How much research should a commentator do? How critical should he/she be? What sort of microphone is best? These were questions which came up at an excellent session given by the Radio Academy in London last night. And the answers? Ah well, that's not so simple!
Top radio sports commentators Jim Proudfoot (Talksport) and Simon Brotherton and Alan Green (both BBC) made up the panel to discuss their trade, chaired by Moz Dee.
With questions raining in from an audience mostly made up of people working in the industry, the one thing that was clear was a total lack of clarity!
Research? "Do plenty," said Jim and Simon. Alan: "I hardly do any."
Do you ever write down any lines which you plan to use? Jim: "I used to." Alan: "Never!"
Is it your role to promote the sport? "Yes, I do see that as part of my job," said Jim. "Definitely not" - Alan.
And that microphone question? Simon: "Lipmic." Jim: "Headset." Alan: "Don't like lipmics but we have to use them."
Where there was complete unanimity was the love of the job and a commitment to share exciting experiences with listeners. And, a time when the pressure to entertain and to reflect the agenda of those who bestow broadcasting rights is increasing, all three asserted that they still see themselves primarily as journalists, doing a job of journalism.