Dr. Katie Moylan: Accented Radio

University of Leicester


I developed the concept of accented radio to analyse and explore the ways in which accented modes of radio production provide and articulate avenues of community representation. In contrast to the limitations of the top-down logics of the multicultural project, accented radio is a grassroots form of cultural production (Naficy 2001) which enables members of marginalised communities to voice their experiences in layered and nuanced ways which recognise the complexities of that experience.

Examining accented radio calls for engagement with the aesthetics and textuality of the radio programme as broadcast in community radio contexts. Community radio production practices commonly share characteristics such as predominantly live broadcasting and less mediated interactions between contributors and callers. Such material factors can create greater intimacy between listener and speaker, and function to facilitate greater depth in spoken experiences, enabling producers and presenters to more fully realise Couldry’s (2010) notion of ‘voice as value.’

An accented mode of production incorporates the sense of duality characteristic of transnational experience, as the migrant or marginalised subject speaks from this perspective to their community/ies, yet from within the communication structures of the receiving or host country (see also Naficy 2001). This mode enables giving voice to a ‘narrative of oneself’ and an account ‘of the world within which they act’ (Couldry 2010: 7) in ways still circumscribed in mainstream broadcasting contexts.