Local Radio, Going Global

Starkey, G. (2011). Local Radio, Going Global . Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.


Abstract: Perhaps the most ubiquitous of all the mass media, radio is also one of the longest established, dating back to the beginning of the last century. Yet it is one of the least theorized. This book examines the development of local radio broadcasting and the trend in the UK and abroad for locally-owned, locally-originated and locally-accountable commercial radio stations to fall into the hands of national and even international media groups. They in turn disadvantage the communities from which they seek to profit, by removing from them a means of cultural expression and democratic participation. In essence, localness in local radio is an endangered species, despite being a relatively recent phenomenon. By tracing the early development of local radio through ideologically-charged debates around public-service broadcasting and the fitness of the private sector to exploit scarce resources, to present-day digital environments in which traditional rationales for regulation on ownership and content have become increasingly challenged, the book provides amanifesto for informed speculation around future developments in local radio. Guy Starkey, a former radio producer and presenter,identifies and rationalizes current trends in local radio within wider globalizing influences in a range of international contexts. A principal focus on the United Kingdom is complemented by comparisons with different contexts in North America, the Commonwealth and the European Union.