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Community radio as citizen journalism

Kocic, Aleksandar; Coleman, Josephine; Padfield, Jerry; Milicev, Jelena


Josephine Coleman

Jerry Padfield

Jelena Milicev


David Harte

Rachel Matthews


Much of the discourse surrounding local journalism in the UK has been related to its demise: whether it be newspaper titles disappearing from the presses, reductions in staff numbers, or regulatory changes relaxing ownership restrictions and localness guidelines in commercial broadcasting. In addition, the BBC announced in 2020 reductions to budgets for, and staff working on local and regional media output. The BBC considers that two dedicated public service radio stations per devolved nation satisfies localised provision with some limited additions on an opt-out basis, such as those for Shetland and Orkney in Scotland. As for commercial stations, there are several local independents, yet only a small number provide local news; others are networked from remote studio hubs, focusing on music and adverts.

While the mainstream withdrawal from localized news coverage has been progressing, the community radio sector has grown. In the UK there are approximately 300 Ofcom-licensed stations. Through thematic analysis of interviews with station managers, this study aims to answer the research questions: What are the experiences and perceptions of community radio volunteers with regard to local news provision? What adaptive strategies do they employ to overcome challenges in local news provision? We identify the themes which define the perceptions of community radio and the challenges it faces and explore the ways in which the volunteer sector, dominated by untrained enthusiasts, could help fill the current gap in local news provision.

Acceptance Date Mar 1, 2021
Online Publication Date Sep 13, 2021
Publication Date Sep 13, 2021
Deposit Date Dec 1, 2021
Publisher Routledge
Pages 81-93
Series Title Disruptions
Book Title Reappraising Local and Community News in the UK: Media, Practice, and Policy
Chapter Number 6
ISBN 9781032001883
Public URL
Publisher URL