Want to know more about the research findings?

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).

You can access the community pamphlet here.

Research Project Title: Radio relationships and well-being in older age
James Cook University Research Ethics ID: H8022