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The rhetoric of ‘community’ : ABC local radio's coverage of the 2009 Victorian bushfires

North, Louise and Dearman, Philip 2010, The rhetoric of ‘community’ : ABC local radio's coverage of the 2009 Victorian bushfires, Media international Australia, vol. 137, pp. 80-89.

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Title The rhetoric of ‘community’ : ABC local radio's coverage of the 2009 Victorian bushfires
Author(s) North, Louise
Dearman, Philip
Journal name Media international Australia
Volume number 137
Start page 80
End page 89
Total pages 10
Publisher University of Queensland
Place of publication Brisbane, Qld.
Publication date 2010
ISSN 1329-878X
Keyword(s) ABC
talkback radio
emergency
warnings
community
local radio
victorian bushfires
2009
Summary This article joins recent debates in media and communication studies concerning audience participation in news journalism. Specifically, we investigate the impact of an increasing reliance on audience-generated content on newsroom practice in traditional media organisations. We do this by recounting and analysing the experiences of journalists involved in ABC Radio's coverage of the dramatic Victorian bushfires of early 2009, which relied heavily in listener contributions and was closely integrated with the ABC's online coverage. Interviews with two staff at ABC Gippsland, and the ABC's Manager of Emergency Broadcasting provide the basis for a case study of the kinds of tensions that media workers routinely confront within an organisation like the ABC. The interviews suggest that in negotiating the possibility of increased audience participation, journalists and their managers are thinking about much more that the rhetorics of democracy and the validity of news values: their focus is also on a complex structure, the need for skill (re)development and the precise mechanics of creating and maintaining productive relationships with local communities. The significance of the research lies in its attempt to bring together a number of related factors: the increasingly active role of audiences in generating and supplying news content; the impact of digital communications technologies on news production practices; and the ABC's ongoing development of its now contested role as an 'emergency broadcaster'.
Language eng
Field of Research 169999 Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2010, University of Queensland, School of English, Media Studies & Art History
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30063743

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Communication and Creative Arts
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.