pdf ANZCA15 Criticos Popular

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Abstract

When the Australian broadcasting industry was deregulated in 1992, it was expected that it would lead to diversity and competition in the radio industry. While this may have occurred in the capital cities, for regional radio, the result was an increase in networking, concentrated ownership as well as a perceived loss of local radio and local voices. In the discourse of regional radio in Australia, local and localism are two terms used to describe the industry, its programme content and the place it holds in the media landscape. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and the radio industry body Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) use the terms interchangeably, which obfuscates the use of the terms when their individual attributes are taken into consideration. That is, local and localism can be thought of as place and space. As Giddens argues, there is an importance in understanding the distinction between both: “Place” is best conceptualised by means of the idea of local, which refers to the physical settings of social activity as situated geographically….what structures the local is not simply that which is present on the scene; the “visible form” of the locale conceals the distanciated relations which determine its nature (Giddens 1990, p. 18). With a focus on regional radio, using the Super Radio Network as a case study, this paper will give a brief overview of the way local and localism have been used in reference to regional radio and how the idea of what is local has been defined by programme makers, regulators and the radio industry. Since it’s demonstrable that the discourse on local and localism as used in the radio industry has not been adequately defined to encompass both meanings of these terms, I will be putting forward my own definition.