Diversity in action : minority group media and social change

Giles, Melissa Kay (2011) Diversity in action : minority group media and social change. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


My thesis consists of a creative work plus an exegesis. This exegesis uses case study research to investigate three Brisbane-based media organisations and the role they play in encouraging social inclusion and other positive social change for specific disadvantaged and stigmatised minority groups. Bailey, Cammaerts and Carpentier’s theoretical approach to alternative media forms the basis of this research. Bailey et al. (2008, p. 156) view alternative media organisations as having four important roles, two media-centred and two society-centred, which must all be considered to best understand them: • serving their communities • acting as an alternative to mainstream media discourses • promoting and advocating democratisation in the media and through the media in society • functioning as a crossroads in civil society.

The first case study, about community radio station 4RPH (Radio for the Print Handicapped), centres on promoting social inclusion for people with a print disability through access to printed materials (primarily mainstream print media) in an audio format. The station also provides important opportunities for members of this group to produce media and, to a lesser extent, provides disability-specific information and discussions. The second case study, about gay print and online magazine Queensland Pride, focuses on promoting social inclusion and combating the discrimination and repression of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Central issues include the representation (including sexualised representation) of a subculture and niche target market, and the impact of commercialisation on this free publication. The third case study, about community radio station 98.9FM, explores the promotion of social inclusion for peoples whose identity, cultures, issues, politics and contributions are often absent or misrepresented in the mainstream media. This radio station provides “a first level of service” (Meadows & van Vuuren, 1998, p. 104) to these people, but also informs and entertains those in the majority society. The findings of this research suggest that there are two key mechanisms that help these media organisations to effect social change: first, strengthening the minority community and serving its needs, and second, fostering connections with the broader society.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 44125
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Romano, Angela & Spurgeon, Christina
Keywords: Aboriginal, alternative media, bisexual, blind, community radio, gay, gay press, Indigenous radio, lesbian, low vision, minority group media, print disability, print handicapped, social change, social inclusion, Torres Strait Islander, transgender, vision-impaired
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 22 Aug 2011 01:11
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 14:45

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