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“I entertain my friends’: Talk radio callers’ views on their role in entertaining the audience
journal contributionposted on 19.02.2019, 00:00 by Kathryn AmesKathryn Ames, J Ewart
This article explores the views of talk radio audiences on their role as entertainers and their awareness of the rules of engagement when interacting with talk radio programmes. Data is drawn from focus group interviews involving 135 people representing the audiences of 12 different radio stations in Australia. Participants had self-categorised as active talk radio listeners of particular radio stations to which they were asked to make comment. However, it emerged that participants were highly literate about the talk radio format more generally, and saw themselves as having a role as contributors. As an empirical study, this article confirms conceptual theory by revealing the orientation to format rather than programme. It expands knowledge about talk radio audiences by revealing the way in which audience members acknowledge the commodification of the medium, and see themselves as adding value by helping hosts entertain a broader listening community.