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Euranet: a Case Study of Pan-European Radio

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Fernández Sande, Manuel and Gallego Pérez, Juan Ignacio (2011) Euranet: a Case Study of Pan-European Radio. In Radio evolution: Conference Proceedings. University of Minho: Communication and Society Research Center, Braga (Portugal), pp. 215-226. ISBN 978-989-97244-9-5

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Official URL: http://www.lasics.uminho.pt/ojs/index.php/radioevolution/index



Abstract

From its early beginnings as a single idea to its current status as an organisation of 27 member states, the European Union has suffered from the lack of a common cultural identity. This debility has greatly hindered the progress of European consolidation and convergence, which to the present day has been manifested mainly through economic and policy agreements. The European Union has achieved many goals during the last 25 years, including the implementation of a common currency that has led to a real economic union between member states and the transfer of various national competences to European institutions. However, the construction of a real European civil society has proved to be a greater challenge; Europeans still cling to their individual national, regional and local identities and have not developed a greater sense of European citizenship.
The Euranet Project—an initiative to create a pan-European radio network—began in December 2007 as a joint proposal put forth by 13 national and regional radio stations operating in 12 European countries. Its stated mission when it went on air on April 1, 2008 was to broadcast European news from a transnational perspective to local communities within the European Union. As an independent radio network comprised of member stations spread out across Europe that generates a steady stream of quality Eurocentric information, Euranet serves the EU as an alternative to an official, centralised institutional radio service managed and broadcast from Brussels.
Euranet makes a particularly interesting object of study from a researcher’s point of view, as it offers a cross-sectional view of multidisciplinary issues that are central to both European convergence and communications studies. From the perspective of convergence, Euranet constitutes the first successful pan-European radio project to recognise and address the diversity of European member states. It has been specifically designed to adapt to different radio markets and deliver tailor-made messages to local audiences. From a communication perspective, it’s an example of how the technology and inherent synergies of Internet can be exploited to promote listener interaction and improve the dissemination of content online. Euranet has embraced web-based technologies such as streaming and podcasting and uses its connection with university radio stations to focus on youth as a key target audience. Euranet also represents a significant shift in European Commission media policy; radio now functions as a key part of the Commission’s communication strategy to forge social cohesion in Europe and foster a sense of pan-European citizenship.
Euranet currently offers radio programming in 15 languages through a network of 18 radio stations located in 16 EU member states. It annually broadcasts 110,000 minutes (approximately 2,000 hours) of contents devoted to topics related to the European Union. Individual stations have complete freedom to determine the content of their programming. Each station daily produces between 30 and 60 minutes of Eurocentric content that is distributed throughout a variety of news and entertainment programs devoted to sport, travel and European culture. At the present time, it serves an audience of nearly 15 million listeners.
This paper presents a critical evaluation of Euranet’s first four years of operations and speculates on the future of the network beyond the expiration of the European Commission’s current 6 million euro annual funding commitment in 2013. It also offers an evaluation of various aspects of Euranet’s operations (programming, web strategy, web 2.0. tools) and the role it has played in the construction of a European identity.


Item Type:Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords:Euranet; Pan-European radio; Broadcasting; European communication policies
Subjects:Social sciences > European Union
Social sciences > European Union > European information policy
Social sciences > Information science > Radio
Social sciences > Information science > Information storage and retrieval systems
ID Code:34501
Deposited On:17 Dec 2015 12:29
Last Modified:04 Feb 2016 11:42

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