Media engagement, public connection and new migrants: How can community media lead the way?

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Forde, Susan
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2019
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Melbourne, Australia

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Ethnic multicultural broadcasting in Australia has always fulfilled a key role in servicing the needs of diverse migrant communities. For both established and emerging communities, community radio in particular not only provides useful content but ‘creates’ a sphere of activity and community connection that fulfils a role well beyond its identity as a radio service. Delivering an average of 2000 hours of ethnic programming a week in 130 different languages, the ethnic community media sector is supremely positioned to provide localized and targeted content in a way that our national Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) might only dream of, with its five outlets concentrated in capital cities. This is increasingly important as changing patterns of migration, settlement and media use present challenges for Australia. In new settlement trends triggered by changing government policy, migrants are increasingly placed in regional areas soon after their arrival. This paper presents some early thoughts about how media engagement with experienced ethnic and multicultural broadcasting can enhance migrant communities’ engagement in Australian community life. Drawing on the work of Couldry, Livingstone and Markham (2010), it identifies public connection through media engagement as central to understanding how we might better facilitate and enable the settlement process in the current moment of global mass people movements.

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International Conference on Citizen and Community Media 2019

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Communication and media studies

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Forde, S, Media engagement, public connection and new migrants: How can community media lead the way?, International Conference on Citizen and Community Media 2019