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    Talk of the town : exploring the social site of local content production for community radio

    Coleman, Josephine Fae (2020) Talk of the town : exploring the social site of local content production for community radio. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    Talk of the town is a study of media production in the under-explored context of community radio in English market towns. The author employs a reflexive, practice-centric approach to focus on situated instances of the routine communication of meaningful local content on-air and online. Theodore Schatzki’s social site lens enables an appreciation of broader influencing factors whilst examining arrays of activities unfolding within specific sets of operational arrangements. The methodology includes desk research, listening-in and two channels of fieldwork. A creative practice-as-research project entitled Remarkable Harpenden for a local internet radio station resulted in ten short audio features, one of which, Green fingers, is the subject of an exegesis. Reflection on this research output and the procedures entailed, including negotiation of technical issues and interpersonal encounters, informed participant observation and interviews for a case study at Radio Verulam in St Albans, and four snapshot studies: Vibe in Watford; Radio LaB in Luton; The Eye in Melton Mowbray; and Somer Valley FM in Midsomer Norton. Analysis of the findings reveals that the community radio personnel surveyed adhere to UK professional standards, paying attention to income generation, as they pursue the sector’s goals enshrined in the voluntary provision of a broadcasting service representing local interests, airing local voices and contributing towards social gain. Programme planning and journalistic activities interweave with daily life, suggesting a reliance on existing social circles and networks of acquaintances for sourcing local news, portraying reactions to current affairs and showcasing artistic and cultural talent. Arising from these in-depth, experiential insights, recommendations are made relating to the importance of reflecting plurality in the values and vested interests conveyed by ensuring demographic diversity in stations. The nuanced understandings achieved demonstrate the value to media studies of not only the social site ontology but the innovative application of research through practice.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2021 16:52
    Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 14:29


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