Community radio news coverage in the European media : mapping popular issues and important silences

Fábio Ribeiro

Abstract

One possible way to learn from the social image of institutions, personalities and troubling issues in society may be provided by media discourse (Macedo and Cabecinhas, 2014; Carvalho, 2010). As such, this article tries to shed some light on the presence of community radio news in media discourse, measuring whether journalists tend to publish news or other informative content on these projects.

As community radios face countless contradictions all over Europe, from legal disparities to different perceptions of their social and economic value (Carpentier and Dahlgren, 2011), this observation seeks to identify what kind of issues are most likely to be reported in the media, as well as the unknown realities in which they are still immersed.

Using a textual analysis, this article provides insights into how community radio is regarded by the European media, from a multi-level sample of more than 100 news items, in different countries. Results show that community radio is more likely to be on the news in countries where this sector is properly regulated. As stated by the analysis, news tends to focus on European community radio situations and is less inclined to discuss the legal or social aspects of public participation in these media outlets. 

Keywords

community; radio; news; media; coverage; Europe; regulation

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