The new role of radio and its public in the age of social network sites


  • Tiziano Bonini researcher at IULM University of Milan



radio, social network sites, public, intimacy, Facebook, co-creation, peer-to-peer culture


A culture of co–creation is emerging in art, design, architecture (Armstrong and Stojmirovic, 2011), music, video, literature and other productive fields like manufacturing, urban agriculture and biotech. Many of the tools of production and distribution used by professionals are available to the broader public. Publics are becoming more and more productive (Jenkins, 1992; Arvidsson, 2011). The rise of these phenomena suggests that a new modality of value creation is affirming itself in the information economy (Arvidsson and Colleoni, 2012). This emerging co–creation culture and a new theory of value also affect the radiophonic medium. The combination between radio and social networks sites (SNS) brought to completion a long historical process by virtue of which the distance with the public decreases, as Walter Benjamin already understood in his work on the relation between radio and society. In this paper I will focus on the changes that the publics of radio have undergone in the last stage of this “history of distance”, since they started to use social media, in particular Facebook: change in the publicness of publics; in the value of publics (publics are participating into the production process); in the speaker–to–listener relationship (where a new form of intimacy is becoming predominant) and in the listener–to–listener one; in the role and ethic of the radio producer (which is becoming more curatorial and less productive). To do this I will have to mix two different fields of studies: the radio studies tradition and emerging studies about social media.




How to Cite

Bonini, T. (2014). The new role of radio and its public in the age of social network sites. First Monday, 19(6).