Become an RJ

Become an RJ

Though the popularity of radio had suffered badly with the arrival of television and internet, the advent of FM radio, open to private channels...

Though the popularity of radio had suffered badly with the arrival of television and internet, the advent of FM radio, open to private channels infused a new life to radio. ‘Radio Jockeying’ is an exciting, promising and challenging career for those who have a passion for music. It is one of the few professions in which one may be recognised by their voice. Radio Jockeying has become a popular career option for many youngsters.

Role of an RJ:

Radio Jockeys (RJ) are those who anchor music programmes on radio. The task of an RJ is to entertain the listeners by playing music or conveying messages in the most attractive and sophisticated way. They play requests from listeners, interview guests, manage contests and also provide information on the music, weather and traffic. This is a profession which requires a lot of hard work and presence of mind. It is the performance of these RJs that bring in listeners to the radio stations.


The term ‘Radio Jockey/ RJ’ is primarily used by Indians who coined it from the western Disc Jockey (DJ). The term is derived from ‘disc jockey/ DJ’, denoting a person who plays music in night clubs, weddings, dandiya nights, any celebration where music is the route to joy. Today an RJ is a person who plays music on radio, chats with his/her listeners, delivers news, interviews guests and manages contests; all with a view to entertain his/her listeners on radio.

Radio jockeying has really picked up steam as a prospective career in recent years. There is a lot of money to make in the radio business and success depends on the radio jockeys who work for that station. This is because the content that different stations use may be the same, but the way it is delivered makes all the difference. A radio jockey who has a popular show is paid well as more advertisers are interested in shows that have many listeners.

Formal educational qualifications do not hold much value in radio jockeying because it is a talent based field. Though graduation is considered to be the benchmark, students who have passed 10+2 are also hired by private channels. Usually people under 35 years are preferred for this profession.

“Being an RJ opens up a space to converse, to share and of course to entertain and engage with listeners. Campus radio is a great platform to gain experience and to hone RJ skills,” says Himabindu Chintakunta, Uoh ex-student, RJ at campus community radio station- Bol Hyderabad 90.4 FM. Gladly today, we have many institutes which offer a wide array of courses that help groom and train the aspirants towards a successful career. Many radio stations offer internship to aspiring radio jockeys and they also recruit from reputed institutes. Many professionals in the field also hold voice and radio jockeying workshops where one can learn about the nuances of RJing.

Other opportunities:

The domain which was previously dominated by the state owned AIR is seeing huge investment by private concerns. This factor has led to an increase in job opportunities for radio jockeys. The job of a Radio Jockey is of diversifying nature depending on the subject matter of the programme. Radio Jockeys can find work in organisations like AIR (All India Radio) and other independent private radio stations. “An RJ is not just restricted to Radio jockeying alone, he/ she can lend their voice for advertisements, films etc which is voice over, they can host media events like audio release functions which is video jockeying, they can get into scripting, programme production and might also turn actors because of the popularity they gain over the years because of their voice,” says RJ Chaitanya aka Chatterbox Chaitu of 93.5 Red FM. RJ Haarika Rao of Telugu One Radio says that she is an RJ and a film journalist. She said she has a friend who is an RJ and an anchor, another friend who is an RJ and he runs a school to train aspiring RJs, so, becoming an RJ doesn’t limit an individual but it helps them to explore other fields as well.

“Channels look for an appealing voice and someone who can grab listeners, in my opinion the former only partially complete the criteria but for an RJ presence of mind and common sense are very important. To give an example, when I was on air attending a call from a listener, I asked him what he was doing and he said he was driving. I told him that I will stay on hold and asked him to park his vehicle and then we shall continue to talk or else I would hang up, I could have avoided all the fuss because I was on air but presence of mind and common sense helped me do what I did. The caller parked his vehicle and then we continued to talk,” says RJ Venkata Nagendra Reddy aka Venkat Reddy of 101.9 Rainbow FM.

“For me Radio Jockeying is all about entertainment! Entertainment! Entertainment! Because we are dedicated to entertain our listeners, people think anybody who can talk for hours can become an RJ but those who can entertain while they talk will grab the interest of listeners and sustain in this competitive world,” says RJ Chaitanya aka Chatterbox Chaitu of 93.5 Red FM, famous for his Midnight Biryani show.

“An RJ’s role is de-stress the listeners, entertain them, inform them, keep them posted about what’s happening andpresent information in the most innovative and engaging form,” says RJ Haarika Rao of Telugu One Radio on internet who is also a film journalist.

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