The Significance of Australian Youth Culture and Radio

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Today the world in which we live in can be seen as a vastly media integrated way of life. Whether it is film, television or advertising, these forms of media constantly surround us, influencing and changing the way we live. But what about radio? Some say that radio is dying, that its use has become useless, that it was only an aid of assistance during the early and mid 1900’s. But the way I see it, I think that radio is more relevant and significant today than it ever was, especially for the diverse Australian youth cultures. Their lifestyle, education, political views and social aspects come under a large role due to what they listen to over the radio. So how do radio stations maintain and attract their listeners? What sort of impacts does radio have on the Australian youth today? Who still listens to radio, what do they listen to and why?

Radio stations such as Nova, 2Day FM, EDGE and Triple j can all be seen as the more popular stations that the Australian youth listens to. Each radio station popular in its own way, however we will be looking more closely at Triple j as its approach towards the Australian youth is slightly different from the other mainstream stations. Eltham in his feature article described Triple j as a ‘rough diamond’, Triple j can be seen as a radio station with hidden talents and a lot of future potential. They stand out in a way that they reach out to the wider audiences such as independent bands and regional communities that other commercial radio stations would never consider due to their lack of mainstream activity and familiarity. Most of these bands and singers are just young Australians willing to give what they’ve got a go. Because of this, triple j has a constant inflow of new music. Triple j pluggers meetings are slightly different to those of commercial radio stations, a substantial amount of indie visitors that don’t go towards the commercial side. The difference between Triple j and other commercial radio stations is that Triple j looks for potential rather than what is considered to be popular or “hot” already, in other words Triple j doesn’t place faith in modern day research methods but rather listens to what the people request/want. Their method of constantly adding new songs every week (roughly eight songs) so that listeners can stay tuned further captivates audiences to hear what’s new and trending in Australian music. Triple j is like a hybrid radio station with traits of both commercial and community radio, this for them accommodates a lot of diversity such as big-name international artists and indie/unknown bands ‘unearthed’ by Triple j. With the Australian youth listening to new music performed by people their age, it gives them a sense of motivation and connectedness through their passion for music and how their dreams of becoming a successful music artist or producer are very much kept alive. The Australian youth is all about opportunity and fairness, and Triple j gives them just that.

Australia is a country with over 200 different cultures. Having said that, our primary language is English and with the vast range of cultures and nationalities that Australia occupies, there are bound to be substantial amounts of people who are inarticulate with speaking, writing and understanding the English language. Young people migrating to Australia find it hard to fit in with the rest of society and this is where community radio broadcasting comes in handy. Much like Triple j, other community radio broadcasting stations such as Melbourne’s 3ZZZ provide programs for specific cultures and ethnicities. This is to service the diverse cultures of Australia and its youth. Community radio is the answer for these people where their community radio station enables them to settle in, and provide linguistic and cultural needs for the population. Since Australia is such a multicultural country, the amount of young people that cannot speak fluent English appears to be more than other...
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