This issue of Transformations is made up of articles published independently of the themed issues for the year. In keeping with our policy of encouraging independent writing on regional issues, and in providing opportunities for writers to have their work published without delay, we have provided a special yearly issue of these articles, posted serially throughout the year.
The article ‘Community radio, radicalism and the grassroots: Discussing the politics of contemporary Australian community’ by Susan Forde, Michael Meadows and Kerrie Foxwell deals with the issue of community radio in regional Australia. They argue that community radio in regional Australia is dominated by a conservative politics driven by commerical imperatives, quite distinct from the radical grass-roots politics of earlier metropolitan based community radio.
Susan Forde, Michael Meadows and Kerrie Foxwell
Community radio, radicalism and the grassroots: Discussing the politics of contemporary Australian community
In late 1999, researchers from Griffith University in Australia embarked on a two-year research project of the Australian community radio sector. That project, which is nearing completion, investigated the role of community radio; the profile of community radio personnel; the training contribution of the sector; use of new technologies, and the cultural contribution of the sector, among other things. In general, it was designed to provide a comprehensive snapshot of the Australian community radio industry as it stands today. During the project, some interesting data emerged which reveals much about the Australian sector. The data shows that, contrary to popular perceptions, the Australian community radio sector is relatively conservative in its outlook, possibly caused by a significant shift to the ‘right’ in the past 10 years which seem to have coincided with its move into regional areas, and its increasing commitment to commercial goals. Community radio is no longer the site of radical or grassroots political action that it was once perceived to be, although it is still strongly anchored in its ‘communities of interest’.
Key terms: Community Radio; Politics; Radicalism; Grassroots; Culture; Public Radio.