Research Articles

Sounds like a whisper: Australian Community Broadcasting hosts a quiet revolution



Recent research into the Australian community broadcasting sector has revealed a developing role for community radio, in particular, in reviving notions of democracy by enhancing public sphere engagement by audiences. This paper is drawn from the first national qualitative audience study of the sector undertaken by the authors and provides strong evidence to suggest listeners are challenging globalised views of the world. They see community radio as ‘theirs’ and the only media able to accurately reflect Australia’s cultural diversity. This is enabling a revival of public sphere activity in the face of restrictions on democracy following an upsurge in global terrorism. We argue that the community broadcasting sector in Australia is providing citizens with services largely ignored by commercial media and to some extent, the publicly-funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Keywords: public sphere, democracy, empowerment, broadcasting, community radio, Audiences

How to Cite: Foxwell, K. (2017) “Sounds like a whisper: Australian Community Broadcasting hosts a quiet revolution”, Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture. 5(1). doi: