Broadcast Industry, Internet, Radio, Handheld Devices, Information Dissemination, Technological Advancement, Time Management, Audiences, Expectation, Social Change, Governance, Delivery Systems, Geographic Location, Context Effect, Mass Media, Information Science
This project examines the impact that internet-based distribution technologies, in particular webcasting and podcasting, are having on the community radio sector in the United States. Through interviews with sector participants, the impact of this changing technological environment on the role of community radio is identified. Internet-based platforms operate under different regulatory constraints than broadcast radio, and community radio participants are engaging in a form of regulatory arbitrage whereby the impacts of the various regulatory regimes are considered as part of a broader calculus, with producers choosing their platform(s) based on the specifics of their situation. The curatorial approach taken by many of those interviewed treats the varied platforms as a set of spaces that are each suited to different purposes, radio is situated within a media environment that is increasingly multi-platform, with many of the newer platforms including various on-demand elements. Changing audience expectations are having an impact on all producers. Community radio is grounded in a sense of localism that is challenged by the placelessness of much online content. This opens up opportunities to interrogate the understandings of community underpinning the missions of existing stations. Community radio projects constitute attempts to intervene in shaping our social structures, improving the quality of our shared conversations, and our ability to have a functioning public sphere. To this end, the findings in this project will prove of benefit to anyone charged with similar goals.