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Radio, community, democracy and citizenship

Radio - despite being the preferred medium of politicians and opinion formers, and a major source of news, music and drama information for everyone - is generally ignored by the rest of the media and by educational institutions.

A new series of radio seminars is launched on Friday 2 July at the London School of Economics and Political Science to explore the power of radio as a dynamic medium and challenge the 'tyranny of the visual.'

The five seminars, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), will take place during 1999 and 2000 throughout the UK. The first on July 2 focuses on Radio, Community and Democracy , with speakers including:

  • Geert Lovink from Amsterdam, a prominent member of the team which kept the Serbian independent radio station B. 92 on air via Internet broadcasts after it was closed down by Milosevic earlier this year.
  • Berdencia Williams from Bristol who will discuss the use of music and pirate radio within the black community as a way of establishing links and identities.
  • Steve Coleman from the Hansard society who will ask whose interests are served by radio talk-shows such as Election Call.

Other seminars will look at the rise of 'new lad' radio; music, youth and cultural taste radio; the role of radio in everyday life; and radio policy for the millennium, with broadcasters, policy-makers and academics contributing.

The seminars are co-ordinated by Dr Rosalind Gill, Associate Director of LSE's Gender Research Institute and author of Gender and the Media: representations, audiences and cultural politics (Polity Press, 1998). She said: 'Most people spend as much time listening to the radio as they do watching television, yet radio receives only a fraction of the attention given to TV. As we face the revolution being brought by new digital media, we can learn a huge amount from one of the oldest communication technologies - radio.'

For further information contact Dr Gill at LSE, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE Tel: 0207 955 6024 or email r.c.gill@lse.ac.uk|.


Dr Rosalind Gill Tel: 020 7955 6024
Judith Higgin, LSE Press Office, Tel: 020 7955 7582

28 June 1999