Radio in the Global Age offers a fresh, up-to-date, and wide-ranging introduction to the role of radio in contemporary society. It places radio, for the first time, in a global context, and pays special attention to the impact of the Internet, digitalization and globalization on the political-economy of radio. It also provides a new emphasis on the links between music and radio, the impact of formatting, and the broader cultural roles the medium plays in constructing identities and nurturing musical tastes.
Individual chapters explore the changing structures of the radio industry, the way programmes are produced, the act of listening and the construction of audiences, the different meanings attached to programmes, and the cultural impact of radio across the globe. David Hendy portrays a medium of extraordinary contradictions: a cheap and accessible means of communication, but also one increasingly dominated by rigid formats and multinational companies; a highly 'intimate' medium, but one capable of building large communities of listeners scattered across huge spaces; a force for nourishing regional identity, but also a pervasive broadcaster of globalized music products; a 'stimulus to the imagination', but a purveyor of the banal and of the routine. Drawing on recent research from as far afield as Africa, Australasia and Latin America, as well as from the UK and US, the book aims to explore and to explain these paradoxes - and, in the process, to offer an imaginative reworking of Marshall McLuhan's famous dictum that radio is one of the world's 'hot' media.
Radio in the Global Age is an invaluable text for undergraduates and researchers in media studies, communication studies, journalism, cultural studies, and musicology. It will also be of interest to practitioners and policy-makers in the radio industry.