15. Packaging

Everything is music in radio : your voice, the actualities, the listener's voice, the guests, the anchors' jokes... It's rhythm. But as it's an uninterrupted flux of audio, listeners will need to find some landmarks. This is the reason why packaging exists. It identifies your radio station and makes it stand apart from the others. When the newscast's jingle comes on air, people immediately think : “It's time!”. Don't underestimate packaging, as it deserves your full attention and special treatment. 


The packaging consists in short audio elements. It serves two functions :

  • Peaking and keeping the interest of the listeners 
  • Facilitating the understanding of the news 

In what consists the packaging ?

The basic packaging consists in : 

  • Jingles (or sounders) (musical and vocal extracts identifying a show)
  • Stabs (very short punctuation)
  • A musical loop that’s progressively shunted

How to use it?

The packaging is put in the journal at precise moments :

At the beginning of the bulletin : the rule is that you put an opening theme just before the bulletin. It peaks the listener’s interest and tells him it’s time for the news. For example, a voice saying over punchy music: “The news, Paul M…”.

During the headlines : a shunted musical loop under the anchor’s voice creates a certain tension and catches the listener’s ears. Be wary: the anchor’s voice must remain perfectly audible and understandable.

After the headlines : putting a stab creates a rupture and allows the anchor to start with his first story.

During the bulletin : stabs come in after the anchor is done presenting each news category. For example, if you’re opening your bulletin with two political stories and then continue with two economics stories, you can put a stab after the second political story. It will show that the political chapter of the bulletin is closed. It will also get the listeners to focus on the stories that follow.

At the end of the bulletin : a stab/closing theme shows that the newscast is over. It creates a sense of finality and helps move on to the rest of the broadcast.