radio weather programming in the country. Weather Eye has developed proprietary technology that differentiates ourselves from the competition in our ability to disseminate digital quality sound, around the clock. For over 16 years, we have served the radio industry with the most comprehensive weather coverage available. With over 400 affiliates nationwide, we have gained the respect of the most prominent broadcasters in the industry today. Now our innovative Internet products enhance the audio services that have won accolades for over a decade!  Our severe weather coverage wins more awards every year than our top competitors combined! In addition, Weather Eye services a variety of weather intensive businesses, along with the utility industry.  Future plans center on growing our radio business, and developing revolutionary technology for delivering content directly to consumers. (para. 1-2).

Weather Eye is one of the top weather websites used. Numerous radio stations use this as their main website to get weather, news, and updates. The other top used website for Minnesota rural stations is the Minnesota News Network. Minnesota News Network (2007) states:

The Minnesota News Network (MNN) produces and distributes 28 daily newscasts, five sports programs, and two weekly news feature programs to 80 Minnesota commercial radio stations. The MNN news team also provides comprehensive coverage of the Minnesota Legislature from its Capitol Bureau in St. Paul, as well as live coverage of major news events and election results. The Minnesota Farm Network (MFN) is America's most innovative agricultural radio network; combining the marketing pull of the Upper Midwest's best agriculture radio stations in the state and the programming power that comes from capitalizing on the expertise of the regions top farm directors. MNN Satellite Distribution provides the satellite distribution (and in some cases affiliate relations services) for sports networks, serving the Minnesota Twins, the Minnesota Timberwolves and the University of Minnesota football, Men's and Women's basketball and hockey. It also has the facilities to provide satellite distribution services to other clients on an occasional basis. MNNWire Operates in conjunction with MetroSource, MNNWire provides national and international news, regional news, sports, farm and entertainment reports around the clock. MNNWire features 9 wire feeds each day from the Award Winning MNN Newsroom. MNNWire is the only news service written by broadcasters for broadcasters. The MNN Feature Network is a progressive approach to specialty radio programming, the Feature Network produces and distributes ten daily radio programs on contemporary topics ranging from sports and nutrition to medical advice and entertainment news. The shows feature well-known local talent to give the programming a unique Upper Midwest perspective. (para. 1-5).

The Minnesota News Network keeps rural Minnesota up to date with all the news for the Midwest. Angela Kenyon also noted that this is her top website. She uses it the most when getting ready to read for her show. (personal communication, November 17, 2007). When it comes to entertainment there are numerous sites out there. Angela Kenyon stated that KMRS decided to use News Net because it has all the fun stuff like news of the weird, this day in history, entertainment news, and other things like that on it. It is nice because it is a site that only radio stations can apply to be apart of. The other okayed site to look at besides News Net is Radio 411. (Personal Communication, November 17, 2007). Radio 411 states:

Radio 411 was launched in 1994 by a long time major market air talent and programmer who continues to hold down a regular morning air shift in addition to overseeing the site. Our aim is to provide as many useful links to broadcasters as possible. Our home page features top industry news headlines with links to the full stories, plus fast access to some of the more popular and important web sites related to broadcasting, as well as: Breaking news in several mainstream categories, Google web search, 411 site search, and current U.S. Homeland Security threat advisory alert level. (para. 1).

Angela Kenyon stated that she uses News Net over Radio 411, but occasionally it is nice to pull information from both. (personal communication, November 17, 2007). Obviously, the local and regional newspapers are completely for that area.

Angela Kenyon says that when you start a new position in radio you are trained in on all of the technologies, and on what websites are okay to use and not okay to use. It is important to keep up on the news in the area, especially when you are working at a small station because when the high school football teams goes to State, you may have to travel down to report and if you don't know any of the information about how they have done this season it will be very embarrassing for the station and you. (personal Communication, November 17, 2007). The most popular resources for broadcasting are newspapers, and websites for weather, news, and entertainment. All the resources change station to station, but the basis of what a broadcaster needs to know is the same.

Style Manuals

APA (American Psychological Association) is the style guide used within the communications community. Another Style manual that is often used to write papers, but more often at a graduate school level is MLA (Modern Language Association). The following is a compare and contrast of the two manuals.

APA and MLA contrast in many ways. The general format for the two papers is completely different. Under MLA Kunka (2007) suggests:

MLA style specifies guidelines for formatting manuscripts and using the English language in writing. MLA style also provides writers with a system for referencing their sources through parenthetical citation in their essays and Works Cited pages. Writers who properly use MLA also build their credibility by demonstrating accountability to their source material. Most importantly, the use of MLA style can protect writers from accusations of plagiarism, which is the purposeful or accidental unaccredited use of source material by other writers. (para. 1-2).

APA does not give a description like that, it jumps right into the general guidelines. This also differ between the two style manuals. There are a few aspects that are the same. Each style manual asks for the essays to be typed, double spaced, on standard sized paper (8.5” x 11”), 1” margins on all sides. After that the MLA becomes more complicated. Kunka (2007) states:

Do not make a title page for your paper unless specifically requested. In the upper left-hand corner of the first page, list your name, your instructor's name, the course, and the date. Again, be sure to use double-spaced text. Double space again and center the title. Do not underline your title or put it in quotation marks; write the title in Title Case, not in all capital letters. Use quotation marks and underlining or italics when referring to other works in your title, just as you would in your text, e.g.,

  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as Morality Play
  • Human Weariness in "After Apple Picking"

Double space between the title and the first line of the text. Create a header in the upper right-hand corner that includes your last name, followed by a space with a page number; number all pages consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.), one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin (para. 7).

APA calls for a title page according to Neyhart(2007), There are four major parts to a APA paper and they are a title page, abstract, main body and references. The title page should include a running head and have a page header. The page header will appear on every page of the document and the running head is only shown on the title page. Other information that is important on the title page is the title of the paper, the authors full name, and the university affiliated. The abstract is the next part of the paper and should start on its own page. This area is where the author will give a very concise summary including the main points of their research. It should be a single paragraph double spaced consisting of less than 120 words. (Para. 4-8). This is a clear difference between MLA and APA considering that the MLA style manual does not call for an abstract.

In the in-text citations section, APA style requires authors to use the past tense or present perfect tense when using signal phrases to describe earlier research. Basic rules like this are not stated for the MLA Style Guide. Since MLA is for arts and humanities and APA is for social sciences, the authors in-text citations are different. According to Neyhart (2007, para. 1-3). Both APA and MLA call for the Authors last name when citing. MLA then calls for page numbers and APA calls for year of publication. APA states to always capitalize proper nouns, including author names and initials. When writing a paper if the writer is going to refer to a title of a source it is important to capitalize all words that are four letters long or greater. Remember to underline or italicize titles of long works like books, television series, documentaries, albums, or edited collections. Short works only require quotations. Examples are journal articles or song titles.

When it comes to quotations, MLA and APA are similar. In MLA though Kunka (2007) suggests, if you add a word or words in a quotation, you should put brackets around the words to indicate that they are not part of original text. If you omit a word or words from a quotation, you should indicate the deleted word or words by ellipsis marks, which are three periods preceded and followed by a space. (para. 2-3). APA does not have such guidelines.

When it comes to footnotes and endnotes, MLA and APA are the exact opposite. APA wants you to use them, while MLA discourages it unless it is to evaluate bibliographic comments. APA and MLA both have places to put your references, but they differ in names. APA calls it a reference page while MLA calls it a Works Cited Page. As far as how the sources are cited in the reference pages, it does not differ by a lot.APA and MLA are two different style manuals. They have only a few similarities when you look closely. If I had a choice I would definitely use APA over MLA.


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