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Free Content The history of student radio in Poland

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The earliest student radio stations in Poland were set up in the early 1950s. They broadcast as closed-circuit stations in student hostels and were accessible only by inhabitants of the campus. The level of freedom of speech at such stations was higher than in other types of media, not only because of special concessions with reference to students, but also because of a large number of such initiatives in Poland that were difficult to control. This type of student broadcasting lost a significant part of its audience in the early 1990s because of the development of the commercial radio sector. However, at the same time new possibilities for student broadcasting emerged. The Act on Radio and Television Broadcasting in 1992 introduced a new way of transmitting the signal – on air, with a licence. Contemporary student radio stations can be divided into two main groups: licensed and non-licensed (closed-circuit and Internet streaming). Between these two groups there are significant differences concerning organizational, financial and management issues, as well as the social functions they perform. Today, student radio is one of few mediums that broadcast spoken word programming and alternative music, as well as promoting participation, dialogue and marginalized voices.

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Keywords: Central and Eastern Europe; alternative media; broadcasting in Poland; community radio; radio in Poland; student radio

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Warmia and Mazury

Publication date: March 1, 2015

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