Air Checking

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Want to improve your show and don’t know how?

Start by listening back to your own show! It can be hard, but it’s the only way to improve. A technique called Air Checking can be helpful. Similar to sports teams who review tapes of their games to pinpoint areas that are working and areas that need work. Listening with a partner is a huge help, as your own judgements can cloud your perception when listening to your own voice.

The goal of the Programmer in having an Air Check is to reflect on voice, content, style, and quality of programming. (note – don’t take air checks personally, know whose quality standards you are comparing to.)

  • 1. Select a segment of your show.
  • 2. Send it to your partner so you have both listened to the same piece.
  • 3. Try this list of questions to guide you through your Air Check.
  • 4. End your Air Check by setting clear goals for development
  • 5. Set a future Air Check session so you assess progress.


  • What message is the Programmer trying to get across in this segment?
  • What message is the Programmer trying to get across in their show?
  • What message does the Audience hear?
  • What was the Programmers favourite part of the segment?
  • What was the Audience’s favourite part of the segment?
  • What does the Programmer wish they could change?
  • What does the Audience want to hear more of?
  • Was the Programmer prepared for the Show?
  • Could a listener just tuning in understand the segment?
  • Were the facts correct?
  • Did the Programmer identify the station?
  • Did the Programmer read community announcements?
  • Did the Programmer play any PSAs?
  • Where there any pre-produced segments in the show?
  • What did they add to the show?
  • Where there any technical problems? If so, how did the programmer handle it? Did the Audience know there were technical problems?