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Radio in Small Nations

Radio in Small Nations: Production, Programmes, Audiences

Copyright Date: 2012
Edition: 1
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  • Book Info
    Radio in Small Nations
    Book Description:

    A collection which considers the crucial role of radio in small nations, presenting diverse voices and diverse themes and held together by passionate and scrupulous research.

    eISBN: 978-0-7083-2544-5
    Subjects: Performing Arts

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. General Editors’ Foreword
    (pp. v-vi)
    Steve Blandford and Gill Allard

    Let us start with the obvious question. What is the definition of a small nation? The honest answer of course is that there are many approaches to such definitions, ranging from the more obvious measures of population and geographic scale to more subtle measures such as Gross National Product or Miroslav Hroch’s notion of ‘subjection to a ruling nation for such a long period that the relation of subjection took on a structural character for both parties’ (cited in Hjort and Petrie, 2007: 6).

    This series’ conceptual framework is much closer to the last of these definitions and, in some...

  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. About the Contributors
    (pp. ix-xii)
  5. Radio in Small Nations: An Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)
    Richard J. Hand and Mary Traynor

    After its inauguration during the early years of the twentieth century, radio and a new concept called ‘broadcasting’ enjoyed phenomenal popularity with a direct impact on culture and society. Particularly from the 1920s onwards, with the establishment of official broadcasting companies and stations, the impact of radio on politics as well as national, regional and community identities would be incalculable. However, the twentieth century was an epoch of rapidly advancing technologies, and by the latter half of the century there were regular predictions about the demise of radio, especially in relation to television and the internet. All the same, despite...

  6. 1 In Search of Access, Localness and Sustainability: Radio in Post-devolutionary Wales
    (pp. 7-26)
    Steve Johnson and Philip Mitchell

    Wales provides an intriguing case study of radio’s role, both actual and potential, in the construction of the identity of a small nation, not least because it has the highest levels of radio listening in the UK (Ofcom, 2011f: 23). Choices available along the radio dial in Wales offer not only exposure to two distinct languages but also to several different tiers of broadcasting, illustrating varying conceptions of ‘nationhood’: listeners here may choose between transmissions from the overarching nation state (the United Kingdom) and others which target either their immediate Welsh locality, or that locality’s surrounding regional area, or Wales’s...

  7. 2 Voice of a Nation: The Development of Radio and Ireland
    (pp. 27-39)
    Rosemary Day

    These were the opening words of the address delivered on air on 1 January 1926 at the launch of Ireland’s first radio service, the state owned 2RN (this became Radio Éireann in 1937 and Radio Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) in 1960). The speech describes the aspirations of a young state to nationhood. It makes claims to an ancient, unique heritage and expresses the desire to gain international recognition and status. It presages many of the issues surrounding the role of radio in shaping identity in Ireland over the next century, some of which are explored in this chapter as the story...

  8. 3 We Don’t Talk Any More: The Strange Case of Scottish Broadcasting Devolution Policy and Radio Silence
    (pp. 40-60)
    Ken Garner

    Busy is not the word for it. At first glance, the record of the Scottish Government regarding broadcasting would appear to suggest that radio in Scotland has been experiencing a high-velocity onslaught of policy initiatives and proposals for legislative change in the four years since the Scottish National Party (SNP) – which campaigns for eventual full independence for the country from the UK – first formed a minority administration in the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood in Edinburgh in 2007. A full Scottish Broadcasting Commission was established, has reported, and the SNP Scottish Government already issued two annual progress reports back,...

  9. 4 New Zealand – A Radio Paradise?
    (pp. 61-74)
    Brian Pauling

    Globally, radio is the most prolific mass medium. At one end, it provides substantial profits for media conglomerates operating large networks; at the other, it provides a voice for the powerless, the oppressed and the marginalized. New Zealand exemplifies this in its radio landscape.

    New Zealand is a small country, both geographically and in terms of population. As a country colonized by Great Britain, its European tradition is strong. However, the indigenous people, Maori, are in renaissance and their growing population and influence is felt in all walks of life. The country is long (1,800 km), narrow (at its narrowest...

  10. 5 Radio as an Expression of Nation and Sub-nation in Laos
    (pp. 75-87)
    Mary Traynor

    Laos has had a particularly turbulent recent history. Since the late nineteenth century, its territorial borders have been defined and redefined at the whim of successive outside forces, its national identity contrived and manipulated to suit the dominant power of the moment. The articulations of nation status have, for the most part, been inaccessible and irrelevant to the inhabitants of Laos, who have been far more concerned with the day-to-day battle to survive. If, as David Morley and Kevin Robins argue, communication networks provide ‘the crucial, and permeable, boundaries of our age’ (1997: 1), to what extent is radio an...

  11. 6 Training for Life: The Contribution of Radio Training to Indigenous Education and Well-being in Australia
    (pp. 88-101)
    Ioana Suciu and Kitty van Vuuren

    Australian indigenous radio stations have been successfully broadcasting for nearly forty years and are proven pathways for indigenous people towards employment, enterprise and the maintenance of languages and culture (Molnar and Meadows, 2001: 16). The sector offers a first-level service for indigenous audiences and it is the only service that is embedded in local indigenous community structures, broadcasts in local languages on local topics and events, contributes to local disaster planning and keeps local audiences in touch with mainstream media content (Meadows and Molnar, 2002: 12; Forde et al., 2002). In this way it serves as a bridge between mainstream...

  12. 7 CHOU Arabic Radio in Montreal: Finding Unity in Diversity
    (pp. 102-114)
    Martin LoMonaco

    CHOU is an Arabic-language radio station serving Montreal, Canada. Its philosophy of programming is a model of providing diverse programming to an audience that, when viewed from the perspective of non-Arabic speakers, appears to be monolithic. Its programming is regulated by the Canadian Government and reflects the liberal nature of Canadian society. This chapter explores the unique problems of broadcasting to ethnic and linguistic minority audiences, the unique regulations of Canadian broadcasting and a description of CHOU as a radio station uniquely positioned to seek unity in its diverse audience.

    Research has demonstrated that to the majority population in a...

  13. 8 Regional Radio and Community: John Lair and the Renfro Valley Barn Dance
    (pp. 115-125)
    Jacob J. Podber

    This article examines how radio personality John Lair attracted and maintained a listening audience interested in southern, country, barn dance and ‘hillbilly’ music. By examining the correspondences between Lair and his audiences, I found that a community of radio listeners was formed from many different regions of the country. Many were southerners, although some had migrated north or west. Other fans simply loved country music. Lair’s talent was his ability to create a listening environment on his programmes that took his audiences ‘back home’. Sometimes this was done simply with his voice, stories and ‘down home’ charm, but mostly it...

  14. 9 Community Radio for the Czech Republic – Who Cares?
    (pp. 126-139)
    Henry G. Loeser

    If you ask ten people on the street in Brno, Czech Republic about community radio, how would they respond? If you repeated the action in Lyon, France you would likely get a completely different response. Czech society has little experience with the concept of community broadcast media – there is not a single community terrestrial radio in the entire country. France, however, has a rich history of a vibrant community radio sector, with numerous community radios in Lyon, and more than 600 nationwide. Alongside the first (public service) and second (commercial) sectors of the Czech broadcast media landscape, the third...

  15. 10 Radio in the Republic of Moldova: The Struggle for Public Service Broadcasting
    (pp. 140-154)
    James Stewart

    The former Soviet Republic of Moldova is a small, poor country (comparable in size and population to Wales) which has failed to establish itself as a united, democratic state since independence in 1991. When it left the USSR, it had one, state-controlled, radio broadcaster – what is now the legally independent public institution, Radio Moldova. By 2011, there were more than fifty other licensed stations. By comparison, Wales has fewer than half that number of licensed radio services (including two BBC and nine community stations). Many of Moldova’s local stations – especially those outside the capital – have struggled to...

  16. 11 Radio in Wales: The Practitioner Speaks
    (pp. 155-170)
    Julie Kissick and Mary Traynor

    The media landscape in Wales is increasingly crowded. Globalization and commercialization create a competitive environment, and fastmoving technological development is blurring the edges of what is traditionally considered to be ‘radio’. This is an exciting and challenging time for radio practitioners. While the congested marketplace makes it difficult for radio to be ‘heard’, internet and digital distribution make radio listening easier than it has ever been and social media creates new opportunities for two-way communication flows between radio stations and listeners. Drawing on the experiences of practitioners at three radio stations in Wales, this chapter provides an insight into how...

  17. Works Cited
    (pp. 171-192)
    (pp. 192-194)
  19. Index
    (pp. 195-200)