Understanding the value of networked publics in radio. Employing Digital Methods and social network analysis to understand the Twitter publics of two Italian national radio stations

Tiziano Bonini, Alessandro Caliandro, Alessandra Massarelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Radio audiences are today a mix of traditional radio broadcasting audiences and networked publics (boyd, d. [2007]. Why youth (heart) social network sites: The role of networked publics in teenage social life. In D. Buckingha (Ed.), MacArthur foundation series on digital learning–youth, identity, and digital media volume (pp. 119–142). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press; Ito, M. [2008]. Introduction. In K. Varnelis (Ed.), Networked publics (pp. 1–14). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press; Varnelis, K. (Ed.). [2008]. Networked publics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press; Varnelis, K. (Ed.). [2008]. Networked publics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press; boyd, d. [2011]. Social network sites as networked publics: Affordances, dynamics, and implications. In Z. Papacharissi (Ed.), A networked self identity, community, and culture on social network sites (pp. 39–58). London: Routledge). This not only means that new media is changing the nature of listeners/viewers, transforming them into interactive users, but also that radio publics, once organized into networks, may have different properties, different behaviours and different values. In this paper, we have employed Digital Methods (DM) (Rogers, R. [2009]. The end of the virtual. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press) and social network analysis to understand the Twitter activity and the communicative dynamics of the audiences of two Italian national radio stations: Radio3 Rai (public service station) and Radio Deejay (private commercial station). This work also aims to respond to a question asked by Rogers when defining DM: ‘Could the information contained in profiles on social networking sites provide different insights into the composition and characteristics of publics?’ (Rogers, R. [2009]. The end of the virtual. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press). Based on the results that have emerged from this study, we believe that the answer can be affirmative: the analysis of the social connections and the interaction models of the networked listeners highlights new features of these audiences, and allows us to reevaluate and understand them from new points of view. This work shows that the digital audiences related to the two radio stations clearly distinguish themselves for their distinctive online behaviour and a different display of social networks, cultural capital and affect. We therefore hypothesize the presence of three different types of capital within the two different audiences analysed: social, cultural and affective capital.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-58
Number of pages18
JournalInformation Communication and Society
Volume19
Issue number1
Early online date14 Oct 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Media studies, social media, audience studies, sociology, network analysis, digital methods

Cite this

Understanding the value of networked publics in radio. Employing Digital Methods and social network analysis to understand the Twitter publics of two Italian national radio stations. / Bonini, Tiziano; Caliandro, Alessandro; Massarelli, Alessandra.

In: Information Communication and Society, Vol. 19, No. 1, 2016, p. 40-58.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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