Community radio is an established and key site for negotiations of social and political issues for marginalised communities. Given its inherently local nature (both geographically and ideologically), community radio is perfectly placed as a site for articulating community concerns. At the same time, given this local quality, the diverse ways in which stations—and broadcasters—negotiate their community concerns vary substantially from city to city and region to region across Canada and the US.
The Cultural Work of Community Radio investigates the multiple modes of community and broadcasting practice at selected community stations, explores how these draw from and reflect ongoing concerns of their host city or region, and examines how on the ground practice maps on to overarching broadcast policy directives and guidelines. Focusing on community production practices with reference to policy frameworks around community representation, this book examines and compares differences in community radio production practices in Miami, Montreal, New Orleans, Toronto and tribal lands in Arizona.
1. Complicating ‘Community’/ 2. Articulating Migration Layers in Miami/ 3. An Ecology of New Orleans Community Radio/ 4. Whose Diversity? Expanding Definitions of Community in Toronto/ 5. Broadcasting Native America: Community Radio in Alaska and Arizona/ Conclusion: Policy Versus Practice?
From broadcasting through a crisis to preserving local heritage, community radio is the hero unsung for millions around the globe. Moylan’s loving ears listen to the voices of those who produce it. In doing so, she creates a new hymn to the promise and perils of this vital-yet-under-resourced media.
Moylan provides a rich and colourful description of community radio, comparing five different projects, in diverse communities, across North America. In assessing the cultural work and significance of community promotion and development on different radio stations, she makes a unique contribution to the field by competently and comprehensively querying the social, political and aesthetic aspects of community, culture and radio.
The strength of this book is the intelligent and logical approach that Moylan uses to link scholarly theory with the nuanced community radio practices observed in the field. She employs case studies conducted in five diverse areas of the US and Canada to highlight specific themes common to many community radio stations globally. Scholars and practitioners will find this an intriguing read.
The Cultural Work of Community Radio presents a multifaceted comparative analysis of community radio in North America, deeply informed by the experiences, perspectives and voices of broadcasters themselves. Using an assembled approach that considers content, structure and production practices, Moylan highlights the significant, and often unrecognized, value of the cultural work undertaken through community radio every day.
Katie Moylan has produced an important work on the value and significance of the cultural work of community radio. Drawing on a number of detailed studies of community stations in the United States and Canada, she captures how this cultural labour facilitates meaningful community participation and representation, reworking expressions and understandings of ‘communities’ in all their diversity, often in challenging institutional contexts. Essential reading for students and practitioners alike.
Katie Moylan is a Lecturer in the Department of Media and Communication at the University of Leicester.