Posted by: snaed | August 7, 2009

Video Jockeys



  1. The people pictured above are video jockeys (VJs). Do you know what VJs do? How are they different from DJs?
  2. How many music video channels are on TV in the country?
  3. How often do you watch music videos on television?


  1. alternative – another choice; (adj.) unusual
  2. channel – a TV station
  3. material – what something is made of
  4. equipment – tools or machines
  5. in addition – also; and
  6. variety – many different choices
  7. viewer – person watching a show
  8. content – things contained inside something; (for TV or radio) programs and songs


DJs (disc jockeys) are the people who play and present music on the radio, or in a nightclub. A VJ (video jockey) is a person who introduces music videos on television.

VJs were first seen on television in the early 1980s when MTV went on the air. As MTV caught on, and the audience for music videos expanded, a variety of other music video channels started broadcasting. In addition to rock music, there were channels for people who were into alternative kinds of music, such as country music, light rock, and R&B[1], and all of these channels needed VJs. By the 1990s, international music video channels like Channel V in Asia and VIVA in Europe had started.

jacksonThe VJs for the new international stations had to be chosen carefully. Although some VJs did shows focused on small audiences and showed mostly local content, other VJs presented shows for international viewers. These VJs, and the material they presented, needed to be popular in several different cultures.

One successful international VJ in Asia is Asha Gill. She is from Malaysia, but her parents and grandparents are from India, France, and England. She speaks three languages and has fans across Asia, from Japan to the United Arab Emirates.

Another VJ who has made a big hit in Asia is Lili. She is actually a computer-animated[2] VJ on MTV Asia. An actress wearing special computer equipment makes Lili move like a puppet[3]. The actress also talks for Lili, and her shows can be seen in five languages.

When asked what makes a good video jockey, many successful VJs have given similar answers. To be a good VJ you need to know a lot about music, you need to be funny, and you can’t be shy.


  1. What is the reading mainly about?
    • how to become a VJ
    • the most popular VJ today
    • the differences between DJs and VJs
    • some general information about VJs
  2. What kind of music did the first VJ probably introduce?
    • classical
    • country
    • rhythm and blues
    • rock and pop
  3. What do Channel V and VIVA have in common?
    • They are both owned by MTV.
    • They are music video channels in Asia.
    • They do not use VJs to introduce music.
    • They have viewers in more than one country.
  4. Which is NOT true about Asha Gill?
    • She speaks more than one language
    • Her family were all born in Malaysia.
    • She’s popular in quite a lot of Asian countries.
    • She is a successful VJ.
  5. Which of the following does the passage NOT mention as being important for someone who wants to be a VJ?
    • speak many different languages
    • listen to a lot of music
    • talk easily with different people
    • being able to make people laugh


  1. on the air – broadcast on TV or radio
    • It’s too early to turn on the TV. None of the channels are on the air yet.
    • The radio station went off the air after the owner died.
  2. catch on – become popular
    • I think this new song will really catch on.
    • The new fashion quickly caught on, and soon everyone was wearing it.
  3. be into something – have a lot of interest in something
    • He’s really into cars and motorbikes.
    • She loves going to bookstores, but she’s not really into clothes shopping.


  1. What is your favorite channel on television? Why do you like it?
  2. Have you seen any TV programs made in another country? Which ones? What did you think of them?

[1] R&B – rhythm and blues

[2] computer-animated – drawn using a computer

[3] puppet – a toy person you move by pulling strings, or by putting your hand inside it


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