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Qualitative Audience Research Project

Community Media Matters - Audiences Talk Back!

The Community Media Matters report was a ground-breaking study of audience response to community radio, including Indigenous and Ethnic community radio, and community television. The report is the culmination of a two-year national qualitative audience study of Australian community broadcasting audiences conducted by Griffith University.

This project was of national and international significance - worldwide, there has been no attempt to listen to community media audience members on a comparable scale. While not without its criticisms the report is a strong affirmation of the value of community broadcasting to contemporary Australian society.

The Australian community broadcasting sector is recognised internationally as one of the most successful examples of grassroots media. The 2012 Community Radio National Listener Survey revealed that over 4.4 million Australians - or 26% of Australians aged over 15 years - listen to community radio every week. The Community Media Matters report provides unique insights into these diverse audiences by attempting to 'explain' the numbers, providing more detail about why Australians are increasingly tuning in to community radio and television and how they do it.

This research complements the 2012 quantitative audience study: Community Radio National Listener Survey and also builds on prior research into the community radio sector by Griffith University researchers, titled 'Culture Commitment Community - the Australian Community Radio Sector'. For more information see Sector Research.

Funding was provided by the Australian Research Council through an Industry Linkage grant and by the Australian Government through the then Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA), distributed through the CBF.

The research team involved researchers from Griffith University's School of Arts, Media and Culture: Associate Professor Michael Meadows; Dr Susan Forde;  Dr Kerrie Foxwell; Dr Jacqui Ewart; and Indigenous researchers Mr Derek Flucker and Ms Christine Morris.

The CBF's Qualitative Audience Research Advisory Committee (QARAC) oversaw the conduct of the project. The committee was comprised of the industry partners (CBF, Community Broadcasting Association of Australia & DCITA) and representatives from the Australian Indigenous Communications Association, Indigenous Remote Communications Association, National Ethnic & Multicultural Broadcasters' Council, RPH Australia, and Griffith University.

The Community Media Matters report was launched on Friday 17 August 2007 at 3RRR-FM, Melbourne, by Senator the Hon Helen Coonan, Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate.

For more information go to CBOnline to download a copy of the Community Media Matters report.