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The voice that cannot be heard

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Concerns are raised about the position of critical legacy and the formulation of orthodoxies in the rapid expansion of radio studies. From this location, the formulation of radio as a fundamentally ephemeral medium and a medium of voice is brought under scrutiny. So too the related formulation of radio archives as insufficient and lacking, especially in comparison to other media. In doing so, some methodological issues related to research and written archives vis-à-vis sound archives are brought into focus. Firstly, the problems of other media archives unsettle the orthodox position of the radio archives as fundamentally inferior. Secondly, the place of written texts in the production of voice is examined. Thirdly, postmodernist theory is employed to suggest that voice is not an object to be recovered from an archive, but that it is produced in the relationship between researcher, methodology and archive.

Keywords: archive; methodology; orthodoxy; voice

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of the West of England

Publication date: March 1, 2003

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  • The Radio Journal is committed to high-quality, diverse research in the arena of radio and sound media, from broadcast to podcast and all in between. We look for articles that explore the production, circulation and reception of radio and creative soundwork, addressing historical and contemporary issues in sound-based journalism and media studies from a wide range of national and transnational perspectives.
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