Canadian Community Radio

Supervisor's Name Anne MacLennan
Supervisor Email Address*
Supervisor's Department Communication Studies
Project Title Canadian Community Radio
Description of Research Project
Canadian radio's potential for representative and inclusive broadcasting has yet to be realized. This
research will work to expand the possibilities of radio within the context of current programming,
practice, production, and policy realities. Canadian community/campus radio is tasked with the
representing "diverse cultural groups, including official linguistic minorities" (CRTC 2010-499). We
argue that Canada's community/campus radio stations face financial, practical and other challenges to
work within the limitations of their resources and policy. The research project will investigate the
challenges and best practices of the stations across the country through interviews in order to share the
innovations and initiatives of these stations to help to sustain and advance the goals of
community/campus radio stations in Canada.This research takes new steps to build on recent strides in
the research assessing the growing impact of digital and global media on radio as well as other media
has provoked research on Canadian community radio. This field is not quite dormant, but remained
focused primarily on significant and traditionally important area of Canadian policy or rights (Raboy &
Shtern 2010; Raboy 1990; O'Neill 2007; O'Neill 2008; Armstrong 2016). Recent attention to radio in
Brian Fauteux's thorough survey of campus radio in Music in Range: The Culture of Canadian Campus
Radio concludes "the campus radio sector poses a significant challenge to the increasingly centralized
and homogenous cultural offering of the commercial radio sector (Fauteux 2015: 193)." Equally
important in the field, Alternative Media in Canada edited by Kirsten Kozolanka, Patricia Mazepa and
David Skinner, brings to light the importance of an alternate media that stands in opposition to
commercial media. Representing ethnicity, indigeneity and Quebec radio are part of this collection on
alternative media (Karim 2012; Bredin 2012; Light 2012; Mastrocola 2016) and new examination of
community radio. This work will employ interviews triangulated with participatory action research built
on a foundation of archival and policy research to invigorate the current radio landscape. Examining
radio program content and production practices in community radio across selected Canadian
community radio stations to consider and compare characteristics and strategies of equitable
representation in diverse cultural, linguistic and regional contexts. Fundamentally defined as radio
managed by and serving the community (UNESCO 2001), community radio can however take diverse
structural forms shaped by factors such as
licensing parameters and station ownership. For this project community radio is defined as locally
specific ` managed by and broadcasting to and for its constituent communities. Community radio
responds to the needs of community/-ies served in distinct and specific ways depending on the local and
social context, meaning practices on the ground vary considerably in their negotiations of local factors.
This work will serve "to encourage all Canadians to contribute to their communities in a way that will foster a greater sense of belonging, support meaningful reconciliation and leave a lasting legacy now and for future generations
(Community Foundations of Canada)." This research will apply the cultural particularities of each site
inform and shape grassroots relationships between community stations and their constituent
communities. Finally, community broadcasting legislation should relate to actual production practices on
the ground in meaningful ways. Consequently scrutiny of the policy directives and guidelines is essential
to this work to map efficacy and guidelines.

Short term goals of this work will be conference presentations and articles, and long term goals include the production of a book and policy development.

Undergraduate Student Responsibilities
The position entails working towards assembling bibliographic searches and literature reviews pertaining to both primary and secondary sources, understanding statistical and archival data collection through spreadsheets, utilizing techniques related to library research, interviewing and supporting work on an international journal and an ongoing international edited book collection, as well as any other tasks that pertain to the projects. This position in particular will be involved with a project about the role of community radio in Canadian communities, in a modern context.

The research assistant will support ongoing research and time sensitive work, prioritized by deadlines and the amount of work available in each area.

Candidates will have the opportunity to work in and learn about communication work by performing various research tasks including, assembling materials for conference presentations and publications, working with spreadsheets, microfilm, library research, online research, and bibliography compiling.

This research assistant will acquire a high level of proficiency with qualitative and quantitative research as Professor MacLennan, the principal investigator, teaches methods at the undergraduate, MA and PhD levels. This position is part of a larger research team, working with and supervised by the principal investigator, project manager, and other senior research assistants, who will assist in providing the necessary training and support required for the research assistant to successfully perform the activities associated with the research project. The checks and balances of working on a team will keep the research assistant on track.

The work is an immersive research experience, engaging the student on a deep and transformative level of learning. The research will be conducted on a high-level including the undergraduate student at the same level as graduate students as their ability permits. The student’s contribution will be a core element of the work, because it depends on empirical data drawn from archival collection, data in spreadsheets, developing spreadsheets, data analysis on a variety of levels, microfilm, CRTC materials, possibly interviews, and other related components of the work.

Qualifications Required
Research assistants will be provided with training in statistics, bibliographic and literature searches, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and others as needed.

It is preferred if the student has high academic achievement, has familiarity with Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. While these skills are preferred, all students will be trained if necessary.