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Local and Community Radio in Cornwall: testing achievements against obligations and objectives

Grierson, John Robert (2016) Local and Community Radio in Cornwall: testing achievements against obligations and objectives. PhD thesis, University of the Arts London and Falmouth University.

Type of Research: Thesis
Creators: Grierson, John Robert

In a time of shifting technological, regulatory and economic regimes, and debate as to the present and potential uses of media, this thesis offers radio practitioners and students a pragmatic, rather than a highly theorised, enquiry into the notion and value of local radio. In a detailed case study, it uses the chosen stations as the basis for an empirical examination of actual output, and demonstrates comparisons between objectives and achievement against the background of regulatory and self-reflective constraints, and within geographical and technological contexts. This thesis also challenges some common assumptions about localness in quasi-local radio and provides a detailed insight into the perceptions of a number of managers about local and community radio stations.

This is a qualitative study, focusing on broadcaster-output rather than on listener perception. The enquiry takes the form of a case study of “local” radio in the south-west of Cornwall, UK, by examining examples of the three tiers of radio: BBC Public Service, Commercial and Community Radio respectively. Methodologically, background factors are first assessed by interrogating literature covering local radio in the digital age; the nature of locality and localness; the notion of community; and the role of commercialism in local radio. The research, centered in particular upon notions of localness and community, interrogates those terms for meaning and relevance.

A detailed review follows, looking at the formal obligations imposed on each tier and each station (a) by broadcast licences and (b) by self-reflective aims and objectives. Field research then employs observation and full-day, annotated audio monitoring, leading to detailed analytical comparisons of the extent to which the stations rise to the challenges posed. Aspects of typicality and representative sampling are addressed, to ensure that the results obtained through field-research methodology are reliable and repeatable.

Conclusions on the specific issue of compliance produce a mixed picture, with all stations complying to a greater or lesser extent with regulatory licence conditions while some appear to fall short of fulfilling their own objectives. Other conclusions on comparative operational and management issues are equally varied but equally worth perusal.

Additional Information (Publicly available):

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Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: Local radio, community, localness, compliance, objectives
Date: October 2016
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2018 12:47
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2024 15:55
Item ID: 13331
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/13331

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