Tag Archive for college radio

25 years of Flirt FM

Flirt FM merchandise

Last week was the 25th anniversary of the founding of Flirt FM, Galway’s student radio station. I was the founding station manager at the station, and I got to go back on air as part of the celebrations – in the afternoon with my sons (including an interview they completed with my father, about his involvement with RTÉ’s Galway Community Radio project in the 1970s/1980s), and later with media analysts/scholars Paul Riismandel and John Anderson, where we explored the role of alternative media in covering protest.

Then this week I was part of a discussion on Paul’s radio show/podcast, Radio Survivor, where (along with current Flirt FM station manager Paula Healy, and co-hosts Jennifer Waits and Eric Klein). Lots of fun, and some serious discussions too.

CFP: Towards Resilient Community Media

Towards resilient community media

A conference at NUI Galway (Ireland), 13-15th June, 2019

The community media sector has been the focus of an increasing amount of scholarly attention as it has grown in size, from social movement theorists, to political economists, to those focused on governance and organisational communication.

Maintaining community media organizations poses a complex challenge, requiring ongoing attention to funding, to governance structures, to changing political and economic conditions, and to the task of building and consolidating relationships with communities. The challenge is exacerbated by the operation of community media within a capitalist system that is antithetical to the values of collaboration, non-commercialism, and inclusion that are at the core of work in this area. As Atton and Hamilton (2008: 26) note in their analysis of the political economy of alternative journalism, the “general political-economic dilemma for any critical project is that it needs resources with which to work, but those crucial resources are present only in the very society that it seeks to change or dissolve.”

This conference will provide an opportunity to reflect on questions of resilience and endurance as they arise in community media, and to explore the various interdependent factors that can impact the ongoing stability and health of community media projects. In addition to welcoming research grounded in particular case studies, we look forward to papers that will, in a holistic fashion, explore the role and operation of the sector in the context of broader socio-political concerns.

Contributions are invited from academics (including emerging and early-career scholars) exploring these issues, as well as from those working within the community and alternative media sectors.

Areas of focus might include (but are not limited to):

  • Analysis of the political economic contexts within which community media operate, including regulatory, financial, and staffing challenges.
  • Exploration of issues of governance and internal organisation
  • Analysis of sectoral cooperation and collaboration.
  • Questions of ethos, including issues of localism, defining community, ideology, and purpose.
  • Maintaining and refreshing relationships with communities.
  • Grappling with the ongoing tension between pragmatism and idealism.
  • Case studies of community or alternative media projects, including historical case studies, that provide insights into one or more issues of relevance to the conference theme.

In the first instance, proposals should be sent to andrew.obaoill@nuigalway.ie, and should include:

  • Author name and affiliation(s)
  • Paper title
  • 200-word abstract

The conference will open the evening of Thursday 13th, with academic sessions throughout the day on Friday 14th. Saturday 15th will include a field trip to the site of the Marconi transatlantic wireless telegraphy station in Connemara, supported by funding from the Broadcast Authority of Ireland, along with a visit to the studios of Connemara Community Radio.

Proposals are requested by 30 April, 2019. Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

It is anticipated that selected papers from the conference will be published as a themed issue of a relevant academic journal.

This conference is made possible with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and of the NUI Galway College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies.

CFP: Sustaining Community Media

I’m guest editing an issue of the Journal of Alternative and Community Media with Salvatore Scifo of Bournemouth University, on the theme of Sustaining Community Media: Challenges and Strategies. We welcome short abstracts by 15 November.

JOACM

SCMS debrief

Last weekend I participated in a great set of panels at SCMS in Boston. The panels were part of an effort to set up a radio studies SIG within SCMS, and there were some great presentations and discussions, including on LPFM (from Cynthia Conti and Christina Dunbar-Hester), the utility of a rhetoric of ‘crisis’ for NPR (that from Jason Loviglio), and more. I provided an overview of some of my recent work, including some still-percolating thoughts on how college radio stations are responding to having their FM licenses sold out from under them.