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POULAIN Sebastien, «°What can be known about French community radio
audience?°», Actes colloque European Communication Res...
it constitutes an important, dynamic and highly diverse part of the world’s media
landscape.
In France, CR and other priva...
and recent events organised by Budapest’s Central European University10
and London
Metropolitan University11
in 2007 have ...
way to stay alive. But things change and we can observe professionalization of CR with
more journalists, more information,...
question has recently been asked by senators26
, who wondered what can legitimate the
FSER (Fond de Soutien à l’Expression...
Furthermore, some initiatives benefit from special purpose foundations that collect
sponsorship for CR.
-And, the last par...
Bleu about local information) or between CR and commercial radio about music. Even
if they don’t regard themselves necessa...
company will soon begin expanding its ratings coverage with “fingerprint”, a system
developed that embeds inaudible tones ...
amount from which reliable statistics can be obtained. But this information remains
confidential and commercially sensitiv...
Most of the CR audience is outside of these peaks. Contrary to the radio
audience in general, CR audience remains very sta...
117 minutes during the week and for between 97 and 122 minutes at the weekend while
non-CR radio listeners in general cons...
International and broadcasts intercultural and multi-communitarian programs, like many
French CR stations52
. “Le public d...
To conclude, we can say that quantity should equal quality and that the reverse
of this is also true. Statistical surveys ...
-ANTOINE Frédéric, “Méthodologie de la mesure de l’audience en radio :
diversité des méthodes et divergences des résultats...
-DCMS, “The Community Radio Sector: Looking to the Future”, Department
for Culture, Media and Sport, United Kingdom, Decem...
(University of Westminster, London), Vol. 5(1): 1-4. ISSN 1744-6708 (Print); 1744-
6716 (Online), http://www.wmin.ac.uk/ma...
-HOWLEY Kevin, Community Media: People, Places, and Communication
Technologies, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 200...
(University of Westminster, London), Vol. 5(1): 1-4. ISSN 1744-6708 (Print); 1744-
6716 (Online), http://www.wmin.ac.uk/ma...
-STARKEY Guy, “La bande sonore de nos vie”, in Jean-Jacques Cheval (dir.),
“La radio : paroles données, paroles à prendre”...
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What can be known about french community radio audience ?

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Community radio (CR), which is known in France as “radio associative” and previously “free radio” or “pirate radio”, is “non-profit, open to or accountable to the community that they serve and mainly staffed by volunteers” . So it has to be distinguished from French commercial CR even if it shares some common features. And it constitutes an important, dynamic and highly diverse part of the world’s media landscape.

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What can be known about french community radio audience ?

  1. 1. POULAIN Sebastien, «°What can be known about French community radio audience?°», Actes colloque European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA), Barcelone, 25-28/11/2008, www.ecrea2008barcelona.org/guide/download/963.pdf “What can be known about French community radio audience?” Sebastien Poulain Community radio (CR), which is known in France as “radio associative”1 and previously “free radio” or “pirate radio”, is “non-profit, open to or accountable to the community that they serve and mainly staffed by volunteers”2 . So it has to be distinguished from French commercial CR even if it shares some common features. And 1 “Radio associative” in France is one of five categories of ‘private’ radio recognised in legislation and by the regulatory authorities: Category A. It is obliged to carry at least 4 hours of specific local programming every day – to be broadcast between 6.00am and 10.00pm. And it has to achieve a “mission of social communication of proximity, understood as supporting the exchanges between the social and cultural groups, support for the local development, environmental protection or the fight against exclusion.” (Law of September 30, 1986, article 29). 2 EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, 2007, p I.
  2. 2. it constitutes an important, dynamic and highly diverse part of the world’s media landscape. In France, CR and other private radio has been allowed to broadcast since president François Mitterrand put an end to the state monopoly on the use of airwaves in 1981. Nowadays, there are nearly 1,200 private radio operators. These 1,200 private radio operators include private local stations as well as nearly 600 local CR stations3 . CR stations represent 50% of the French radio operators, 25% of the frequencies but only 2% of the cumulative audience. CR forms a separate sub-group within the media sector. It has a distinctive contribution to media pluralism and other socio-political objectives. The sector’s activities are often of cultural, social, economic and political relevance. The purpose of the stations is to facilitate the free flow of information by encouraging freedom of speech and by enhancing dialogue within the communities concerned in order to promote better participation from their populations. So, besides being a “listening companions”4 , they have important potential “societal contributions”5 with a lot of “social gain”6 and they can be considered as a “form of public service”7 . The French CR sector benefits from a “very active sector”8 . It has a supportive legislative and policy infrastructure which form the critical conditions for sustainable CR. They have status under law. They have two important “trade unions” (SNRL, CNRA), a lot of regional federations (FARA, FRALA, FRAMA, FRADIF…), thematic federations (IASTAR, FERAROCK…) and religious federations (FRTC, ARJ, RCF, FFRC) which represent the sector, and lobby and advocate on its behalf as well as advise the national government or the European Commission on CR legislation. Recent developments in the study and practice of CR have given to both academics and practitioners a wide range of issues to be discussed, including networks such as OurMedia9 . At a European level, fora like the Community Media Forum Europe 3 In January 2005, community radio stations are 86 around Toulouse, 71 around Lyon, 56 community radios around Nancy, 51 around Rennes, 50 around Bordeaux, 46 around Marseille, 40 around Dijon, 36 around Paris, 33 around Caen, 30 around Clermont, 29 around Poitiers, 25 around Lille (CSA). 4 STARKEY, 2008. 5 POULAIN, 2008. 6 The Community Radio Order 2004 of the United Kingdom has given a precise definition of what is a “social gain” (OFCOM, 2006, p24-25); DCMS, 2008. 7 COUNCIL OF EUROPE, 2008, p24. 8 EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, 2007, p12, COUNCIL OF EUROPE, 2008, p31 and PINEAULT, 2005. 9 Ourmedia conferences have been held in Colombia (2003, 2005), Brazil (2004), India (2005), Accra (2008).
  3. 3. and recent events organised by Budapest’s Central European University10 and London Metropolitan University11 in 2007 have contributed to the discussion of the status of community media in the continent, focusing specifically on policy, regulation, funding and the issues emerging from the eventual transition of these services to digital. Comprehensive reports recently published by the European Parliament12 and Council of Europe13 , are also signals of growing recognition among European institutions. International organizations such as AMARC or UNESCO continue to sustain community media sectors throughout the world. In the last few years, academic analyses of community media have examined the sector at a global level14 , focused on nationwide studies15 , cross-national comparative research16 and the critical evaluation of cross-European projects that have provided training, access and participation in the media to community groups whose communicative needs are often neglected by mainstream media17 . Unfortunately, little information is available regarding the sector’s audiences. So, the purpose of this communication is to investigate what CR, and the other institutions which contribute to CR’s development, think about the CR audience and what can be already known about this audience thanks to the old and new Médiamétrie audience studies. The financial problem Most of Médiamétrie’s audience studies are expensive. And most CR stations do not appear interested in their audience numbers because they simply don’t need to be18 . Their revenues don’t come from advertisers. CR is made up of independent, not-for- profit organisations. That means that it doesn’t need to attract more listeners because it doesn’t need more advertisers. It doesn’t need growth. CR stations just need to find a 10 “Broadcasting Community: a Workshop on Policies in Europe” (May 2007) and “Access to communication and democratic media structures in the digital environment” (May 2008). 11 “Finding and Funding Voices: the inner city experience”, London Metropolitan University, 17 September 2007. 12 EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, 2007. 13 COUNCIL OF EUROPE, 2008. 14 RENNIE, 2006. 15 DAY, 2007, DUBOIS, 2007, and MALIK and PAVARALA, 2007. 16 HOWLEY, 2005. 17 JONES, 2006 and DOWMUNT, 2007. 18 RODRIGUEZ, 2001, p154.
  4. 4. way to stay alive. But things change and we can observe professionalization of CR with more journalists, more information, more technology (such as digital), all of which is very expensive19 . Operating costs are also increasing. As a result, CR needs to find new resources. And “collective experience agrees that diversity of sources of funding is desirable in order to avoid dependency on any one source.”20 But how can they justify new investment from institutions or advertisers without the possibility of showing that a lot of people are already interested in this kind of radio and that even more people could become listeners in the future? And why should they have a lesser obligation than public radio, which by nature must reach out to its audience? Why should CR have the right to merely exist without any obligations or fewer obligations than other forms of radio? A lot of institutions have agreed to invest in these stations no matter what audience numbers are: the European Union (European Development Fund and European Social Fund), the Ministry of Culture (FSER), regional and local public institutions etc. CR’s contribution to the public interest forms the basis of the political support CR receives. This institutional recognition is very important because “levels of activity are closely related to public awareness and legal recognition of the sector as well as to the existence of underlying regulatory procedures”21 . So, audience shares and the number of participants in CR vary significantly. “Whereas some initiatives are well known across different communities, others operate on a much smaller scale and may cater for one specific community”22 . However, CR often reaches out to large proportions of very specific audience groups. Legal status of CR, gained in 1982, is important to the development of CR organizations because it enables these organizations to engage with regulatory authorities and funding partners as well as advertisers, thus contributing to their sustainable development. Throughout the world, a lot of broadcasters continue to operate as pirate stations. But French institutions could change their policies23 . They could decide to ask CR stations to declare themselves and be less “invisible”24 . They “are pressured today to conform to mainstream media norms – not least due to financial pressure.”25 The 19 ABDALLAH, 2004. 20 COUNCIL OF EUROPE, 2008, p22 21 EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, 2007, pIII 22 EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, 2007, pIII 23 If they don’t change their policies, it doesn’t prevent us to study it. 24 LEWIS, 1989. 25 PINSELER, 2008, p81.
  5. 5. question has recently been asked by senators26 , who wondered what can legitimate the FSER (Fond de Soutien à l’Expression Radiophonique), a public fund27 for French CR, which has made available approximately €25M in funding and contributed approximately one third of the revenues of each licensed CR station in France in 2008. This fund is a mix between continuous funding (start-up support, support for equipment and running costs) and performance based funding (aid can be increased on an individual basis depending on whether an initiative meets certain criteria regarding professional training as well as cultural and educational content requirements). Due to the French radio history, the criterion of the French CR audience isn’t taken into account by public institutions, especially the Direction du Développement des Médias which distribute the FSER. But this could change too in the future. Finally, with regard to the advertisers, French CR stations are allowed to use advertisements as a source of revenue up to a limit of 20% of their turnover. Despite this advertising restriction of 20% (one of the prerequisites of being a CR station), most of them do not earn close to that amount. In fact, only 5% on average of their turnover comes from advertisements. We can divide CR into three parts: -For the first part, many CR stations perceive themselves as operating outside the media market: Radio Ici et Maintenant, Radio Courtoisie, Radio Aligre, Radio FPP... They simply refuse on principle to be dependent on advertisers. On the contrary, they fight against advertisements and criticize commercial media which can’t be independent and which can’t provide free and objective news because of these advertisements. This ethical, political, ideological and economic debate emerged at the beginning of free radio. It explains the way politics have legalised CR in 1981-1984 and it promises to continue in the future. -Another part of CR doesn’t attract advertisers. This may happen because many advertisers find the content and quality of programming not attractive enough. These two kinds of CR have to diversify their financial resources. They have to rely on local financial support from listeners and local institutions. They often organise local fundraising rallies to raise awareness among the community and win support. 26 BELOT, 2006. 27 This Fund for the Support of Expression by Radio is made up of a special tax levied on radio and television advertising expenditures and paid by advertisers (article 302 bis KD, Code général des impôts). Of course these medias lobby to stop this tax.
  6. 6. Furthermore, some initiatives benefit from special purpose foundations that collect sponsorship for CR. -And, the last part of the CR has got the possibility to bring a lot of advertisings and could become commercial radios (Radio Canal Sambre28 ). In fact, compared to CR in most other countries, the revenue stream of a French CR station benefits from above average public support. And they benefit from continuous and high-level of public support compared with most other countries. They operate on the basis of very different budgets which make it difficult to estimate an average turnover. Their annual budgets are between € 50.000 and € 200.000. CR initiatives tend to be managed on a voluntary basis, with an average maximum of three paid employees. Staff costs generally make up the highest part of the budget, with a 54% average. Overheads (including copyright) rank second, with rent or building costs accounting for another large part. Transmission and technical costs form the third- largest part of a budget. For better or for worse, the absence of a need for audience figures could change. Under the emerging authority of the CSA, and with the attractiveness of radio to advertisers, a more stable situation could arise. And it is difficult to imagine investment from advertisers without any information about the CR audiences. Advertisers need to know how many people listen to them, who are they and when they listen. If CR stations don’t need their audiences for their advertisers, they could need them to justify their public resources and come up with proper estimates of their audiences. The fact that the audience is not a priority because profit is not a priority doesn’t mean that CR stations are not interested in their audience. Of course, CRs want to be listened to by more and more people. And their presenters are proud to say that they are listened to by thousands even if they don’t really know if the figures they give come from speculation from listeners who call them during their programs or from what their friends say. Competition can exist between CR stations (for instance, between Radio Ici et Maintenant and IDFM about paranormal programs; between Handi FM and Vivre FM about handicap; between Radio Neo and Radio Campus about musical programs), between commercial and non-commercial CR about immigrants matters (Beur FM and FPP) or between CR and public radios (Radio Courtoisie29 and France Culture about culture; Radio Campus and Le Mouv’ about youth music, indeed any CR and France 28 DELEU, 2006, p203. 29 POULAIN, 2004, p33.
  7. 7. Bleu about local information) or between CR and commercial radio about music. Even if they don’t regard themselves necessarily as being in competition, listeners have to choose. And there are nearly 600 local CR stations in France. Non-commercial CR audiences can be targeted the same way as commercial CR are. “As communities are defined to be a group of people who share common characteristics and/or interests, they are all but units available to be marketed.”30 Their audience has a certain age, sex or income. It can be analysed and segmented. And these listeners are consumers and citizens. Private companies and public institutions are aware of the fact that “audiences referred to their local stations as ‘family’ or ‘friends’ with surprising frequency”31 . This shouldn’t be neglected in “the age of suspicion”32 especially against commercial media and “political communication”. And if being in relation with a radio will never be equivalent to being in relation with a friend or a member or our family33 , this kind of socialization can be a way for private companies to find new consumers and for public institutions to launch awareness campaigns (against obesity, racism, tobacco…) and reach out to people who could not otherwise be reached34 . Advertising media planning has just to be adapted. And paradoxically, advertising and public institution interests are proves of serious and can be attractive for new listeners. Médiamétrie role and its studies Médiamétrie’s35 studies could become more and more important for CR. Médiamétrie plays a very important role because this institute controls the definition of what is called an “audience” in France36 . Médiamétrie (turnover of 55 million € in 2007) has recently revised its procedures in order to form a better understanding of French radio in general and French CR in particular. A French audience survey company is entering the race to capture data tracking consumers’ complete media usage habits. For instance, the 30 CANKAYA, 2008, p99. 31 FOXWELL, 2008, p16. 32 BAKIR, 2007. 33 DOMENGET, 2003, p143. 34 RENAUD, 2007. 35 AGLIETTA, 2004 and MAUDUIT, 2005. 36 ANTOINE, 2003, DURAND, 1992, and GIROUX, 1998.
  8. 8. company will soon begin expanding its ratings coverage with “fingerprint”, a system developed that embeds inaudible tones emitted from broadcasts37 . Most of the Médiamétrie studies can be used in order to have a better understanding about CR audience: -We can begin with the famous “126 000 Radio” and its 126 000 interviews (50 000 interviews from the “Médialocales” surveys). This survey used two methods of measuring how many people are in an audience: share point (or market share) and ratings point (or cumulative audience). A share point or a market share is the percentage of all listeners listening radio at a time. A ratings point or a cumulative audience is the percentage or the sum of all possible listeners. The duration of listening results can be used too. -The “Médialocales” study was created in 1989 in order to survey local audiences (20 regions, 69 departments and 97 agglomerations in 2004-2005) by way of 50 000 interviews and with the “126 000 Radio” methodology. These two studies give us important information about CR audience at a global level, but they don’t really fit in because CR is “rendezvous radio” where broadcasts change depending on animators’ agenda. -“Le Public des Associatives” was created in 2004 in order to survey CR audiences specifically. It costs between 1000 and 1300 € and allows us to have information on global audience (listeners who declare listening to CR every week and less than every week), regular audience (listeners who declare listening to CR every day or almost every day) and week audience (listeners who declare listening to CR once or twice a week). It also gives demographical, economic, sociological and geographical information such as gender, age (13-24, 25-34, 35-49, 50-64, 65 and more, 13-34, 35 and over, 50 and over), professional status (employed, unemployed, occupation), economic status, locality (rural or urban). 12 CR stations paid for it in 2004, 60 in 2005 (among them Radio Rencontre) and 50 in 2007, 2008 and 2009. More than 250 listeners (from the “126 000” surveyed) were interviewed between January and June. Mediametrie has precise ideas about who the listeners of each French CR station are, or, at least, most of them. If the audience size is too small to yield sufficiently reliable samples and if many programs are directed at specially targeted groups within a community, Mediametrie has interviewed 126 000 people a year for many years, a large 37 CHEVREUX, 2003, p79.
  9. 9. amount from which reliable statistics can be obtained. But this information remains confidential and commercially sensitive. Mediametrie results In Holland, OLON, the Dutch community media association of 400 members has conducted research into the audiences for third sector media (radio, television, internet) in 2005 thanks to the Ministry of Culture. “Based on responses from a sample of 5000 users, the research found that CR’s weekly reach was 12%.” “Local community radio’s audience of about two million people a week is significant compared to many so-called professional radio stations.”38 In France, according to the audience poll published by Médiamétrie, the daily radio cumulative audience is 83%. They listen on average for over 3 hours a day. 99% of French homes have a radio. And they have on average 7 radios at home. 80% of French households have a car radio, and 26.8% a walkman. The problem for CR stations is that they have to attract a cumulative audience of 1% at national level in order to be included in the polls published by Médiamétrie. And none of them can reach this figure. So we can’t get more specific information than global audience of all CR put together. CR has a smaller audience39 at the weekend than during the week with a cumulative audience of 2.7-3.4% (1.7-3.5% in Ile-de-France; 2.1-3% in Paris) during the week and a cumulative audience of 2.6-3.1% at the weekend. But they have a better market share at the weekend than during the week with between 1.6% and 3.1% during the week and 2.2-3.3% (1.2-2.6% in Ile-de-France; 1.2-2.2% in Paris) at the weekend. Commercial, local or regional radio stations are the same. This can be explained by the fact that most French radio stations lose a lot of listeners over the weekend. Listeners don’t work, so they don’t listen to the radio before and after work. And we know that most of radio’s audience comes from the morning between 6 and 9 am when they have a lot of things to do so they simply cannot watch TV or use the internet. In fact, there are two audience peaks during the day: one very important one between 6 and 9 am and a second peak between 5 and 6 pm. 38 COUNCIL OF EUROPE, 2008, p23. 39 MEDIAMETRIE, France, Ile-de-France, Paris Petite Couronne, 2004-2007.
  10. 10. Most of the CR audience is outside of these peaks. Contrary to the radio audience in general, CR audience remains very stable during the day. But most of their audience listens between 8am and 12pm (with a peak between 9am and 9:30am during the week; between 9:30am and 9:45am in Ile-de-France), and between 2 and 5 pm (between 8:30pm and 8:45pm in Ile-de-France, just after national TV news) and they finish the day with the same audience as thematic and generalist radio stations. CR has fewer listeners on Sunday (1.2 millions of listeners) than another day (1.5 millions of listeners). But the weekly peak is on Sunday between 10am and 10:15am. There are 400 000 listeners during these 15 minutes. The Saturday audience structure is not different from the rest of the week40 . CR cumulative audience varies a lot, depending on historical and geographical configurations41 : between 1.1% in Centre (followed by Haute-Normandie, Basse- Normandie, Poitou-Charente) and 5.3% in Auvergne (followed by Ile-de-France and Franche-Comté) in June 2003. In Paris, CR has a greater cumulative audience but less market share because there are more listeners in general but more stations to listen to. In regional areas, CR has a smaller cumulative audience but more market share because there are fewer listeners in general but fewer stations to choose from. In this time, cumulative audience over 21 days is 95% for radio in general, 85% for commercial radio, 44% for public radio and 6.3% for CR. Between 1997 and 2003, the number of days of listening on average CR remained at 0.5, whereas radio in general gained 1 day on average (4.8 in 1997, 5.8 in 2003)42 . The French radio has become more “fragmented”43 since the 1990s, and lost audience in the 2000s, especially musical and youth radio, largely due to the impact of the internet. The duration of listening of CR is shorter than commercial local or regional radio in particular and for the media radio in general44 . For example, between November and December 2007, the duration of listening of CR was, during the week, 87 minutes, while it was 104 minutes for commercial local or regional radio stations and 178 minutes for the media radio in general. But the duration of CR listening increases during the weekend while it decreases for commercial local or regional radios in particular and for the media radio in general. CR listeners tune in for between 87 and 40 MAUDUIT, 2008. 41 CHEVAL, 2003, p12 ; SAINT ROMAN, 2003, p35. 42 Médiamétrie survey (13 754 €) for Direction du Développement des Médias, June 2003. 43 GLEVAREC, 2008 (b). 44 MEDIAMETRIE, France, Ile-de-France, Paris Petite Couronne, 2004-2007.
  11. 11. 117 minutes during the week and for between 97 and 122 minutes at the weekend while non-CR radio listeners in general consume between 173 and 180 minutes at the week and between 71.4 and 162 minutes over the weekend. This CR audience duration increase can be explained by the fact that most of the practitioners involved in CR production are volunteers. So they work during the week and have more time for CR activities at the weekend. There is a big gap (with a ratio from 1 to 13) between a group who used to listen to their CR everyday and a constellation of listeners who chose to listen to these CR for specific reasons. They don’t come everyday, but they know exactly when they have to come and which CR programs they want to listen to45 . The CR audience specificity can be explained by the fact that CR is firstly a local and “identity radio”46 , a “completing media” and a “rendez-vous media”47 . So people listen to it firstly for local and community news and very specific programs but most of the time after mainstream and national media. In Netherlands, “Among reasons for listening, local news programmes are mentioned second after local music programmes.”48 It is probably the same in France. On the demographic, geographical and economical subject, CR is more popular with males (55%) than females (45%). Actives and inactives are in the same proportion. And most of CR’s audience lives in urban areas (70%)49 . Young people (under 18 years old) represent a very small part of the CR audience because they prefer “youth radio”50 (Skyrock, Fun Radio, NRJ, Le Mouv’…). In 2004, the first survey “Le Public des Associatives” on 12 CR shows that they had in average a notoriety of 40.6% (70% for some of them), a regular audience of 4.37% (with important peaks), a cumulative audience of 9% in average per week (4 stations with more than 10%) and a global audience of 17.6% (45% for one of them) 51 . Radio Rencontre has got 30 volunteers, 3 salaried workers, an annual budget of 125000€ and a unique frequency for 33 cities and 200 000 potential listeners around Dunkerque. It is the only non-commercial CR in a market that counts 13 other radio stations. It works with Échanges et Productions Radiophoniques and Radio France 45 MAUDUIT, 2008. 46 GLEVAREC, 2008 (a), p113. 47 MAUDUIT, 2008. 48 COUNCIL OF EUROPE, 2008, p23. 49 MAUDUIT, 2008. 50 GLEVAREC, 2005 (a and b). 51 JEHL, 2005.
  12. 12. International and broadcasts intercultural and multi-communitarian programs, like many French CR stations52 . “Le public des associatives january-june 2005” shows that Radio Rencontre has 8% of the week audience and 2.4% of regular audience. An important part of its audience comprises women, inactives and more than 50 years old listeners. For instance, 70% of the weekly audience is more than 50 years old (more than the region average). But only 55.7% of the regular audience is more than 50 years old. This can be explained by the fact that the 13-24-year-olds represent 24.8% of the regular audience (20.4% in the region) thanks to student presenters and networks53 . Radio Ici et Maintenant, an historical CR in Ile-de-France with an important cumulative audience (6th cumulative audience after Radio Notre Dame which is close to 1%, Radio Courtoisie, Espace FM, EFM, Radio Soleil), most of the listeners are employees, workmen or chairmen of a small companies (CR in general is a form of “popular radio”54 .). A lot of them are unemployed. Most of them are 35-49 years old. There are two thirds more men than women. And in Ile-de-France, they tend to come more from the suburbs than the inner city. This audience hasn’t changed much during the last 10 years. The internet represents a chance for CR to be both local and global, and to reach new audiences55 (for instance diasporas). Radio Ici et Maintenant’s website with “geolocalisation” shows from which country listeners tune in by identifying them with computer technology. For instance, at the end of a broadcast (5:30-7:00pm) about “guardian angels” with Pierre Jovanovic Thursday the 23th of October 2008, there was 1 active connection in Belgium, 1 in Canada, 125 in France, 1 in Italy, 1 in Portugal, 2 in Switzerland, 2 in the UK and 32 unknown. There may have been fewer listeners, but there may also have been more. During the first tour of the French presidential elections on Sunday the 22nd of April 2007 at 11:30pm, there were 4 active connections in Belgium, 367 in France, 1 in Spain, 20 in Switzerland, 45 in United States and 13 unknown. Conclusion 52 FROISSART, 2004. 53 FURST, 2006. 54 MAUDUIT, 2008. 55 RICAUD, 2008.
  13. 13. To conclude, we can say that quantity should equal quality and that the reverse of this is also true. Statistical surveys must be combined with ethnographic and cultural studies56 following, for instance, UNESCO’s “ethnographic action research”57 methodology or the Griffith University research group methodology. The latter methodology could be a model for work elsewhere: following an earlier production study of the same group, it complements and tests the findings of quantitative audience research, the McNair Ingenuity questionnaire study, using focus groups and qualitative methods. Its funding profile could be used as a model for future studies. Both the 200258 and 200759 studies were financed by an impressive collaboration of academic, government, sector and user organizations60 . “Le Public des Associatives” survey is a good beginning. But it is still only statistics. Academic and government organizations are not involved. And it doesn’t draw attention to CR’s ability to deliver, directly or indirectly, “social gain”. Therefore, public sociology shouldn’t be separated from audience survey. Academic, government, Mediametrie, CR and its organisations should work more closely together in the future. Selected Bibliography -ABDALLAH Mogniss, “Les radios associatives, entre précarité et professionnalisation”, alterites.com, 07/06/2004, http://www.alterites.com/cache/center_media/id_692.php. -AGLIETTA Jacqueline, “Propos recueillis pas Cécile Méadel”, Le temps des médias, n°3, 2004. 56 LE GRIGNOU, 2003 and POULAIN, 2006. 57 This methodology is a form of participatory action research which trains project staff in self-evaluation and aims to instill a “research culture” within projects themselves so that research becomes a part of the everyday operation (HEARN, 2003). 58 FORDE, 2002. 59 EWART, 2007. 60 Support came from the Australian Research Council, the Community Broadcasting Foundation (the body which distributes federal funding to the sector), the Federal Department of Communication, Information, Technology and the Arts, and the representative associations of the third sector, the Community Association Broadcasting of Australia and its indigenous and ethnic counterpart.
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