Creating radio waves: lessons from a content analysis of diversity in student community radio news

Nasya Yadi Bahfen, Alexandra Wake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The portrayal of ethnic minorities in the media has been of academic interest for many researchers over the past few decades. The evidence suggests that the media tend either to ignore minorities or to report them in a negative manner with a focus on issues such as crime, violence, riots or social unrest. A major theme explored in these studies is how the pattern of news reporting distorts content and pushes for headline-winning aspects of news stories. This paper reports that journalism students at a university in Melbourne completed two newsroom production sessions for one of the city s major community radio stations as part of a semester-long subject. The students were responsible for making decisions about their bulletins in the stories they chose to cover, the interviewees they contacted to assist them in telling the story, the angle of each story, the way interviews were edited and the order of the bulletin. Using Gramsci s theory of hegemony as a framework, the paper looks at the students choices of story and interviewee/talent over a six-week period in 2010. It reflects on the nature of the independent news organisation for which the bulletins were produced and the level of diversity found in the stories and talent used to tell them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113 - 125
Number of pages13
JournalAustralian Journalism Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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