"Communities of strangerhoods?": Internet, mobile phones and the changing nature of radio cultures in South Africa

Sarah Helen Chiumbu, Dina Ligaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article analyses the role of new media technologies in transforming radio practices in South Africa in terms of institutional cultures and audience engagement. With emphasis on the Internet and mobile phones, the paper focuses on three radio stations-Safm, Talk Radio 702, and Bush Radio. Drawing on theories of public spheres and theories of publics, the paper argues that ICTs have expanded communicative radio spaces and transformed the nature of audience engagement. Through these expanded spaces, radio stations increasingly view their listeners as publics rather than merely audiences, meaning that listeners now produce, circulate and share information in ways that allow them to organise themselves into a public around radio texts. While the argument in this paper has acknowledged the positive role of ICTs in expanding discursive spaces and transforming radio publics, realities of the digital divide in South Africa are not ignored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-251
Number of pages10
JournalTelematics and Informatics
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Internet
  • Mobile phones
  • Publics
  • Radio cultures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Law
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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