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Call for Papers:  Revisiting Audience Engagement and the Relevance of Local Radio
Spotlight article call for The Journal of Radio and Audio Media

The Journal of Radio and Audio Media (JRAM), the world’s premier radio research journal, is published semi-annually by the Broadcast Education Association. JRAM is dedicated to radio research and the new technology redefining radio’s traditional use.

JRAM sponsors frequent symposia to address important topics relevant to the mission of the journal, but this call is for special Spotlight Articles, intended to start for the Fall 2024 issue. Podcasting is an important modern means of presenting content to an audience and is part of our overall current environment that also includes digital music options for the audience, all of which compete with local broadcast radio for audience attention and share. In addition to digital media competition, local radio today can be very automated and voice-tracked and ‘generic’ in terms of how it is presented locally.

Fuerst (2016) addressed the foundations of the ‘shrinking local audience’ problems eight years ago, and, at the time, recognized the problem had been developing for many years prior. That conversation implied, at least for public radio at the time, that managers recognized the trends and intended to increasingly emphasize local programming to respond. In relation, over the past decade, there have been frequent conversations about ‘hylperlocal’ programming (Broom, 2015; Could Radio, 2024). Outgoing President and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau Erica Farber is quoted in Inside Radio, saying: “I think the more that broadcasters can focus in on their local community, that is key. And there should be no question when you’re listening to a local radio station what city you’re in, and that you know what you’re listening to” (Could Radio, 2024, p. 1).

Within this context, this special call invites submissions of research reports that profile and demonstrate effective, successful, traditional local commercial or non-commercial terrestrial broadcast stations, focusing on such topics as:

  • existing effective local programming
  • existing unique, compelling local talent that engages the local audience
  • immediate plans by local stations to develop new approaches
  • current non-traditional content (podcasts, LPFM, online-only stations) that could be
    considered by traditional local commercial or non-commercial broadcast stations

We will review submitted research on a rolling basis, starting June 1, 2024 for articles considered for the Fall 2024 issue, and through September 30, 2024 for articles to be considered for publication in 2025. For questions, contact JRAM Editor Tony DeMars at .


Broom, J. (2015, August 18). Seattle area to celebrate new FM ‘hyperlocal’ radio. Seattle Times,

Could Radio Be Overthrowing Newspapers & TV As The King Of Local? (2024, January 24). Inside Radio.

Fuerst, M. (2016, October 25).  Changing the conversation: Embracing ‘local that works.’   Current.

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