Document Type

Theses, Masters


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Publication Details

Successfully submitted to the Technological University Dublin for the award of Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) January, 2013.


This thesis explores listener loyalty to public radio in Ireland where radio listenership is one of the highest in Europe. Critical to this study is exploring the notion and understanding – from the listeners’ perspective – of Public Service Broadcasting (PSB), in particular, the complexities of the concept as it is understood and operated by RTE Radio 1. A qualitative inquiry with twenty-three participants representing the audience and RTE management was carried out. Underpinned with an extensive quantitative inquiry to map the listening audience in the Dublin market place, the project sets out to answer four key research questions. What are the underlying trends for listening to Irish public service radio? How does Irish public radio attain and hold listener loyalty? What do listeners perceive as the value of public service radio? And, do core opinions and perceptions on public service broadcasting change over time? While acknowledging the differences in scale, the thesis draws upon comparisons of the PSB model as it pertains to BBC network radio. The study’s findings provide new insights into the listener’s relationship with radio – its programmes and its presenters. It concludes with a series of suggestions to re-invigorate the concept of PSB on behalf of the licence fee payers in Ireland.