A look into radio accents in the digital age.

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by Lory Martinez

Have you listened to the radio lately? I’m talking “talk radio” not “top 40” here. Well, if you have, you may have noticed that hosts all speak a certain way on air.

From the classic transatlantic accent circa 40:

(Excerpt from “His Girl Friday,” a film about the news business during the 40s)

To  National Pubic Radio’s successful radio programs like This American Life and Radio Lab:

(Talk Radio host Glenn Reynolds at WNOX 100.3 discussing the “NPR voice”)

We hear what is called, “the news accent.” Journalists the world over are trained in this accent before broadcasting. After years of listening to radio broadcasts and noticing this accent,I decided to take a look at this universal “news accent” and how it came to be.

From transatlantic accents to what people call the “NPR voice”, this week’s show highlights the evolution of broadcast accents.

A side note for those of you who listen to our radio broadcasts on Wednesdays at 4 pm on whrwfm.org or 90.5 FM Binghamton:

We’ve been off-air for a little over a week now because of technological troubles. The good news is that this coming week we’ll finally be able to do our show on accents. So tune in!

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