Three-D Issue 30: Radio Studies Network report


MeCCSA Radio Studies Network at the 2018 Transnational Radio Conference, Prato, Italy

From the 10th – 13th of July 2018, over 150 radio and audio specialists from all over the world descended on Prato in Northern Italy, to attend the 2018 biennial Radio Conference. The MeCCSA Radio Studies Network was proud to be a key supporter of this conference through marketing and promotion, as well as sponsoring one of the keynote lectures by Professor Kate Lacey, University of Sussex.

The RSN was well represented in the research discussed at the conference with many UK institutions sharing their radio scholarship. In addition, over half the RSN Steering Group presented papers and attended an interim committee meeting. Members of the internationally-focused Online Reading Group in Radio Studies for early career researchers and postgraduate students got to meet in person for the first time, while others who couldn’t attend followed and commented on conference proceedings online via live audio streaming by Radio Papesse.

Members of the MeCCSA RSN and its Steering Group with other delegates of the 2018 Radio Conference in Prato, Italy (Photo: Aurogeeta Das)

The conference was extremely well-organised by Dr Mia Lindgren from Monash University, ably assisted by a well-resourced conference team.

A key highlight from the conference include Prof Lacey’s keynote, which was a follow-up to her influential 2009 lecture, “10 years of radio studies: the very idea.” In a ‘state of the field’ address, she provided a fascinating survey of the radio research produced in the intervening years, and the breadth of publications and topic areas in which studies of radio are now flourishing. The keynote of Dr Graham Dixon (European Broadcasting Union) was another highlight, in which he commented on the trust, reach and portability of radio compared to other media forms, and discussed its position, weight and ubiquity in society.

Outside of the papers, one of the most memorable events was the award-winning Radio Atlas listening event, beautifully subtitled and screened over drinks in the Buonamici Garden in the centre of Prato. In addition, artisan Cristina Marras, conducted interviews with delegates at the conference and edited them into a short podcast played out over lunch before we all went our respective ways.

Overall, the links established at this conference between MeCCSA Radio Studies Network members and other international radio studies academics were productive and exciting, and the members of the RSN look forward very much to the next one in 2020.

Publications and other international recognition for the RSN

In other news, major international and interdisciplinary publication Radio Journal: International Studies in Broadcast and Audio Media published a report by Chair and Deputy-Chair, Josephine Coleman and Helen Gubbins on the work of the RSN in 2017. The first half of 2018 was similarly busy, with three radio-focused panels at the MeCCSA Annual Conference in London and much planning work underway for sponsored radio and audio panels at upcoming conferences in the UK. RSN Steering Group and MeCCSA Executive member, Dr Janey Gordon, has been busy editing papers for a publication stemming from the two RSN-sponsored conferences in 2017, which commented on the 50 years since the launch of BBC Local Radio in the UK. Our online radio studies reading group for postgraduates and early career researchers is continuing to do well, with radio and audio practitioners from Australia, the UK, Ireland, Egypt, Turkey, Spain, and Colombia, amongst its members. Publisher Taylor & Francis recently published a piece on the group on its “Author Services” blog.

Join our network!

The RSN warmly welcome expressions of interest in our work from inside and outside MeCCSA. For continued updates on our events and for information on how to get involved in this very active and growing area of research, we encourage everyone to ‘like’ or ‘follow’ our channels on Facebook and Twitter (@radiostudies).

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