In the contemporary world the crucial role of radio is neglected through being exposed to under the category of traditional media. However, besides this general tendency, it is necessary to comprehend features that make it alternative and preferable even if today. Primarily, although technology has been developed day by day via constituting new forms of medium, radio still can be more available and useful than press or other forms in some parts of the world especially rural areas because of the high rate of illiteracy. Besides this characteristic radio is substantially convenient media in terms of being easily comprehensible for operation, portable and affordable to everyone. In this regard, it is certainly not that isolating radio from the technological developments, therefore as Brecht noted that “radio technology does not presuppose a certain form of broadcasting, but allows for its exploitation in various cultural forms.” Yet, it is thought as the medium that has to supplement only distribution of information, actually it is also convenient so as to facilitate process that provide interactive communication beyond the distribution. This new dimension makes people participate actively through connecting them rather than isolating them under favour of advancing technology.
Internet Radio as Community Radio
Therefore, at this juncture Internet radio occupies important place with its existence as a kind of community media in digital age. The link between community and radio is crucial in order to understand alternative side of radio that makes possible to challenge the traditional understanding of radio that is even today general tendency undoubtedly. The definition of the term ‘community’ gives clues about the concept of ‘community radio’ obviously, so community not only refers to geographical closeness, but also it is kind of clustering in the sense of language, culture, ethnicity and common interests. Regarding this, the internet provide space in order to have common and open platform form everyone as one of the essential condition of community radio. In this way, through its emancipatory intentions, ordinary people as amateurs can be included in the production process. At the same time, Internet radio as a community radio with its hybrid format provides alternative contents that relevant to ‘community’ sense.
Examples from Turkey
Within the historical and cultural context of Turkey, it is possible to mention about the transition from state regulated monopolized radio broadcasting to community radio. The initiation of radio broadcasting based on foundation of Ankara TRT radio station as public service broadcasting when at 1927. At that time, this radio station only was voice of the government and likewise in the Democratic Party period (1950-1960) the same situation manifested itself again and again. Also, in the time of military coups and memorandums government or military has control over the radio station in Turkey. In 1992, through the foundation private service broadcasting radio stations, the monopoly of TRT was broken. However it was not totally rupture in the sense of community radio. Therefore, at the beginning of 21th century, some examples of community radio can be observed in Turkey in particular as the form of Internet radio. These examples do not practice all of the necessary conditions of community radio understanding, but in one extend they can be successful to perform some conditions. For instance, Radyo Azelya is located at Bingöl that eastern province of Turkey, defines itself is ‘the address of authentic and ethnic Kurdish music’ through targeting the Kurdish community with its alternative content as a kind of local radio. On the other hand, it finances itself with advertisement and so on rather than non-profitable way. As another example, Özgür Radyo founded at 2010 with the motto of ‘different voice and different comment’. While it provides content that concerned ethnic minorities issues in Turkey and also supply non-professional media producer participation. However, this radio station is not listener-supported. In addition, as different from Özgür Radyo and Radyo Azelya, Radyoksit manifest itself is the ‘first non profit making radio station in Turkey’ as ad-free radio station. Also it offers common interest as hybrid music format that collates from Indie to Ethnic Jazz.
Listener-sponsored Internet Radio Station: ‘Radio Paradise’
Radio Paradise established at 2000 by Bill Goldsmith and his wife Rebecca Goldsmith in Paradise, California. The main characteristic that makes it community radio is obviously founding as listener-supported station. Also it defines itself as an ‘eclectic online rock radio’.
Consequenlty, as Bill Goldsmith stated that “It’s radio-as-art, rather than radio-as-marketing”.