Volunteer FAQ

Volunteer FAQ

Frequently asked questions

Please note: We can only accept broadcasters who have their own home recording facilities. Thanks.

Gatewave depends on the dedication of its many volunteers to provide 24-hour broadcast content to its local and national audio streams. By reading aloud, you can bring a world of printed material to those who are visually-impaired or otherwise unable to read print. Volunteer readers must have access to a recording studio or home recording system.

How To Volunteer To Read

Before you are eligible to become a volunteer broadcaster for Gatewave, you must take and pass our audition for reading aloud. The audition includes a 100-word pronunciation test and several brief excerpts of reading from newspapers and magazines. The reading test takes about 15 minutes. Since our broadcasts are produced as a "live" read, we ask that you do not review the audition ahead of time. Further audition instructions will be provided to you once you have submitted the application.

Time Requirements For Readers

We ask a one year minimum commitment of two to three hours once every week throughout the year barring vacation or illness. This helps us cut down on the amount of turnover and time spent on bringing in as well as training new volunteers.

Age Requirement

Minimum age is 21. Many of our listeners prefer hearing adult voices reading materials aloud. In addition, with changing class schedules each quarter or semester, high school and college students are usually not able to meet the one year requirement mentioned above.

What Will I Read?

Volunteers are assigned specific publications depending on our needs and your schedule.

What Do I Need To Provide The Recording?

You can record at home as long as you have a quiet place for recording. You will need a "Home Studio" setup. You can download our PDF "Home Recording Tips" to find out how to create a home studio.

Reading Skill Requirements

Volunteer readers need to be able to read aloud without previous preparation and with a high degree of accuracy and clarity. Auditions are evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Diction is clear, distinct, and easily understandable.
  • Reading is free from disturbances such as coughs and frequent hesitations.
  • Reading is appropriate to the material being presented, sympathetic but not exaggerated, restrained but not stilted, attentive to the sense of the material. The reader is skillful in adding proper emphasis and demonstrates an awareness of the manner in which words fit together for good verbal expression in reading aloud, especially with regard to meaning.
  • Reading communicates accurately the thoughts and ideas set forth in the printed material.
  • Reading demonstrates fluency and ease.
  • Reading brings the material to life, making the listener want to hear more. The reader exhibits a sense of timing and ability to express shades of emphasis.
  • Reading has a quality that draws the listener in. The reading style exhibits firmness and self-confidence and, without being assertive or patronizing, takes hold of and dominates the listener.
  • Reading maintains a pace that is appropriate to the material.
  • Reading avoids being patterned and monotonous.
  • The reader is able to follow instructions exactly.
  • Volunteer readers should be able to pronounce words such as these with at least 90 percent accuracy:
    ambivalence, gubernatorial, gonorrhea, hallucinatory, niche, dichotomy, bacchanalian, unanimity, obsequious, recidivism

How To Apply

If you are interested in becoming a reader and have successfully been able to pronounce 9 of the above 10 words correctly and with confidence, and if you can provide a recording environment, please fill out and submit the Application form.

We will then contact you within two weeks of receiving the application with further information.

Thank you for your interest.