The Cyberspace Handbook (Media Practice)
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Search History. Search history from this session 0. Metrics Views In This Chapter The fall of cyberspace and the rise of data Introduction Cyberspatial autonomies Virtual community and identity Indeterminacy and virtuality Mythologies of cyberspace Production of cyberspace Integrative practices The fall of cyberspace and the rise of data Materially mediated life Visualization and datafication Translocalities Conclusion References. Abstract This chapter traces the life of cyberspace as a metaphor for conceptualizing the relations between digital media technologies and culture in its broadest sense.
Among the most popular shows are health programmes made in association with health care groups in Nottingham. It is immediate, you can talk to people in their own homes and get feedback from listeners to the messages we are giving out. Programmes on religious and political issues are also popular and studio guests feature local councillors, Muslim MPs and even cricketer and politician Imran Khan talking from Islamabad. And despite its popularity there is no guarantee that they will get a licence.
Under these circumstances community media have a positive role to integrate them into society and provide a platform to plead and propagate their own issues. There is very good community radio in Australia, South America and Canada and even our neighbours in France and Germany have a good system. For a fuller discussion of the role of the Radio Authority in commercial radio see Chapter 9.
Information from the Hospital Broadcasting Association web site at www. The most obvious way a station declares its identity is through its choice of music or lack of it and the style of its presenters. In other words, the radio station is more than just its output.
It is a set of attitudes and values that constitute its brand. For example in choosing which supermarket we shop in the basic requirement is that it stocks food and drink. The basic requirement we have for a radio station is that it provides information and entertainment. Similarly listeners to BBC 5 Live are more likely to be interested in news and sport than listeners to Classic FM whose taste is for light classical music.
And just as supermarket shoppers can be won or lost by a range of features that have nothing to do with the basic service they E Radio style 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 45 provide — such as the quality of their trolleys or carrier bags or the attitude of the check-out staff — so too can radio listeners be won or lost by details like the frequency and style of their jingles or the comments of a particular presenter.
Branding, then, is a way of achieving a consistent identity for the radio station that is delivered through every part of its programming and promotions. For us a brand is about much more than the mix of music we play — or the contests we run. This chapter looks at the way radio stations achieve their brand identity, but before doing so it considers something all stations work around — the radio day.
To achieve this radio stations attempt to match the pace, style and content of their programmes to the daily routines of their listeners. As Paddy Scannell observes, The effect of the temporal arrangements of radio and television is such as to pick out each day as this day, this day in particular, this day as its own day, caught up in its own immediacy with its own involvements and concerns. The huge investment of labour care that goes to produce the output of broadcasting delivers a service whose most generalizable effect is to re-temporise time.
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The breakfast show The most important programme on any radio station is its breakfast show. The idea is to keep the audience coming back for more. Listeners then phoned in throughout the day with suggested punch lines before the real one was delivered towards the end of the drive-time show. Other stations use competitions to keep their listeners tuned in throughout the day. As the managing director of Leicester Sound, Phil Dixon, explains, the radio day has a predictable pattern that broadcasters have to try to exploit.
Valuable social ammunition. John Humphrys is known for his aggressive, almost bullying approach, while the no less tenacious James Naughtie has a more paternalistic, reasoned way of dealing with interviewees that balances the programme.
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As Phil Dixon explains, the idea behind a breakfast team on GWR stations is to have a set of people with distinctive roles that will appeal to the different characteristics of the audience. We need to have an anchor who is someone who carries out all the benchmarks we have as a radio station like time-checks, travel and the music, and is warm and approachable.
Traditionally this zone of broadcasting was aimed at housewives, but it is now recognised that daytime radio is used by a wide variety of people either at work or travelling, as well as those at home. Drive-time shows The pace picks up again on most stations as the traditional working day comes to an end. Drive-time shows serve the same function as breakfast shows but in reverse.
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Just as the breakfast show trails programmes on the station later in the day, drive-time acts as a bridge between daytime programmes and those on later in the evening. Evening and overnight shows The audience for radio generally after 7 p. Traditionally it is in the evening that less mainstream programmes are aired. Radio style 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 49 Ironically, evening and night broadcasting is often more innovative than that of the daytime, as John Peel has shown since the early days of Radio 1 when he established a cult following by introducing alternative music to listeners.
It is seen as a time when new formats can be tested and new presenters tried out particularly on smaller stations. Traditionally, sport features prominently on Saturday afternoons although this is done in different ways. Predictably, stations like talkSPORT and BBC 5 Live devote their entire Saturday afternoon to sport but many music-based stations feature match reports and goal updates during the football season see Chapter 7 for more details about sports programming. Local radio also features sport heavily on a Saturday afternoon often providing commentary on local teams with regular updates from other key games.
How we select which station to listen to is to some extent dependent on our needs.
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But increasingly what attracts or repels listeners is the personality that the station projects, and this is done through carefully thought-out and deliberate branding, which we will now examine in more detail. Branding a station The branding of radio stations is about much more than their output and promotions: at root it is about what associations the audience make with the name of the station.
As Jane Hill, the director of programming for the Lincs FM group points out, it is only since the mids that the branding of radio stations has become more of an issue. For this reason branding is done both on-air through the style of the presenters and programmes, and off-air through advertising and promotions that provide a visual representation of the station. You take those areas of the brand values and then perhaps do a bus advertising campaign with a picture of a family and a friendly slogan, and then you go to events that involve your kind of audience, and you go to schools and give out sandwich bags and water bottles with the station logo on them.
You have to follow the brand values all the way through. The second is that a strong brand image makes it easier for the corporation to sell its programmes abroad, earning money that can be used to supplement the licence fee. The BBC brand is recognised worldwide as quality broadcasting. But it is interesting to note that as competition in radio in Britain increases, the BBC is taking an increasingly commercial approach to marketing itself by exploiting its unique selling point as the public service broadcaster in Britain, much to the annoyance of commercial radio who regard themselves as providing as much of a public service as they do.
The BBC also has an advantage over commercial broadcasters in the way it can, and does, promote its services through all of its outlets: the only advertisements on the BBC are for other BBC products. However, as Baroness Young, the vicechairman of the BBC board of governors, told an audience at the Radio Academy Radio Festival in Cardiff in , the Corporation has a duty to tell the public about its services in whatever way it can. We must let the Radio 4 drama audience know that there is longer drama on Radio 3, let comedy fans move from Radio 4 to Radio 2.
At the BBC this is done through a team headed by the director of marketing and communications, but the strategies they use are the same ones used by all radio stations, which suggests that at root the non-commercial BBC is as much a business as any other radio station. Station identity The essential identity of a radio station is its output but this is much more than what music is played or the accent of the presenters. One of the attractions of radio is that it appears to be spontaneous, but the reality is that it is very carefully constructed with some tightly formatted stations literally scripting every second of output.
Too much talk on a musicbased station can cause listeners who tune in for the music to go elsewhere. Similarly, discussing a topic that is not relevant to the audience on speechbased radio will cause listeners to retune. Even stations more orientated to speech usually broadcast a few 54 The Radio Handbook hours of music every week.
Every piece of music played must be logged and details sent to the Performing Rights Society PRS who then charge royalties on behalf of the performers. Another problem is that even if a piece of music is popular, in that it is selling well, it may not be compatible with the overall sound of the station, so each piece of music has to be given careful consideration to ensure it will not make listeners reach for the dial or switch off.
Mellow love songs, for example, are generally regarded as being more appropriate to late-night shows, while more up-beat music is used in breakfast shows. For these reasons a carefully considered music policy is vital to every radio station. Most music-based stations operate a playlist that is updated every week.
The playlist determines what will be played, and how often it will be played.
The fall of cyberspace and the rise of data
At small independent stations this is compiled by the programme controller often in collaboration with the head of music or other producers. Stations owned by a group, however, tend to have a group music policy so that their aural brand is consistent across all of their stations. BBC editor Kate Squire says the music policy is determined nationally but also allows 10 per cent of the playlist to be set locally.
The most widely used software package in commercial radio is the Selector system.
This takes a pre-entered playlist and divides it by various categories like artist, title, tempo, mood and chart position and provides a running order. The advantage of such a system to stations in a group is that it ensures a consistent sound effortlessly. Further developments in computers now mean that many stations store their music on hard disc that is accessed either by a fader system, touchscreen or keyboard.
Adverts, jingles and station idents are also stored this way and can be played out automatically. While some see this as reducing the role of the presenter to that of a computer operator, the positive side of the system is that it frees presenters from endless logging and searching for the right track on CDs to do other things. This can range from setting up studio guests to answering calls from listeners or getting information updates to pass on in their programme.
This practice began in the s but is becoming increasingly common especially on music-based stations for overnight and weekend slots. The advantage is that it cuts down labour costs but allows stations to provide local output that carries their aural brand. GWR FM in Bristol and Bath, for example, split their output to give Bath its own service which was fully automated, something the company say would not be possible any other way.
However, the Radio Authority believes automation detracts from the localness of radio and wants to limit the amount commercial stations use. Advocates of the practice, however, say automated programmes provide a better service than the networked ones that many stations would be forced to use as an alternative because they can still have local references and content.
The programmes may not sound any different from live radio, but the knowledge that what is being heard is not live could change the way it is received by listeners. Radio style 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 57 Jingles and ads Music also features heavily in the jingles and commercials — either for products or other programmes — used on all radio stations and just like recorded music they have to blend with the overall sound of the station and reinforce its image. Jingles are used to punctuate a programme or link from one item to another, and they take various forms.