Through November and December 2020, as we head towards the end of this difficult year, and hopefully the beginning of a happier and healthier one, we are taking the opportunity to focus our online discussions around the published work of Black academics. We’re really excited about this list, and are looking forward to sharing our thoughts on the research and topics raised, so that we can learn and be inspired in our own academic endeavours.
The meetings will last one hour, and will take place on Zoom. Please message us for the joining instructions nearer the time.
a) Monday 2nd Nov, 12:00 UTC
Catherine R. Squires (2000) ‘Black Talk Radio. Defining Community Needs and Identity’ in The International Journal of Press/Politics, Vol 5, issue 2, 73-95
This article presents research concerning the relationship between media and public spheres though an investigation of an African-American-owned and -operated talk-radio station in Chicago. The article concludes that, contrary to some scholars’ pessimistic view of commercial media’s role in the decline of the public sphere, the radio station portrayed her is an integral and useful institution for the Black public sphere in Chicago. The study reveals how Africa-American community members and listeners use the station as a public forum wherein traditional political concerns, as well as identity politics, are aired and discussed. Furthermore, the article argues that is it precisely because the station is owned and operated by Blacks that is it able to draw and sustain a substantial and loyal audience. Because they trust the station to “talk their talk”, community members are enthusiastic about participating in the station’s conversational activities and are even willing to make personal financial contributions when advertising revenue is low.
b) 16th Nov, 12:00 UTC
Peter Mhagama (2015) ‘Donor Funding to Community Radio Stations in Malawi and its Impact on their Performance’ in Journal of Southern African Studies, 2015, Vol. 41, No. 6, 1301–1314, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03057070.2015.1116233
Many community radio stations in developing countries rely on donor funding for their sustainability. This raises some questions with regard to how they fulfil their social mission of promoting the participation of the community in the activities of the radio. This article examines how donor funding to community radio stations can affect the performance of the stations, because it has potential to divert the attention of the stations from serving the community to broadcasting externally produced programmes. Based on a case study of Nkhotakota community radio station in Malawi, data were collected through face-to-face interviews with key informants and focus-group discussions with the listeners of the station. The article argues that donor funding, though important for the sustainability of the stations, can erode their identity, because they start concentrating on attracting donors to sponsor programmes. These donors also start to influence the agendas of community radio stations. The article concludes that, overall, the participation of ordinary people in the media is negatively affected.
c) 30th Nov, 12:00 UTC
Fox, K., Dowling, D. O., & Miller, K. (2020). A Curriculum for Blackness: Podcasts as Discursive Cultural Guides, 2010-2020. Journal of Radio & Audio Media, 27(2), 298-318. https://doi.org/10.1080/19376529.2020.1801687
African-American podcasting’s ascent marks a potent articulation of Black identity and experience in media history, one reaching an unprecedented range of audiences, dialogs, and online communities. This study examines how content, production practices, and digital audiences for Black podcasting generate a metaphorical curriculum for blackness, a set of discursive cultural guides for listeners. Case studies representative of major genres and publishing sectors where Black podcasting flourished from 2010 to 2020 include humorous commentary on popular entertainment in The Read (2013-), independent media’s exploration of Black life in The Nod (2014–2020), and legacy media’s in-depth cultural criticism and analysis in Still Processing (2016-).
d) 14th Dec, 12:00 UTC
Hayes Mabweazara(2015)’A clash of cultures:’ pirate radio convergence and reception in Africa’. In: Atton, C. (ed.) The Routledge Companion to Alternative and Community Media. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group: London, pp. 494-504. ISBN 9780415644044