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Community broadcasting and mental health: The role of local radio and television in enhancing emotional and social well-being

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This article sets out to explore the role of community broadcasting in enhancing the emotional and social well-being of its diverse audiences. We argue that communitybased broadcasting is having a positive impact on the state of mental health of its audiences. We make our argument by reviewing audience research data from a study of the Australian community broadcasting sector conducted between 2004 and 2007. The findings reveal that the community radio and Indigenous television sectors are making a significant contribution to managing community mental health by empowering audiences to better understand and control issues that impact on their emotional and social well-being. This suggests opportunities for health care agencies to consider the potential of enlisting community broadcasting in future mental health campaigns. The study reinforces a claim that mainstream media need to be more aware of a growing dissatisfaction with their inability to 'connect' with their diverse audiences on such issues. It also provides further evidence for community radio as a key cultural resource that meets its expected outcomes in contributing to social gain.

Keywords: Community Media Matters; Indigenous television; audience studies; community radio; emotional and social well-being; mental health

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Griffith University, Australia

Publication date: November 1, 2011

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  • The Radio Journal is committed to high-quality, diverse research in the arena of sound broadcasting. The journal is published in association with the Radio Studies Network, the UK's association for researchers and teachers involved in radio studies. Articles examine all aspects of audio media from practice and production in the industry to approaches towards teaching radio studies in institutions. 
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