The world is our community’1: Rethinking community radio in the digital age

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7 Citations (Scopus)


New media technologies – Internet and mobile phones – have transformed the face of radio broadcasting. Research in this area has shown that these technologies are reconfiguring both radio’s institutional structures and its practices. Radio, now accessed on multiple digital platforms, is allowing diverse forms of utilization and engagement. In this article, I analyse the changing nature and meaning of ‘community’ in community radio in the digital age using insights from literature on imagined communities, translocality and liminality. I argue that new media technologies are opening up new spaces for community radio that go beyond the geographical and community of interest to embrace translocal and diasporic communities. There is thus need to interrogate the meaning of community radio in terms of audiences and programming in such new configurations. I use two community radio stations in South Africa to make my arguments. I conclude by pointing to the need for new research avenues on community radio in the digital age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-264
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of African Media Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Community radio
  • Imagined communities
  • Liminality
  • New media technologies
  • Policy
  • Translocalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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