Broadening participation in community radio: investigating methods for inclusion and wellbeing

Padfield, Jerry ORCID logoORCID: (2023) Broadening participation in community radio: investigating methods for inclusion and wellbeing. Doctoral thesis, Falmouth University / University of the Arts London.

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Abstract / Summary

This thesis describes a Practice Research study that explores how better to include
people currently under-represented in Community Radio. It uses a mixed
methodology incorporating four separate approaches to explore how those who feel
unable to participate in Community Radio may be able to overcome some of the
barriers to participation, finds approaches that can improve participants’ mental
wellbeing and recommends methods for Community Radio to include underrepresented voices. Its original contribution to knowledge is the identification and
definition of a problem in Community Radio, development of methods for inclusion to
address this problem, and the insights about the efficacy of those methods deriving
from their practical application.
Community Radio has established itself as an integral part of the mediascape of
communities up and down the UK and has proven health benefits both for listeners
and practitioners in terms of mental health, social and community wellbeing.
However, large sections of our communities are not being adequately represented
amongst the presenters at Community Radio stations, including women, people with
disabilities, young people, the over-60s and rural communities, and so are missing out
on these potential benefits as illustrated in the AMARC report of 2007. The way in which
Community Radio in the UK conducts outreach to these communities requires
improvement and innovation. This study uses a variety of methods to seek to engage
individuals from these groups, in order to gain an understanding of which methods
are most effective in which contexts and why.
A web browser-based application was developed using WebRTC, allowing users to
broadcast live from their own homes and communities, and this application was
distributed to Community Radio practitioners. A collaborative practice-research study
was carried out in two Community Radio stations in Cornwall: Source FM in Falmouth
and CHBN in Truro using the developed application. A podcast and radio show, A
Space to Speak Your Mind, was developed in collaboration with mental health
charity, Cornwall Mind, using a self-help group structure. Each of these approaches
was used to create new broadcast content by individuals and communities which
Community Radio currently fails to adequately represent. The data and practice from
each were then analysed to understand how diversifying approaches to
engagement can improve the diversity of Community Radio in the UK. A podcast PhDCasting was used as a reflexive tool as part of the Practice Research method,
bringing audio practice into the centre of the research method and reflective

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Community Radio, WebRTC, Community Media
Subjects: Writing & Journalism > Journalism
Communication > Media
Courses by Department: The School of Film & Television > Film
Depositing User: Nicola Bond
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2024 11:13
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2024 11:13


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