source and entire item from The Sunday Telegraph: ABC Radio’s new star says the first weeks of the job have been “challenging” but for many listeners of Deborah Cameron’s show the experience has been harrowing.

The former newspaper journalist was thrown into the prized role with little training and has struggled with the technology, often losing guests mid-interview and asking for help from the producer while still on-air.

“I think I’ve found it, certainly, challenging, but it’s been extremely positive - I’ve enjoyed every day,” Cameron said last week.

“The pressure that you feel here isn’t unlike 5.45pm on a busy day with the editor screaming `file’. It is not that much different.”

However, industry insiders, none of whom want to be named, have said Cameron doesn’t appear to know what she is doing.

On most mornings, Cameron sounds as though she is reading her material and she sounds obviously nervous.

Her lack of on-air technical skill has also meant she has accidentally played music over her own voice.

She has yet to master the radio skill of seamlessly moving from one topic to another and at times dismisses guests with an abrupt “thank you” when ending an interview.

One listener, contributing to a blog on Cameron, described her show as: “Uncertain, clunky, long pauses, no personality, ill at ease with the technology. She sounds like a struggling country town volunteer on a community radio station.”

Rival 2GB host Ray Hadley, who has not listened to Cameron’s program and was not critical of it, said he was surprised that a print journalist with no presenting experience had been given the second-most important timeslot in radio.

New presenters are commonly trialled on less high-profile shifts, like overnights.

One commentator said Cameron had a great voice and credentials, but that radio was an entirely different discipline to print journalism.

ABC Local Radio manager Jeremy Millar said Cameron’s technical skills will quickly develop and in doing so come to match her skills as a journalist.

Cameron was among many journalists - including Drive presenter Richard Glover - who switched to broadcasting and it was “a bit of a non-issue really’”.

The ABC was “positive and relaxed” about her progress, he said.

“Deborah is a very smart, witty, intelligent person and the radio skills are things that you teach, coach and learn over time,” he said.

“You can’t teach people to be smart, but you can teach them the craft skills around it.”

Former ABC presenter Sally Loane did not find the switch “particularly easy” when she left newspapers to host mornings in 1999.

In five years, she lifted ratings from 6.4 to 9, a score not beaten by Virginia Trioli, who resigned to focus on TV at the end of last year.

“With print, you research and write your story for daily or weekly deadlines whereas, on radio, you communicate verbally and you have to react very quickly to fast-moving stories and immediate, time-driven deadlines,” Loane said.

“Unlike many commercial radio stations, ABC Local Radio doesn’t employ panel operators, so you also have to learn complex technical skills.”

Julie McCrossin, who quit ABC breakfast after four weeks on-air last year, said it was the quality of the journalism that attracts and entertains the ABC audience.

“Our audience is cluey enough about what is going on to give people a bit of time to get that extra fluidity,” she said.