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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

The relationship between podcasting and radio

Berry, Richard (2017) The relationship between podcasting and radio. In: ECREA Radio Research Conference, September 12-14th 2017, Lublin, Poland.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Keynote)


The relationship between podcasting and radio

There has long been the notion that radio is an adaptable medium; one which has constantly shifting boundaries, definitions, forms and technologies. As Jo Tacchi notes in her pioneering article in 2000 “Radio can be said to have certain characteristics, but the evidence suggests that radio is that history says it is: it has no essence since it has already taken, and continues to take, different forms” (p292). In that framework it would seem logical and appropriate to refer to audio work distributed on demand via internet as radio. Indeed, many podcasts not only sound like radio programmes, but are radio programmes that have been remediated in the podcast space. All of this points to podcasting being radio; offering further proof of radio’s adaptability. However, we are now fully immersed in what Tizano Bonini has called a ‘Second Age of Podcasting’; an age where the podcast space has become professionalised and commercialised. Today podcasters in Europe and the USA hold regular conferences to share ideas, learn new skills, and promote their work. Rather than being a form of radio, independent podcasting has developed its own cultures, practices and auditory styles. In this paper I intend to argue that whilst podcasting retains a place in the radio and audio business, it is time for us to consider it on its own terms. Whilst successful podcasts such as “Start-Up” (Gimlet Media) sound a lot like traditional forms of broadcast radio, productions such as “Distractions Pieces” or “My Dad Wrote a Porno” would sound distinctly out of place in a modern radio schedule. By reflecting on podcastness we can perhaps reach new understandings and concepts of what podcasting is, whilst at the same time recognises the inherent differences between the medium of radio and the business of radio. It is time to explore that key relationship between radio and podcasting and wonder in doing so do we risk losing sight of what each form does best, and who wins we when call podcasts radio?

Bonini T (2015) The ‘second age’ of podcasting: reframing podcasting as a new digital mass medium. Quaderns del CAC 41 18(July): 21–30.
Tacchi J (2000) The need for radio theory in the digital age. International Journal of Cultural Studies 3(2): 289–298.

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Depositing User: Richard Berry


Item ID: 8142

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ORCID for Richard Berry: ORCID iD

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Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2017 13:53
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2019 15:41