Radio documentary production - a study

enadmin, 1st April 2014

Monash University is conducting a study in current and future trends in radio feature and documentary production.

The aim of the study is to survey and interview freelance and/or early career radio producers about their approach to radio feature and documentary production, how they understand the genre and medium, what inspires them and how they listen to radio themselves.

This research will feed in to a larger project about the methodology of radio feature and documentary production and changing storytelling styles. This project is mapping trends in documentary production and hence is interested in what radio producers entering the profession think of the genre and where it might be headed.

Monash University are hoping that producers in the community radio sector will be able to contribute to this research by participating in the study.

The study will be conducted by Associate Professor Mia Lindgren, Head of School of the new School of Media, Film and Journalism of Monash University.

The questionnaire takes approximately 15 minutes to complete, and is anonymous. The survey is available here.

Facebook comments



Participatory research design appears as an attractive option in the study of community media organisations. It puts the generation of the research question, the design of data collection methods, and the analysis of the results in the hands of the researched. This approach can demystify the research process and can be an empowering experience. But, as I found out with my doctoral research, the researcher needs to carefully assess an organisation’s capacity to undertake do-it-yourself research, because, when things go wrong, this approach can also reveal conflicts within an organisation, as well as give rise to tension resulting from the divergent needs of the researcher and those of the researched. This paper describes the troubles that arose during fieldwork conducted at a community radio station, how these unexpected events forced a reformulation of the research question, and how this eventually led to an improved theoretical insight.


Communication is an important element in devising, disseminating and pursuing the organisational goals for all organisations. It involves informing target audiences about frequent, timely and relevant information. Members were consulted with regard their particular needs; as well as staff who are responsive, knowledgeable and passionate about the organisation. Being very different target groups, we found communication approaches wanted by both groups to differ. We surveyed Australian sporting organisations aiming to examine their communication strategies. Not surprisingly, our findings suggest that many organisations think of communication as an after-thought. We argue that sporting organisations are not making the most the latest communication methods, nor progressing with member’s communication desires or what members are actually seeking. Members want electronic, two-way and fast communication tools including electronic newsletter and bulletin boards. This research opens up debate on how community-based media may value-add to the organisational communication mix, and how digital broadcasting can be developed by the community broadcasting sector to enhance the communications capabilities for the not for profit sector.


In it's latest round of Linkage projects, the Australian Research Council has awarded $218,000 for a three-year study of Australian community radio's contribution to the Australian music and creative industries.