Supported by the AAG Research Trust and Community Broadcasting Foundation, Dr Krause has undertaken a program of mixed-methods research examining the role of radio engagement in improving older Australian's well-being.
Key project findings:
- Radio personnel and listeners agree that radio has multiple purposes. In the words of one listener, radio is "information, entertainment, and connection, and companionship". The multi-purpose aspect of radio is partly determined by when and why listeners engage with it and is intertwined with well-being outcomes.
- When considering how engaging with radio is perceived to influence listener well-being, radio personnel and listener perspectives have synergy. Findings indicate there are implicit and explicit ways in which radio facilitates the well-being of their listenership.
- Explicitly, radio promotes mental health through broadcasts and programming, as well as exploiting the medium of radio as a public service for the community to call and rely on.
- Implicitly, radio acts as a surrogate friend in the home -- someone to keep listeners company and encourage connection to their greater community.
- Broadly, listeners' perceived relationships with radio programs and individual presenters, built and sustained over time through repeated listening, underpin the radio's ability to support listener well-being.
- Radio presenters’ perceptions of their listeners’ interests and needs influence their on-air behaviours as they seek to communicate in ways that promote listener engagement and well-being.
- A presenters' role is facilitative; and engaging radio depends on the interplay between presenter, the program's content, and listeners.
Findings have implications for:
- Broadcasting practices (e.g., how radio
stations hire and train presenters as well as manage changes to programming).
- Considerations of how the radio can enhance quality of older life and, thus, be leveraged as a tool to promote well-being – given that the radio functions as a social surrogate for older listeners (some of whom have lost partners and/or live alone).
Research Project Title: Radio relationships and well-being in older age
James Cook University Research Ethics ID: H8022