Campus Frequencies: The “Alternativeness” of Campus Radio Broadcasting

Brian Fauteux (brian.fauteux@gmail.com)
Communication Studies, Concordia University
August, 2008
 

Abstract

This thesis explores the construction of “alternativeness” on Canadian campus radio broadcasting, using the CKUT Radio-McGill program Underground Sounds as a case study. It is the purpose of this thesis to situate campus broadcasting within the contemporary terrestrial broadcasting environment, looking at literature that theorizes and conceptualizes ideas about what makes campus broadcasting alternative from other broadcast forms, and what factors influence and structure the boundaries and limitations of “alternativeness” on campus radio. Included in this topic is an examination of how terms and concepts such as “alternative,” “local,” “independent,” “community,” and “scene” are used on campus-community radio programming, and how these terms construct a broadcasting ethos that may or may not be similar to notions of the alternative/independent/local/community in music scenes and identities. The on-air treatment of these terms are juxtaposed to the way they are discussed in the popular music and cultural industries literature. As well, prominent Canadian broadcast history and policy as it relates to campus radio is a significant component of this thesis, particularly its role in shaping the structure and mandate of Canadian campus radio.
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We wish to acknowledge the financial support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for their financial support through theAid to Scholarly Journals Program.

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