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Transmit/disrupt: Why does illegal broadcasting continue to thrive in the age of spectrum liberalization?

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This research examines the systemic factors that perpetuate illegal broadcasting in London. It is primarily based on interviews conducted with relevant policy-makers, lobbyists and activists between May and August 2009. Findings were contextualized by secondary data and documents sourced in part through applications under the Freedom of Information Act. The research finds that illegal broadcasting plays a key role in the value chain of production within the urban music industry and that current digital radio policy is unlikely to reduce its prevalence. Illegal broadcasting is becoming an increasingly marginalized issue in regulatory discourse and there is a growing emphasis on enforcement at the expense of licensing alternatives. The research also uncovers significant aspects of 'informal' policy-making in respect of illegal broadcasting, raising question marks over the transparency and accountability of the policy process.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2011

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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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