Tageszeitung (Taz): „Genetischer Reduktionismus ist falsch“ (genetic reductionism is false) (interview)

Usain Bolt after his victory and world record ...

Heute,  Interview mit US Forscher bezuegl. Rassismus, genetischen Reduktionismus und Sport.  Warum sind Jamaikaner wie Usain Bolt und Yohan Blake so gut im Sport?


Today interview with John Hoberman about genetic determinism, sport, black athletes and Barack Obama (German)

Rastafarianism as Political Youth Culture in Freetown, Sierra Leone

An archive find.  This was my 1995 BA Dissertation from SOAS, University of London, which included field research in Freetown, Sierra Leone.. I finally managed to upload it. The dissertation documents a real phenomenon in Freetown when Sierra Leone was under NRPC rule at the very beginnings of the unrests with the RUF that would later cause the bloody civil war. Some of the interviewed and some of those on the pictures are now dead.  The professors at SOAS were in two minds on this. Prof. Cruise O’Brian an old school expert on Politics in Africa dismissed it, because he said I had not proved that Rastafarianism was in deed a real force amongst all in Sierra Leone, whilst a younger professor, who took on supervision thereafter, Dr. Richard Jeffries, an expert on Ghanaian politics, felt it to be important. It is important to note that this work predates the internet revolution. Whilst we had internet in those days,  it mainly was useful to share information with other scholars. However resources on Sierra Leone were otherwise limited. I have brought out this work from the attic, which explains its poor colour on the text and also I could no longer trace the bibliography. However the pictures are sill stunning!   I have not included transcripts, which I do still have.

Read / Download Rastafarianism as Political Youth Culture in Freetown Sierra Leone (1995).

London Black Radio and the Community – my Master of Arts Dissertation from 1997

CO 1998 / 2012

Dear Reader:

  • Please make use of the comment facility at the end.  Let me know what you were searching and what you are working on, if the dissertation was useful to you or not, and what your general thoughts are.
  • If you use this dissertation anywhere in academic work you must reference it correctly! Daniel Zylbersztajn:  London Black Radio and the Community, MA Dissertation Goldsmiths College, University of London, 1997 indexed on dzx2.net
  • NOTE: Any non-personal use, multiplication or copying must be registered with and permitted by the author’  Just send me an email dzdzx2 [aet-symbol] gmail [dot-symbol] com.  The copyrights are registered also with Goldsmiths College, University of London to whom it was submitted as an MA Thesis

Daniel Zylbersztajn

Daniel D.Z. Zylbersztajn,

text paste below or download  
pdf (117 MB takes a while to download)

Only the pdf includes full texts, interviews, sources and correct footnoting.

September 1997
Foreword to this Edition (May 1998)
There are several points to be raised at this time (May 1998). First of all several changes have occurred with some of programmes /stations. Most significant is the new Radio 4 which promises to include the interests of “minorities” within the mainstream programming without making them special. Upfront has introduced a “Black” history slot, and Kiss is more actively involved in showing “care” for young people. Since finishing the paper I have changed my opinion on the term “African Caribbean“, “African American” somewhat. I find the term discriminates against the complexity of historical backgrounds of people identifying as such. Although some might have a direct African linkage for most exists a far more complex background, which is being minimalized by choosing Africa above other identities. As such the identification as “African American”, “African Caribbean” becomes a political choice rather than a descriptive term which describes reality. As such I thus described people with a backround traceable to the Caribbean or Africa and took reference occasionally to the USA black population. This identification carries a colour-conscious notion with which I am uncomfortable. But it is undeniable that persons of darker skin colour in countries inhabited by a majority of light skinned persons are being marginalized. Neither is it deniable that Black, African Caribbean, and African American “groups”, and be they partly inaccurate descriptions, have chosen to identify as such and adhered to a cultural reference point, which they assume to be essential. Of course there exist dominating or preferred cultural strings, but they are not inborn and neither are they static. I believe that the following years will demonstrate a rethinking of these labels which will leave this study as an example of a specific era. One of the most prominent forefront vocals of such rethinking is the actress Whoopie Goldberg. Nevertheless this paper also shows already differences of opinions and divisions within the assumed oneness and sameness of the labels black and African/African Caribbeans. Of course this change of identification policies will not only apply to “black people“, but also to any other, including the assumed glorious references for european cultures and histories, which will change dramatically over the next years. By that I do not mean an illustration of it’s opposite, but rather an inclusion of histories and references which are European, yet which have been ignored in the race of national unity. The contributions of Europe’s poor, and its former sub-groups will be increasingly recognised, so that there were “black” people in Europe both in the North and South of the continent many centuries before the 20th. At the end what will be celebrated will not be the palette of difference through multi-culturalism, but of the human spirit and its all its creativity and also (but rather not celebrated but realized) destructiveness in all people on this earth. Yet the acceptance of this will also mean that separatists will try with greater vehemence to proof their right for difference, e.g. through socio-genetics.
This in mind, I hope that the paper ahead will be of use to whom it may concern.
For anonymity and protection of my informants, the majority of informants names and the stations they work for have been changed, as it was not clear if consent would be given for distribution of this paper to official bodies. Such changes are signified through the symbol **.
Daniel Zylbersztajn
May 1998


The Index Preface page 4 Acknowledgements page 11 I ‘Essay’ page 12 II ‘Topical Statements from Interviews’ page 29 Conclusion page 50 Bibliography page 53 Appendixes and Materials page 56     page numbers might not correspond to this E-Mailed copy PREFACE This is not part of the main dissertation This section includes ethical and moral considerations that are partially related to me personally, and thus do not contribute to the topic as such, yet I felt must be included in some form. It also includes the acknowledgements.

“No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow!”

Alice Walker

In 1899 Du Bois, one of north americas key african american figures published the study The Philadelphia Negro. This was the first ever socio ethnographic account and study of african americans and also by an african american. I have read this lengthy study in depth: Du Bois organized his study so to suit his own vision of a black america that would be “western cultured” and university educated and a great contributor to the whole nation (the talented tenth to lead the masses).
He saw himself perhaps a hero living midst of “an atmosphere of dirt, drunkenness, poverty, and crime,” as he himself described it.
Financed by the university of Philadelphia, the “black plague” was to be measured, so that methods could be found to eliminate the danger that it symbolized in the fantasies of the greater majority of white europe descending citizens of Philadelphia. Du Bois catalogued the conditions of poverty of his subjects, even rightfully repeatedly underlined its connectedness to slavery, he even illustrated cases of supremacist attitudes by white employers against black job seekers. But at this early stage, the later communist, had not yet recognized the connectedness between poverty, exploitation, slavery, and the white industrial and educational systems, into which he wanted “negroes” to be integrated . This leaves an early Du Bois, who made arrogant comments regarding single parent families, “loose” sexual moral, unwillingness to work, and other non protestant life conditions.
Du Bois admitted years later, in his autobiography, that many “negroes” were suspicious and were far from any kind of happy approval of the study. He wrote: “Blacks said, are we animals to be dissected and by an unknown Negro at that?,” and also, “they had a natural dislike to being studied like a strange species.”
Du Bois’s bias on the one hand and his pioneering research on the other, symbolize both virtues and failures of his project The Philadelphia Negroe.
Thus in my course essay on the Philadelphia Negro, I concluded with warning words:

[Du Bois] played more into the hands of “white” supremacists than he would have been willing to admit. The fact that he was convinced throughout his life to have attempted to contribute to the elimination of the colour bar, just proves how careful research has to be conducted.” Following this vigilance, it would only be proper for myself to take a lead, and attempt to take certain steps, that would at least signify my concern, but also my willingness to take active measures for more careful analysis. I have decided to start this dissertation with a foreword that discusses the moral, ethical deliberations of my project: People of african descent and other “marginal” people of the west, have many times been victims of euopean scientific analysis. The contemporary Murray study “Bell Curve“, is just one of the many sad examples. When africans were / are measured or used in statistics it was / is all too often in order to demonstrate their inferiority towards european people, european thought and cultural and political values. As a politically sensitive and morally conscious person of jewish descent, I am only too familiar with such so called scientific, but often nothing but bogus and invented, discoveries, as they were used too, to prove the slaugherability of my grandparents on my father’s side, I never met (that I am familiar, is meant non-inclusive, that is that the fact that I am a jew does not necessitate in essential sensitivities – they merely can, at the most perhaps should).
Yet ahead there is just another of these studies, and with it I aim to achieve honours from an institution that still stands as generator of definitions of european streams – the university. As an academic writer I am supposed to use critical analysis. This means that I will have to make up my mind as to what I regard as positive and what I regard as negative.
There are at least three problems with this:
1.) The first regards the “I” or the judgmental position this paper puts me into. Here I am writing forced to draw conclusions, when maybe tomorrow I might hear another person’s voice that could topple all my perhaps pre-mature concepts. Truly I am not an insider in the radio – the music or the black cultural – industries, but then this puts me in between all – hopefully advantageous for judging. But a judge must hear all voices, all representations and I have only used a small cross sections of people. I have chosen people, made selections, and vice versa people have chosen and selected, or despotted and ignored me. And as far as the profession of judges is concerned, justice still has a long way to go to represent black people and others the west tends to exclude from the ranks of its [white europe’s] self-understanding;
2.) The words “positive” and “negative” with regard to black people, stand difficulty inside the european traditions of reporting on non white christian European people, as said earlier; so often are there misrepresentations, stereotypical images, that it becomes a duty for community representatives to emphasize “positive” news. I am worried about moments that I might have to reflect on some negative occurrences and comments, and it drove me to the following notes:
Black achievement is often illustrated by examples of people who reached high ranks inside the strings of the western capital oriented world, such are doctors, lawyers, journalists, scientists unnecessarily disregarding those who are achievers in so many other activities. This is because black people are stigmatised and associated by non black britts with the manual sector, in fact a circumstance that is rapidly changing especially in favour of a thatcherite / blair-ian self-sustaining chain of black businesses run by the second and third generations of african and caribbean migrants to britain and an increasing presence in administrative posts. To put it in other words eurocentric thought denied black people the possession of a human brain that could be used to move them forward.
In this struggle to keep the black subject reports and surveys “positive and
achievers” often a chain reactions is build, that leads from slavery, to colonialism, from colonialism to racism, from racism to rwanda and crack heroin in some neighbourhoods. From slavery to racism and crack. These are often justified and debate and thought provoking arguments, but despite all our explanations of,
-how europe divided africa (or “how europe underdeveloped africa”),
-how white skinned people (in their own hierarchies) were and are still
favoured in the west,
-how western education attempted to deny the margins their right of inclusion
in human history (perhaps because it wasn’t a history of margins after all)
and – call it “brainwashed” – all so many with the ideology of “western”
democratic pride and economic rationality, which really is the trade of
robbery and exploitation.
Yet we, and by we I mean all people concerned with the positive faith and fortune of black folk, do have some negative things to say about some – it is not through a dark skin pigmentation that man or woman receives an automatic holiness, just because they fall victim to the dominating forces of this present world. Can some black people, some african people be of bad character in their own rights? Can we really and honestly say, rwanda, liberia, abacha, duvallier, and the black “man” who beats his woman are victimized by “The culture of 400 years”, and thus done and excused. Or must we perhaps ignore the later phenomenae all together, because we attempt to report positively about black people? So called minorities usually carry an awareness of these negative issues, but are afraid to publicise them, as criticism hits them stronger than others, and it disrupts the bonds, that are important in times of victimization through discrimination and violence from racists. I feel very close to issues of similar stature as a person whose father survived the jewish holocaust. How many times have I heard that this or that action by a jewish man or woman, or israeli man or woman, is to be excused with the fact that there was sho’a. That sho’a and anti-semitism are only the results of the christian evil society. Yet I look down on the community in which I am living now – orthodox jews in Stamford Hill, London, where I – circumcised, signifying my jewish originality through holy procession, am excluded, marginalized and despotted, where I have to observe the mechanisms of absurd forms of essential and absolutist ethnocentricity. I also know of psychological depressions and traumas concerning myself and so many others of the second generation post jewish holocaust, in which also gypsies, persons of a different sexuality and disabled persons were attempted to be wiped off the to be arianized, italosized, and japanized world.
But I learned that by keeping a sacred silence I would subscribe myself to the same attitude of the silent german in the between 1930 and 1949. Too afraid to make heard any objection to the increasing violence, discrimination and acts of crime against Jews, they knew or did not know. So I shouted out when I lived in Israel and observed what occurred during the Intifada. I agreed that Jews carried a burden too for complying with some of the authorities that oppressed them or others, be it South Africa, or elsewhere. But I also saw how I was blamed myself for these very crimes, for being jewish only. I was identified with the deeds of other jews whom I opposed myself, due to a process called stereotypization. If one jew or black person does something bad, it will automatically be applicable to all jews, black people, according to the rules of white western stigmatisation: I am not rich and don’t work in the film industry and unlike many jews, I do not identify with a european nation, nor do I regard africa descending people in any form negatively.
A negative critical comment at the end of the day is an acknowledgement, a suggestion and an encouragement. Whatever much there is to say positive will gain a greater weight through a meaningful, honest and balanced discourse including the negative aspects. This dissertation is about both the positive and the negative, and I will report as much good and laudable, as I can, but inevitably, there will be some critical comments and notes to be made, and I wanted to make clear how they must be digested, especially when it comes to those vulnerable voices on grass-root level.
3.) Assuming I am making investigative progress and collect material as presented here. How can I defend its presentation in front of a gremium of “studied” men and women? How can I be sure that I am not passing on information to persons who shouldn’t know. How can I be sure, that this information can be comprehended? How can I be sure the interviewed and myself are not getting exploited, troubled or stereotyped through this paper?
It become thus ever so important to emphasize here, right at the beginning of this study, that this dissertation is merely an introduction to some issues of black radio in London. Let me also assure the reader that peoples’ opinions change. What someone might have told me in my interview might not be that person’s entire view. It is part of it. Opinions and voices are too complex than that one could assume an absolute assurance that things are like they are eternalised in these pages.
In this sense how can I be sure that I did not change the interviewed to some degree, simply by talking to them, asking certain questions, often such, they didn’t ask themselves so far.
I am worried about my own organisation and analysis in this paper on black Radio in London, perhaps I don’t trust myself entirely anymore to be a person with right answers. I wouldn’t know “what” these would be. I think no-one can honestly say he or she knows. The most I can offer is a catalogue of open questions and my sincere will to try to understand. Apart from this I try to spot avenues that could have hurtful or violent consequences for others. Bloodshed, slaughter, hate-murder, war, exploitation, force against others, rape, slavery, discrimination, nationalisms, ethnocentrisms and torture are just some of the items I try to work and stand against.
In order to allow a direct reflection from those I have interviewed I have taken the time and effort to print out every interview in full in a lengthy appendix. For if my analysis fails or is biased or unjustified, there will be a full voice in the appendix. The situation of the interview of course is both real and unreal.
“Real” because it really happened, “unreal”, because they happen in the light of this study, making radio production “an issue,” and because I asked questions for answers I sought for. The full print out is also helpful to understand pictorial metaphorical explanations. For none of my interviews have I used a set of pre-arranged quezstions. I wanted to sit down and talk as naturally as possible, given the situation of an interview and the presence of a recording machine. The print out supports thus explanations beyond yes and no, the systematical norm in the age of functionality. Precisely not a clear answer, yes, or no, is often more of answer. It reflects the answer in its original style, including verbal hesitations and associations. Unfortunately the format for the dissertation disallows the inclusion of tonal and visual associations of symbols and meanings, which ideally I would like to include. However it would complicate the production of this dissertation vehemently and also would trouble some of the persons I spoke to with regard to a degree of partial anonymity their contributions carry in this written form.
I have experienced some difficulties printing the word -black- whilst writing out the transcripts, as far as whether the B needs to be capitalized or not. I have capitalized it where I found it appropriate to the meaning of a sentence and character of person I spoke to. Capitalized B, thus normally reflects a concept of commonalty, pride or identity, whereby black, written with a small b often is a reference to people with a skin darker skin, as compared to average european light skin. I also have decided, some time ago to leave all words that signify identities small capitalized. Of course I am more sympathetic to some compared to others, meaning that I would rather capitalize Black, Jew, Africa and leave small white, germany, england, europe, but I want to take a stance that signifies my apathy to exaggerated forms of all national identities and as such as prime identifying labels, which I feel are often just copies of european nation thinking. My apathy towards them, result out of my position as the son of a generation that fell victim to one such capitalizations, hence I will leave all these words small.
As long as my readers will keep all this in mind I am a bit calmer, because it will take off the a bit of the burden of originality and representation, which I feel heavy on my shoulders.. My work is aspect of a whole story, and it is only that – an aspect!. Perhaps at the end of the day this is only a report about twenty individuals who work on radio, and nothing else, and even that aspect of their opinions as much as they were able to express in a session of something between twenty minutes and two hours. How many times have we sat in exams, given speeches, went for interviews and as soon as it was over, after ten minutes, we were remembering something we know often of essential and crucial importance, which we wanted to say, but did not. I would be thankful if the individuals I interviewed and myself, could be seen as just the same human beings….
What makes it more than merely magazine or newspaper interviews, is the fact that I was introduced to historical, philosophical and sociological issues in the academic year preceding this research. I see this part of my training to a completer vision of the London society, and the human society in general. I honestly believe that the particular course at Goldsmiths’ college, Contemporary Urban Studies, is in many regards a light within the large petrifying corridors of the sum of university institutions that I described earlier.
These are questions that accompanied me through every step of this dissertation and I therefore I insisted to capitalize them in front of the actual piece of academic work. Should my values be discarded by anyone or after a period of time, maybe even by myself for any reason, I hope that this pre-face will assist to defracture my work and explain my position as it was now, summer 1997.

This leaves me with the question of what purpose this dissertation actually serves. For one black radio is an occurrence on in London so broad that it seems odd that it has never been given the interest or respect it deserves. Having done a summer of research I learned that a 10.000 word dissertation by far undermined the space that was needed. I realized there was enough material, that there were enough voices and issues for a phD. I found the issues involved dangerously complex and it gave me considerable difficulties The government had already made decisions on black radio in 1991 with the institution of black commercial station. Yet apart from some legal stations, there still exist a multi-faced number of illegal stations attempting to fill gaps that the commercials apparently haven’t or couldn’t. This dissertation attempts to identify some of these issues. In any way I am writing for those I have interviewed, and to let them speak to each other. I have promised to hand out copies of this dissertation to most I have spoken to, and I hope that perhaps I will encourage a continuing debate on this topic. Hopefully this academic research will encourage a rethinking and renegotiating as well as be a platform for inclusion. It is up to the tolerance and unselfishness of all parties to make my desire true.
Last not least as said, this dissertatin is also intended to go back to those who made contrubutions for it. I beg everyones serious attendtion and will to listen to the others voices. I know that some statments of contributers and perhaps some of my own analysis will be upsetting, provactive or disagreeable. But anger is the least weapon to to challange one another. It is only through constructive conversation that we can learn from another and especially about our own mistakes. An open mind and a willingness to take criticism where it is appropriate seems to me most appropriate. I will personally not tolerate any form of intellectual exploitation through this paper of anyone who contributed, nor any uncontrolled and unargumented harresment of any person. If there is a comment to be made I expect that this shall happen in a sincere, encouraging and thought provoking manner.

I also want to thank all those individual persons who made this dissertation possible with help and thoughts and their time, in alphabetical order.
Professor Afrique** bBC Ben Gidley* Rootfoot**
Berry** Steve Brown** Marcus York** Simon Brown
Larry Boyers Claudia Terry Carraway Examiner**
Father Sharp** Darren Crossdale  Daniel Owen Joe Douglass
Bob Gardner David Gillon Jacquie Gales Webb Ibrahim Bakr**
Alex French** Aisha
Pat Edison Jazzie B Daddy Dread** Keir Jones
Karen Weir Catman ** Chris Mitchell Lola Howard**
Mandy Richards Martin Pike Jonah** Michael Keitho Ward Millner Miss P Ben Moyle Nick Raynsford
Derek Pake Paul Gilroyo Raymond Paul Amira Selassi**
Radio Chief** Lorna Lexter** Stephen Chastie* Pascoe Sawyers
Keith Sketchley Greg Strickland Jim Perry Tariq
Thom (Blair)* Tojin Amusen Tom Williams* Mr Good**
Mr N Tim Timber** Mrs Winsome Graze Cornish
** indicates name changed by author
Thanks to the Goldsmith’s College Audio and Visual Equipment Department, for the use of the stereoscope, thanks to the Smithonian Institute and the Goldsmiths College libirian involved for trying to send me the tapes.
for inspiration: Walter Benjamin, bell hooks, Wiliam E.B. Du Bois, Franz Fanon, Homi Bhabba, Jamaica Kinkaid, Peter Freyer, Toni Morrison, Rastafarian Commune Twelve Tribes of Israel Freetown Sierra Leone – West Africa, Isaac Julian, “Bob” , Langston Hughs, The Rhapsodies in Black – Art of the Harlem Renaissance Exhibition (London June-August 1997)
o my lecturers, supervisors and teachers thanks for all!
* to my fellow student colleagues thanks for keeping criticism alive and mustual support!
** name changed by author for anaonymity
And all those mainly unknown individuals who kindly gave me some their valued time to fill out my long questionnaires!
Honouring my father and mother!
Peace All Times

Daniel Zylbersztajn 1997

“Wirkliche Radioübertragung ist wahre Propaganda! Propaganda bedeuted Kampf auf `allen Schlachtfeldern des Geistes, erschaffend, verfielältigend, vernichtend, bauend und nihilierend. Unsere Propaganda liegt der Deutschen Rasse, Blut und Nation zu Grunde!” Raskin, Deutsches Reich Übersee Funkdienst  
Radio is a medium that impacts on people. It is a powerful means to spread any type of information. In fact one of the first groups that used radio ‘en mass was the ‘1000 year’ german nazi reich under hitler. The “eight wonder”, “Der Volksapparat” , was a means of spreading the speeches of “nazi-inelligentia” amongst the german volk. During the “second world war” and the later cold war period radio and radio control emerged as a tool of political control and information, and it has remained to be so. In the nazi reich a person could be punished by death for tuning to a ‘non arian’ Feindsender.
Why not write about radio in general? Why ‘black radio’? Do “white” people need “white radio” and “black people,” ‘black radio’? Clearly the quoted german example is a case of ‘arian race radio’. I would point out to the fact that the so called “negroid race” as a humanoid group, (or “sub group”, as it would have been in the imperial european age), was an invention of white supremacist fantasy in the time of the ‘awakening’ the european “scientific” era. I left this question open, not because I have not got an opinion, but because I felt it more important to hear what black radio presenters themselves had to say about the nomination they either had initiated themselves with, or which were given to them by others (the audience). More so, because I felt that I personally could not define or easily explain the phenomenon.
The starting point of my dissertation was, when I was listening to various stations in London, and was presented with slogans like: We Really Care for the Community! Unity in the Community! etc… followed by “community-breaks”, “community information” or what is in fact simply advertizing, that aimed to address London radio listeners of african descendance in its wider context. I started to listen and wait close to my FM dial and await this care comming out the speaker, the unity, etc… and often there was nothing like it. Adding to the whole thematic was the competition for another London wide radio licence (through the statutory british Radio Authorithy) and consequent laments in early January 1997 that it was not granted to an applying black station, but to white XFM!
As if that was not enough, GLR started a daily London black news programme in spring 1997, entitled Upfront! The first of its kind. All above this, stood the shear uncountable numbers of pirate stations, the majority of them pumping out music, that many people would describe as coming from a black genre, be it jungle, soul, drum’n bass, dancehall, uk garage, gospel, hip hop, socca, reggae or african zoukus, highlife, and so on. In fact it is difficult to say if there are any London pirates around that have nothing to do with the world of black music genres and I mean in a direct sense, that is involving black presenters, and the playing of black music as described earlier. Almost every organizer of musical events or clubs seems to somehow related to a specific station. I would like to stress that I have disadvantaged pure music and dance stations, in particular those who are pirate, in this dissertation, in order to focus a bit more on 1.) stations that define themselves, or are seen as being more of a black station, than a dance station or music station, or 2.) stations that a great percentage of people of african descendance listen to. And why were there so many rumours about Choice FM, which was licensed in 1990 by the Radio Authorithy to serve South London’s black community, to be a “sell out” (see later )? It remains perhaps to note that London also was a specific case, partly with regard to what will soon be discussed as the urban condition , but also because London bears britain’s largest count of people of an african descendance of whatever generation.
So I set the topic and started researching. Initially that meant weeks of listening to various stations, taping programmes, etc…. I discovered soon that my pleasures of listening to radio were vanishing. I belonged to those groups of listeners, who used black radio as a means to either chill out, freak out, or to tune in with presenters, who knew and chatted what the system was about. The fact that I was going to write a dissertation changed the focus for me and shifted it onto the level of “work.” Listening soon ceased to be enjoyable at all for me, because I had to really listen now, and often enduring long music or commercial breaks, – in short, what apparently seems to be a fun dissertation, became a difficult task. I realized, I needed to do more than just listen, and thus decided to contact presenters and directors of a number of stations to ask them specific questions. I wanted to question representatives of various kind of stations. The different types are:
Type Station name .
1. bBC One FM- the national “official” station – 1FM, bBC World Service
2. bBC – Greater London Radio, the London wide “official” station – GLR
3. commercial stations with a licence London – Kiss FM, Choice FM, Spectrum Radio, Jazz FM
4 stations with restricted temporary “official” licences. – Real Heart**
5. pirates – Jamaica FM, Full Energy FM,
6. other – Freedom FM
This dissertation is intended to be predominantely an ethnographic paper of primary source material. I conducted a total of twenty-three interviews, most of them in depth, even more people were consulted. To whomever this looks a small number I would like to alert, that in fact it cost me a lot of energy and effort to get these interviews together in the short time span that was available. The nature of the MA course which demanded very thorough research for the taught part of the course, including six well researched 5000 word essays, meant that the dissertation could only be approached seriously in June. The music and radio business is not a sphere of easy access in any way, in particular for a person without contacts. I spend nerve wrecking days at home waiting for that promised phone-call, that promised visit, or mail out, when it never arrived. In total, I must have made about at least 100 calls to various individuals’ mobile phones, a sign of times perhaps worthwhile for a future study.
I must stress my dissatisfaction with the way papers like that have to be conformed. I would have needed the freedom of at least 50.000 words to satisfy every aspect I found worthy. One could write a paper on each station and each aspect of the London radio scene. I have outlined the ethical considerations regarding my personal consciousness in the preface and at this point I would like to make clear that I am not at all happy with this format as I had to compromise too much. There will be a shortened essay based general discussion in the first half of the dissertation and a structuralized (in accordance to a variety of topics) concentration of statements from interviewees that originally constituted 130.000 words of transcript; nevertheless I tried to make a job as good as possible cutting down this size of the interviews to 5000 – a matter of more than 50 hours work of rethinking and re compromising with myself and the voices and picture of people in my mind, not just ‘cross out finish’. The way it is presented now should create an almost conversationalist approach, similar to a style that is more and more frequent in academic literature from the concerning issues of contemporary culture. Hopefully it allow more closeness to what people said. If extracts appear too incomplete I really encourage people to use to read up the entire interview of a person of interest in the appendix. In order to make the second part more acceptable for academic purposes it has been complemented with some comments and remarks in the footnotes where thought necessary.
I also was frustrated with written sources on this and related topics. A lot of books were written on radio, and as many about britains black populations. Yet there wasn’t anything major I found on the black radio topic in a british or even London context, nor anything directly relevant.
My most significant draw back was a cautious withdrawal from the offer to talk to me, by a ghanian pirate station in North-London who promised me an interview for about a month, and stood me up three times, until they finally declared that they changed their mind and chose not to be interviewed out of fear that I had something to do with the controlling authorities. Joe Douglas who set up WNK and also applied unsuccessfully for a London wide licence for a station called Black FM in 1996, was another individual of weeks of empty promises. A similar reaction came from a pirate station in South-London, where I initially spoke to someone only to be neglected later. Part of these difficulties can be connected with the ambition of writing on London black radio as a whole. It would have been much easier for me to form contacts had I concentrated on one station only, contacted most the DJ’s on a regular basis, phoned in and would have made myself seen on public events that they often do. On this London wide dimension it was inconceivable for the purpose of a 10.000 word dissertation, with a time limit. The more credit goes out to those stations who gave me a chance to introduce myself and who trusted my word for not being a radio authority dti spy or for that matter a typical white “explorer” researching to exploit african people.
For people in the radio and music business, the summer month August was just not the right time to ask for interviews. A time when in London, many prepared for the two day long lasting Notting Hill Carneval.
Yet I still managed to speak to – definitely over-stressed – figures like Radio Chief** (leading position) of Hot FM** , even Mr N of bBC One FM, and Daddy Dread** of Hot FM** , all of whom were actively involved in the carneval, but many more of the interviewed were. There were also people who did not respond to my letters, they are almost exclusively from the bBC. Trevor Philipps, Chris Goldfinger and Tim Westwood (the later had an unco-operative secretary).
When my frustrations on dull days with no response from people, I asked for interviews, reached a peak, I decided to design a questionnaire for listeners that I would hand out and thus involve the “community” as the title of this dissertation promised. Little did I know that the result would only be another at least partial set back. Out of about 400 questionnaires distributed only 7%, that is 32 filled-out -questionnaires, found their way back to me in time. Although I would not permit a too great emphasis on my statistical results, they nevertheless are opinions by individuals, and in particular the open ended questions seem to be useful indicators. The total of all results have also been added in the appendix. At least one of the results gave me a clue as to what general perception was what made radio ‘black’. 40.6% of the respondents felt it was about Black presenters and staff, 37% estimated it had to do with the music a radio station played, and 31% that it ought to deal with issues that affected the black community.
Last not least I decided to contact the government officials such as the Radio Authority, and MP’s. Diane Abbott MP, who gave a dedication to AWAKE FM, that she supported it (played over the airwaves) did not respond to a letter I send her. Responses from the british Radio Authorithy and Radio Communications Agency prompted me to start a news – discussion on Compuserve Fori about the safety of illegal broadcasting. To sum the discussion up in one sentence: Modern equipment makes it unlikely that pirate stations interfere with air and emergency communication, more than a domestic microwave oven, of which there are millions more in inner cities than radio transmitters. All documents are to be found in the appendix.

People in metropolitan areas are isolated, not only as residents but also as consumer flaneurs, or metropolitan nomads. It is very difficult to create bridges between such people and the centrifugal power of mass media accelerates their estrangement. Tetsuo Kogawa, inventor of the Japanese Mini FM Boom
As Habermas put it, Gemeinschaft, communal urban experience is a far cry from Gesellschaft, community. As an immigrant to London I think I can use my own testimony of London being a city that maniacally depresses as a result of isolation and exclusion. It still bugs me sometimes how little anyone cares that you are around. London is a city of cliques and if one has not grown up in London or perhaps any major city in the world, one will have to create a sense of belonging somehow. Those who can identify with some sort of communality with others are usually bound together in a network of encouragement and communal support, excluding non members. Those who can not or refuse to use a traditional sense of identification, that being religion, territory of departure preceding the migration, and historical bounds, often create or join relatively young urban movements, in particular the many youth cultures, especially those around sport and music. But there is a third dimension of identification that is a result of the new life-conditions that become attached even to the generations that follow initial immigrating persons: This is an externally created emotional condition, shaped by exclusion, despotism, marginalization and inflexibility of a “host” community whose acceptance of the immigrants is a one-directional avenue, that is through adaptation of language, norms and values of the community that is original in the sense that it’s presence pre-dated the moment of migration (assimilation or acclimatization), or if not the opposite, a segregative admiration of difference, to serve the larger community. In London communal care and nurturing are not necessarily defined through neighbourhood (Nachbarschaft). Much more has neighbourhood become a temporary and eventive occasion. In many cases people live door by door without any real contact. Instead contacts are kept alive through a mentally constructed neighbourhood. The artificiality not emphasising on people – they are real – but on their proximity. Hours are spend with people during the day time for any sort of reason, be it of a labouring nature, or educational nature, yet they are often not our neighbours, nor do they even live in any sort of distance that could be identified as neighbourhood.
More often than not in between them (our mentally close neighbours) and us stand straining traffic connections, or the artificiality of the phone-line, or increasingly an E- Mail connection. Friendships can only be maintained on a one-to-one basis, on planned visits to a specific person, or on a more superficial level on special events at central locations and venues around the many identities during the ever more costly leisure-hours (be they churches, clubs, parties, cultural venues, et cetera). But this can hardly compensate for the “loss” of real neighbourhood sense, with all its positive and perhaps negative sides. In fact this satellite friendship system increases unsociability amongst those who live close by to each other. As the street seizes to be an extension of our habitats, house doors get barricaded and essential skills to compromise the life of the street get lost, a manic angst increases, which is substantiated by loneliness.
Cornel West thinks this urban feeling even more strong, and more destructive with african americans. He wrote that he was the major enemy of black survival in america, ‘neither oppression nor exploitation, but rather nihilistic threat’ what he describes to be the loss of hope and absence of meaning.
What is interesting that above theoretical arguments are backed up by my questionnaire responses. 50% of all respondents identified community as a group of people who shared an identity, culture, value set, ethnicity or a combination of these terms, as opposed to only 37 % who thought it was about a geographical bonding and even less 9% that it had to do with people looking after one another, an impossibility, if people do not live close by to one another.
I want to make clear, that inspite the argument here, I am not following those who see cities like London, as a great threat, propagating exodus to the ‘good old’ countryside. The city does offer alternative spaces to many who would otherwise be victimized through the inflexibility to rethink and re-evaluate society in general. The vastness of the urban hemisphere offers hide away at anonymous locations. This, I would say, is a global phenomenon regardless of what type of geographical, social, political or cultural environment we might find the city in, hence not confined to “western” metropols like London only.
Yet at the cliff of desperation, human beings have found ways to make this illness tolerable or to hallucinate themselves into a cosmos above this reality. Consumption of drugs for example breaks down the psycho-barriers and under their influence contact is being made with people, one was estranged to, and reality is forgotten or softened. Obsession with things, be they cars, computer-games, or puppets might be another, or the institution of pets as compensatory friends. Exaggerated activities around sport or sex lead to brain stimulating hormone based addictions with similar reality soothing impact. Within this urban mental institution also are cinemas, TV sets, and of course radio-sets, who are supposed to form the essence-theme of this paper. These serve a very particular form of compensatory neighbourhood, and similarly stimulating effects might be observed in isolated rural enclaves, where a similar degree of loneliness can be experienced. My questionnaire sample revealed that a total of 82% of the respondents listen to radio at home.
Adorno spoke specifically about radio. He felt that radio was very much a mental blocking devise fully part of a system that aimed to keep critical thought, or scrutiny of sociological conditions at bay. Perhaps Adorno was not right with regard to radio programmes, that intend to inform. Perhaps information on radio serves the opposite. It wakes the mind and armours for the various platforms on which humans interact in contemporary cities. The bBC Producer Guidelines 1996 state that: “news programmes should offer viewers and listeners an intelligent and informed account on issues that enables them to form their own views. A reporter may express a professional, journalistic judgement, but not a personal opinion.” Yet contemporary urban environments are far from the Roussauen ideolized Kanton-ian polis and it’s Bürger-citizens; there usually is no arena into which people would step, having acquired information, and where they would represent their personal comments and conclusions, except those who do so professionally. Radio in fact is increasingly compensating for this agora. Since the 1980’s call in radio programmes have gained an increasing popularity, and it is there, and much more than on TV, that people voice their stances for it is a more spontaneous medium. Yet it often means that they are subjected to the controls of presenters with the liberty to cut off, or leave out whom ever they wish. Even the bBC has now regular call in programmes usually following news programmes.
As said earlier the urban manias can potentially hit members of the african diaspora especially hard. If so, then it must mean nothing else than radio and other community substitutes and restitutes are even more important to them. I want to make clear that I can not prove this assumption, but what regards radio in London, it is quite audious that it are persons of african descendance that are striving for independent transmissions throughout the capital.
As prompted earlier in a question the colonial legacy is quite crucial in the understanding of what followed, as is the system of “racial” hierarchy that excluded those it felt beyond. The british Broadcasting Co-operation continued it’s national programme after the “second” world war; a menu that hardly addressed or acknowledged the african / african-caribbean community, that is it did in it’s own peculiar way. The worldservice was (is?) a programme that was set up not only to serve the british abroad, as it was, but also in order to preach british, and in particular english cultural heritage and point of views across the world. But in britain itself the bBC, as in fact many american and european stations hardly acknowledged black cultural influence at all. Initially this concerned music. This is not to say that black music was not played, in fact it was quite popular, and swing dance music in fact belonged to the anti-german menu in the war period, as the germans despised swing as “canibalic negroe rhythms”. The bBC World Service for example broadcasted jazz performances from the Hot Club de Paris. Yet the most popular tracks were those tunes by all white bands doing black genres. Although the european continent was contributing and supporting to the white masquerade, that was set up in order to circumvene the black musicians who performed most of the tracks and the styles originally, this practice had, disputably, a lot more to do with the segregative reality of society in the usa. To put it plain, in the commercial logic of usa record companies a “black face” in these days would not sell as much as a white face putting on the “black face”. In fact, if anything like black radio had a beginning, it was a comic series entitled ‘The Sam and Henry Show’ around 1926, based on the impersonation of two black americans acted by two ‘white’ actors, with all the stereotypical attributes of the palette of ‘white imagination’, making it one of the most popular radio comedies of its time.
Black music was recorded but to be sold, labelled as “race-records” to black buyers, perhaps excluding a very distinguished european based avantgardist jazz clientele. This changed dramatically with the soul-movement and later with the development of hip hop and rap. The implications are of course similarly ambiguous and shady because of the white fetishization of black masculinity and exotization, which boosted some black people’s purses, but damaged the image and lives of many more.
In London pirate Radio Invicta started to introduce soul music for the british audience in the 1970’s. Most other (black oriented )stations developed only in the early 1980’s including the Dread Broadcast Corporation, JFM, and LWR. A lot of the now well established presenters of the 1990’s had their beginnings in the 1980’s, for example Miss P, Tim Westwood and Mickey Dread, Brian Anthony. The battle about music was in a ironically a battle about audible visibility of black copyrights, black talent and black creativity.
Of course there were quite a number of audible black forefront voices on air. Britain broadcasted frequently during the period of decolonialization the words of Nkhruma, Azikiwe, Kenyatta, Lumumba, and others but after the independence the pictures blurred. “Educated” african leaders were soon discredited by the british public opinion, in the lights of the bi-african war, the mozambican, angolan and ethipoian civil strives and with Bukassa and all and above Amin, whose politics became visible in britain with the arrival of thousands of africa born people of indian descendance . The failures of african politics, of course were not blamed on the colonial legacy, the wars not on western and eastern weapon exports, but on the so called under-developed nature of african culture(s) and people (in contrast to the european state of affairs), which is important to note as a comment on general european attitudes regarding the inability of black people to govern themselves, and their state of mind. Hence from the 1960’s to the 1980’s there was little positive on radio regarding black people, in fact for some white european people surely a paranoia grew in the face of the speeches of Martin Luther King, El HaDD Malik El Shabbazz, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. Although britain had a long standing black community prior to the caribbean windrush labour force migration, it was the new immigrants presence that became mark for what was regarded the black population of the uk after the second world war. Between 1948 and 1958 the total of these immigrants counted 125.000 heads. Many of these ‘immigrants’ were in fact recruited by members of the british industries in the caribbean itself, so great was the demand for assistance. During the african independence phase most of the caribbean migrants were far from having critical attitudes towards britain. After all, they had arrived in order to participate on the job market. . Just a few months after the arrival of the empire windrush the first post war race riots broke out in Liverpool, which had a populus of about 8000 black people. The british colonial west indies had – from a colonial british perspective – one of the “most exemplary” school and “education” systems of the empire (see earlier on mission of bBC Worldservice), and many migrants had studied Shakespeare and Dickens and were able to articulate themselves in queen’s english, yet not even this “cultural education” and, for many, even pride to be a commonwealth member, was to save anyone from the prejudiced racial oppression, many were soon to experience on grounds of their skin colour. Many also came as opportunists escaping hardship in the caribbean and happily taking advantage of the 1948 Immigration Act that allowed British subjects the right to settle in the uk and acclaim british citizenship.. In this the so called windrush generation was initially politically very far distanced from “west-indian” activists living in London before 1947, or taking an even earlier slight considering the 1919 Liverpool race riot.
It took a while until a critical standpoint towards britain evolved. The attitudes towards black immigrant workers contrasted immensely in the negative opposed to Irish and Eastern European migrants, who formed the majority of the post war immigrants). But it lasted until the 1980’s that black alternative radio stations started to develop, with a ‘second generation’ shaken and ‘woken up’ after the 1979 rise of conservative margaret thatcher and earlier, the 1971 immigration act, a 1968 enoch powell Blood River speech , or even earlier the 1962 immigration act and the 1958 Notting Hill riots against West-Kensington’s new black settlers, almost coincidentally with the birth of the second generation, to quote only the political landmarks and not the sum of events that impregnated the individual experiences. Throughout these years there were constant attacks on black communities by racists and fascists all adding to experience of ‘the second generations.’ By 1975 40% of all black people in britain were born here. Between 1976 and 1981, the lives of 31 black people had been taken due to violent racist attacks. The early 1980’s of course were also the peak of the Marley era and other explicit black voices also had began to gain popularity. Demands were heard on the streets in Brixton and elsewhere, and almost simultaneously on the airwaves. In the usa the history of independent black radio predated the 1980’s, even the 1970’s by many years, but then the usa had a much greater black presence than the uk. Black illegal radio thus in the 1980’s arrived as ‘symptom of resistance to domination’. As many interviewed said summerized in the second part under the education rubric, it also head a lot to do with their experience of being “educated” in british schools and hearing nothing positive about the world beyond the horizons of europe. Many switched just off from education and books believing they were all like that. This is important to keep in mind in stressing the importance of radio as an oral news transmitter (and in fact music). In addition to that oral tradition is a much stronger appearance with african diasporic people than many of their european neighbours. Since the 1980’s radio in London has remained one of the most forefront media tools for the younger generations and resisted the introduction of cable TV (and radio) as well as the introduction of the internet, and be it only as “background noise”, it seems indelible. The use of mobile-phones has given illegal broadcasting a particular boost as it enabled radio stations to be in contact both with their audience, and thus enforcing imagined communities, as well as a mechanism of preventative control to warn broadcasters about the arrival of a DTI liquidation team. Already the 1980’s radio generations have infiltrated 1990’s mainstream broadcasting institutions, in particular the bBC. The early 1990’s experienced the legalisation of some of these, choice, wnk, and kiss, all commercial. GLR, bBC’s London regional station in 1996 introduced major changes in favour of a more “visual” black representation, not only what regards music, that role was taken over by bBC Radio One, but also with regard to the representation of issues of concern to and from the black communities. However the fact that bBC is more institutional with strict guidelines as to what regards decency and censorship of any too radical opinions, curse words, etc and their commitment to perfection… their presentation remains unnatural in a world of mistakes, strong views, and occasional outbursts of so called strong language, even during evening and night hours when children are not listening (commercial radio with pressures of advertisers and licence extension have similar policies). That perfect world once excluded any black person, and in particular those who did not confine to so called oxford english standards. The ghanaian station I mentioned (which refused to participate) broadcasts most of its announcements in twi, ga and fante. It is surprising that there is a station serving the indian lingusitic communities in London (Sunrise) but yet none serving the African. It remains strange to see a caribbean or nigerian oriented way banned from talking, together with strong language (on permanent and regular programmes). In 1997 in a world of remaining marginalization of working class people, especially those from a minority background, in particular in this paper’s context, an african, as opposed to an african-caribbean, of a non heterosexual orientation, of a non christian background, of people with disabilities etc… seats are still to be taken, not to over-rule, but to enable acceptance and audibility of those society conspired against. There will always remain a case for non commercial community based radio stations, which in London are forced to broadcast illegally if they do not want to be bound by official radio standards and temporary licensing. The list of statements in the second part will demonstrate continuos referencing to those commercial stations as a point for criticism, perhaps for taking the ranks of being the most popular stations.
Taking aside the theoretical / historical reasoning, what were the expectations from a black radio station in London in summer 1997 in my questionnaire responses? There were a total of 18 individual terms and descriptions to mark, here the first top eleven. Obviously the discussion of black cultural issues was set priority by the great majority of all respondents leaving a great gap to the second best ranking, the playing of black music.’ The third ranking ‘black advertising’ is very curious. It reflects the complete absence of any noticeable black advertizing throughout the city scape apart from bus advertisements of the american cosmetic firm Dark & Lovely in London, but also still present absence of black music venues in London city magazines like Time Out (and the mainstream media), especially events listed in areas outside the main city centre or perhaps where black people constitute a stronger presence, such as the London boroughs of Hackney, Tottenham, Kilburn, Lewisham, Deptford etc..
Question 14C (see full details and explanation of ranking system in appendix: questionnaire data)
Rank score term remark
1 287 (c) Discuss black cultural issues
2 218 (d) Play black musics
3 206 (g) Black Advertizing
4 201 (k) Represent black people
5 197 (a) Give local community news compare with rank 8
6 193 (m) Should be ‘black peoples’ political voice
7 189 (j) Should introduce positive black issues only
8 181 (b) Give international community news compare with rank 5
9 166 (l) Sharp edged journalism and investigations
10 160 (g) Discussions with call ins from listeners
11 150 (p) There should only be one black station for all of London
The Stations
1FM 97-99, bBC World Service 648AM: It seems there is no introsuction necessary for these two stations. The bBC caribbean service informed me that they were thinking of broadcasting their programme on a frequency that can be received in London.
GLR 94.9 FM: bBC’s London regional station, has introduced 9 black specialist shows in 1997, which they perpetuate to be high quality and speech oriented.
Hot FM** : Legal turned pirate station with London wide-licence since 1990. Operates commerically with a dance music policy. They also organize concerts, holidays and recently started a TV show. They have sister programmes in various other cities. There appears to be undecidedness amongst audience if Kiss is ablack station although their manager abrogates that.
Station B FM**, London’s only legal black station has a regional south London licence. They operate as a commercial station since 1990, and call themselves a soul music station. They also operate in Birmingham since 1995.
Spectrum Radio 558AM, Spectrum is a minority service network on AM dial. They are the hosts of the show Talking Africa which runs since 1997. They operateon a commercial basis.
Radio Jive** , Radio Jive operates since 1990 as a commercial Lonon wide legal station. Since it started to exist it changed it’s music policy several times, from jazz to soul to easy listening. They have a sister programme in the North West of england.
Real Heart** ,Real Heart** has been working with temporary restricted licences since 1989. It liased with community projects and when off air trains radio broadcasting. In 1997 they applied for a South-East London full licence. (The pseudonym Real Heart carries no association with Heart FM)
Jamaica FM**:, Jamaica FM is a x based pirate, whose policy is based on Caribbean and general black Musics. They are the most established station in x London, so much that I was not aware that they were a pirate when I started to listen to them. They have been in operation since about six years. Their manager apparently is DTI’s most haunted DJ due to his persistence.
AWAKE** (name changed by author): AWAKE are the only talk and speech based pirate and a Black Power station in London to my knowledge and are based in x London. They have been operating their service since around six years. Their motto is Unity in the Community! They accomodate a wide range of various black power groups, from rastafari, to nation of islam, uk, but also have some non-black DJ’s.
Full Energy FM**: Full Energy FM is a pirate broadcasting in x London. Their policy is black music. They recently started some speech topical discussions.
Freedom FM: Freedom FM is a London based satelite station.
AF- Alex French**, position, Station B FM**
AI – Aisha, presenter & producer, AWAKE FM
AmSe- Amira Selassi, presenter & producer, AWAKE FM
Berry: Berry, presenter Full Energy FM
DD – Daddy Dread**, roots & revival Presenter Hot FM**
DO – Daniel Owen Development Officer, Radio Authorithy
DZ – Daniel Zylbersztajn
EX – Examiner, presenter & producer, AWAKE FM
IB – Ibrahim Bakr** presenter, researcher, It’s Time! BBC (xxxx)
Jon – presenter & producer, Jamaica FM
LH – Lola Howard**, (leading person) It’s Time, (XXX)
LL – Lorna Lexter**, managing director, Real Heart**
M – Mandy Richards, presenter Freedom Radio, ex Hot FM**
MP- Martin Pike, Radio Communications Agency
Mr Good – Mr Good**, presenter gospel show, Jamaica FM
MR.N – Mr N, presenter BBC 1FM, R&B soul specialist show, ex Hot FM**
MY – Marcus York**** position, Station B** FM
NR- Nick Raynsford MP (Minister for London)
PA – Professor Afrique, presenter & producer, AWAKE FM
RC – Radio Chief**, (senior person), Hot FM**
RF – Rootfoot**, presenter & producer Jamaica FM (revival show)
SaSa- Sandra Samson**, BBC Worldservice, Focus on Africa, (senior person)
SB – Steve Brown**, (leading position) , Radio Jive
TA – Tojin Amusen, producer Talking Africa, Spectrum Radio
TT- Tim Timber**, BBC 1FM, (xxx) Show, former Hot FM** and Radio Jive
WGC – Winsome Grace Cornish, Managing Co Director, Spectrum Radio
** indicates name changed by author

Africans, Caribbeans & Asians
PA: Pirate radio, …. I think it’s always been seen more as a West-Indian thing, … what I promote, on my show, is African Unity, people who are proud to be African…
Ex: ….The people that was calling Africa the most was us, the West Indians, or those that have gone through slavery! The African community, indigenous African community here, in England today ….as listeners to AWAKE … they was a lot more [reserved] in the early days …..not let it be known that they are listening … AWAKE has given them the freedom, by bringing on African presenters, … DJ’s that’s putting the link between Africa and us, …. the indigenous African now is listening a lot harder to AWAKE , to the point that they now feel free enough to phone in, to actively participate in what AWAKE is doing….
DZ: ….Why is it, why do you think … it are predominately people of african caribbean background, that organize themselves to form a radio station, and almost nobody else in “the community”?
LL: Because the media doesn’t cater for them!
TA: Maybe we don’t shout loud enough. We tend to keep our heads down and work and study whatever. … journalism isn’t necessarily, as an African, a noble profession. […] maybe it’s our own perceptions, and perceptions of ourselves, … Having been born and brought up in this country, we are an unseen minority. People in this country, if you are black, assume, you are Caribbean. …. I worked at GLR, and … everything is African Caribbean, … so it’s great really to have the opportunity to do something that is exclusively African.
LL: Africans – don’t necessarily organize themselves, as well as Afro-Caribbeans, when it comes to radio.
IB: I don’t think any Asian feels forced to adopt a Black culture to get noticed, definitely not. … [Black music] really appeals to their sense of being a minority, … … what they are doing, is taking …from all different parts of British socIEty…
DZ: Do you think that Talking Africa is just a beginning if the Talking Africa programme is successful it could be elaborated on a daily basis?
TA: … I very much hope so… one hour of Talking Africa is just the beginning. Hopefully we … build up that audIEnce. It’s difficult with no money. …. we could easily do much more air-time if only we could afford it.
WGC: No! There are no plans for that.

‘Black’ Radio
Ex: AWAKE Radio is a Black Power station,
SaSa: Every time and again he came up with something: “Oh no, we don’t want a front person who is white on this!
LH: But we look at items which are of interests to the Black community, be they happening in the rest of the UK, America, Africa, Australia … also I think, the issue of Europe is radically different for black citizens. […] its probably fairly new in the world of broadcasting. […] I would like to think that nobody, who isn’t African Caribbean, em- black or whatever, would feel a need to turn off our programme. I think that the language we use, … the way we explain storIEs … we choose, are interesting in themselves.
AS: I feel the mainstream wants a particular kind of black person: The Professional!
MR.N: A lot of people …ignorantly …assume because you are Black and you are playing Black music, you should reflect everything about your culture. … for me …[it] was about music…. I am trying to … promote Black music at a place that historically has been very poor, in its reflection of Black music.
LL: Myself and some of the founders happen to be black. So you see our faces in newspapers,… articles et cetera, “Black Faces!” …. it’s almost like inverted racism. “Black Faces!” and it is automatically assumed that it is a Black Station, … broadcasting to a purely black audIEnce. It’s not! It’s music and speech topics. I mean, health doesn’t relate to one colour, education, employment, social issues, environmental issues, they don’t relate to one specific race. They relate to everybody!
RC: I mean we don’t class ourselves as a black station at all. We have always classed ourselves as a sort of broad ranging dance music for young Londoners. …. , but obviously we are playing an awful lot of black music.
Jon: My listenership I know it’s not only black people.
AI: … it’s the fact of, it’s not so much telling the enemy, well the so called enemy, what you’re doing. But trying to get your information across in a coded way, so that those who you want to know, will be able to get the information, and those whom you don’t want to know won’t be able to get at all.
Business /Money
MY.: Well we describe ourselves, since we have modelled ourselves on the Black American stations, we call ourselves an Urban Station in order to position, … to advertizers,… who we are. […]
MY: ….commercial radio is a business, …, you look for the cheapest way of production, in order to attract your revenue.
LH: ….news is expensive! … And often it doesn’t bring in that many listeners. We [BBC]don’t have to prove to advertizers that we have so many listeners … that we are serving different parts of the community […]
RF: I don’t need to be paid.
AI: ….I would say I do voluntary work. More or less ’cause you don’t get paid…., but it’s the most enjoyable thing I have done in a long while.
RC: …. Hot FM** is … also a commercial enterprise, which has to please it’s shareholders…. In the early days! I mean we got the listeners, but a lot of them weren’t the right type of listeners… advertizers won’t buy advertizing on a station that everyone just tunes in for 5-10 minutes.
RF: The same industry that says [putting on a crying voice] “Oh no, you the pirates, we can’t get paid…!” They send them promos, they send them dats, they send them everything … you look in the record shop, go underneath the counter …
[report] DD said that Hot FM** offered him this opportunity to play and that it was good, but that it wasn’t something that had benefited him in financial terms. All they did was to pay his cab fare and the price of three records. Yet he would get letters …., recorded tapes of his show would go around the world.
PA: ….you can get rich quick …That’s not gonna make you feel good with yourself, …make you understand the world, …help you raise your children in any positive manner. …You won’t be doing anything positive!
LL: To a lot of people it is purely a business venture. [They] …, will put business plans together and apply for licences! … I feel, …with Real Heart**’s background and it’s history of community involvement, ….Real Heart**’s has a very good chance in winning the licence, because it has had and still has a lot of backing! Not just monetary backing, but backing from the community, who also will be the listeners!
DO: Local radio services are not licensed on the basis of cash bid, …the Authorithy is required to decide which applicant for a local licence best meets four criteria: financial viability …. local demand; local support …; and extend to which [they]… broaden audIEnce choice .
SaSa.: Also it takes about two million Pounds to run a London wide station, … In the first instance you need that!
Care / Guidance / Spirituality
Ex: …the struggle is not getting any easIEr it’s getting harder! …people are waking up…: If we don’t do something , we gonna be annihilated, we gonna be put in a situation, which is gonna be worse than slavery!”… So that’s the time. There are them stations, that play a lot music, entertain, entertain, entertain…, but they just keep people asleep. The whole point of AWAKE is to make people wake up! Start using their mind, …
Mr Good: … I have had thousands of phonecalls and letters of people actually writing and telling me that as a result just listening to my programme, they have cleaned up their act, … They stopped being irrespectable, just by listing to my show …
[…] Sometimes you listen to my show, you can hear me 15-20 minutes of back to back music – I am there counselling somebody on the phone….
AI: ….We always start the show with a spiritual element. And that’s only to give the people something to brighten up their lives, or take on and grow with… We are trying to give everybody an incline in their own spirituality.
Mr Good: When I present a show I aim [it] not at Christians, [but] at non Christian people. … I can relate to … the 15 year old on the street, right up …50 year old… By presenting the music I can actually draw them to Christ. Not necessarily to tell them to go to Church or anything like that, but just to let them be aware that there is something missing in their lives.
Community Creation
Jon: My vision of a pirate station- or community radio station, …- is whenever they switch it off, …it needs to make a difference ….people should be in a panic!
EX: … some of us, as education people, we don’t agree with each other. … that’s how diverse the community is. …. if people can hear people with different strains of thought, working together, getting on together and doing something progressively then it reflects on them! … this is why AWAKE is, always, always, always promoting “Unity in the Community!” ….
LL: I realized that, …. we actually bring many people together. Sharing programme ideas …interests, …one of our themes for one of our broadcasts was “togetherness”! . … it is part of the service really to bring communitIEs together. […] We encouraged to ring in when something has happened, let us know. … There was one time, a whole van full of technical equipment was stolen. And they reported it, we brought it on the news and people were asked to watch out for the van, and then within about half an hour somebody rang up, that that van was parked in front of their house for like a week.
AmSe: And I am not a socialist, what I am is am is a union-ist,
Mr Rootfoot: I love the pirates, cause it’s closer with the community. I feel better working with them, with a community station: -local news – local events. Things that’s actually in the community.
Jon: You can have your leaders or supporters and they can be in the deepest part of the bush or in deepest remotest part. If you have a radio system then you gonna communicate with them, you can give them orders, you can tell them what to do.
TT: […]”Yes I wonna give back!”, I think if anything you need some sort of consortium, to be able to do so and to put something positive back! …. It can’t be the show of one person. … Em – there is not enough of us, to give that push that is needed, … and to give enough back to the community!

DTI / Radio Authorithy/ Radio Communications Agency:
Mr Good: I know I am braking the law by broadcasting illegal, but I am preach – I am sending a message to the people, I am sending Christ to them. . When it comes in the long run, my ultimate dream is to go legal.
LL: …. the overall authority, does not really recognize community radio, as a radio in itself. It is either BBC, government funded, or independent local commercial radio.
RF:[it’s] a very big risk, but I love what I am doing … … It’s always there that will come one day and take all your equipment and worst of all take all my m-u-s-i-c !
Jon: As far as the Radio Communications Authority is concerned. If they were successful to close down all of the stations, or most of them, they wouldn’t have a job! And I think they know it.
LL: For pirate stations it is a lot harder, because they got confiscated, they may not be able to apply for grants.
Jon: Choice …were going for the London wide licence, part of their proposal was, if we get the licence then it will help to get rid of the other station.
DO: Our principal difficulty … in London is the scarcity of available frequencIEs. One half of the broadcasting spectrum is allocated to the BBC and we can not use their frequencIEs. The BBC provides six services … one local and five national. ….[we] 26 independent local or national stations in various parts of London by the end of 1998 …
DZ: I am not convinced … that in the 1990’s “illegal” radio stations interfere with emergency services and business radio systems. …
MP: I notice your scepticism, but magistrates in SheffIEld sentenced two pirate broadcasters … whose transmissions … using an unauthorised frequency, radiated in such a way that they interfered with the channel normally used to communicate with aircraft flying …between London and the Scottish border to such an extend that it was unusable. Pirate broadcasters have also interfered with ground/air communications at Heathrow and Birmingham airports in the last few months….
DZ: What training and brIefing is given to the all “white” management board (1995/96) regarding considerations of “non-Anglo-Saxon” communitIes (e.g. African, African-Caribbean) in Britain, if any? ….
MP: The agency enforces the Wireless Telegraphy Act impartially and all our staff receive equal opportunitIes training. [..] We do not monitor the ethnic origin of those prosecuted for Wireless Telegraph offences.
NR: It may be that airwave control in London is something which is raised during our current consultation on a London wide mayor and assembly as one of the issues which ought to fall within their remit. If you have evidence to support this vIew you may wish to respond to the consultation.
Education / Information
Jon: There was a …. he was reading out the prices, he had seen special prices in the supermarket, and he was reading them out, …. That’s what we need.
LH: I am far bit for me to say that I “educate”, I would like to say as a journalist, I inform, OK. I present the facts, we look at the issues, we reflect the trends.
TA: What we try and actually do is to bring storIes …from the continent to the UK…
PA: It’s not the information it’s what you do with it! … at London … they have all these museums, … gallerIes, …but most people …don’t go and visit them! …. So if you interested in Black Liberation, the onus is on you, to go and find what you need …
MY: …. in fact we are the only one of the very few stations in London that do anything, called local news,…. issues, that are of particular concern to the African Caribbean community, …
[report] DD’s radio work, if I understood him right, has a meaning though, it is to inspire and teach people to get out and do things for the community, especially for people in Africa. Black Radio, he summed up was too commercial, and lacked any interest in vesting in positive acts for African people.
MY: … I didn’t get into [radio], – to become an educator….
[report] MY said “What message, do you mean? DJ’s are not intelligent people!” If a DJ wanted to give out a message to the community he should go to a college, …. then he could go and educate the community. …Most of the DJ’s really were into themselves ….! ….
RF: I will try to read up and find out as much as I can about the artist and the label, before I come on the air … especially where to buy the record.
Ex: … when we went to schools, what we are told is that slaves came from there, and nothing else … we said No, we’re not having it… I am gonna go Africa myself, take a look and see what’s happening, …. people like us …. go Africa! And we come back now and we have more authority on a particular subject. …. . And this is what we have to install in our children now. We have to let them know about home, about historically any part of the earth that we have been in. …. With all of that information, … then the world will be a better place for everyone, not just for us!
LL: The media doesn’t cater for them [black people]. …. it’s almost like, you are sitting there and you are watching a programme on the radio, sometimes it sounds far away. It doesn’t relate to you at all! It makes you want to, sort of, find out more, it makes you want to provide more information…
AmSe: I mean getting on AWAKE for me definitely was about educating as many people as possible, not telling people what to think, more giving them so much information that bit by bit they were opening up their mind a bit more and learning how to think …
AmSe: They felt that there was a crying need to get the female perspective, em – they didn’t really realize that how positive females [laughing] are.
AI: …. the way you have to put information across so that: The women understand it perfectly all right, but the men them, you have to learn you have to actually tailor things to sort of put it across, so they can communicate, with what you hope is a response you want.
AmSe: It’s OK to tell you that you are a strong Black woman, but if you actually show them maybe a little incline of your strength they just off key. It’s OK for them to actually say it to you, but for you to actually use your strength, not even challenge but to assert yourself, it’s seen, as if you one of them women who, just because you got big cards, just because you have big jobs …. But they can’t see that picture, they only see the fact to them that this woman is getting on and she is moving on, and she wants discard me and get rid of me. It’s them type of things is coming across, I think anyway, a lot of the times!
AI: …doing the show it really highlighted to me the fact that, we as Black women, we do have a lot of power. We are powerful, it’s just for us to recognize it
AmSe: …. What I do, I look for things that I agree with, as a female, that a man has written. … if they phone me, I say, “Well actually a man said that! …
Note [see also M’s comments on male attitudes in sexuality section]
Ex: ….it’s all being recorded in our music!
RC: Radio largely is music in the background.
MY: So you always gonna have to play the best, of any particular general of music, …. what attracts the most listeners… there can be no other way, if you are doing commercial radio….
LL: No, Choice FM has always said that they are a music station. Real Heart** said that we are music and speech. ….Black people aren’t just into music. Isn’t it that people will associate black people with music? … It’s about information, it’s about providing a service, it’s about getting the community involved, …. It’s about networking in London, …. sharing information. Having people take part in discussions, that people have interest in….. What I noticed, there is still a gap, from where the pirates are, and are still trying to provide speech programmes, with topical interest.
RF: …Choice the fact that they are only … covering South and then their Reggae is about one or two hours during the day oh, … it’s all slots, slots slots. They pump the American beat 24/7 and give reggae slots.
MY: There are things that we ignore. There are genres that we are … not particularly hot on – we don’t play house music, to any degree, ’cause that’s Hot FM’s band. …. We don’t play a lot of garage, jungle…We have defined our position in the market, and ….we stay fairly close.
MR.N: If a guy buys an Oasis record, I wont him to buy an R Kelly record, … I don’t want him to feel alIenated … I wont the music I play, to be just as popular, as anything else on Radio One. … ‘Cause like 50% of top ten today, if you look at it, is Black music.
SB: …we try to … give a different choice in music, an alternative to the Spice Girls,.. What we are capitalizing on therefore is the diversity of music, I think, rather than using black music for our own ends, because I don’t think it is about whether we are using black music for our own ends.
RF: To me that is what radio is for. It’s listening, it’s pleasurable,… you are sitting at home, you are at work, …. And there is always gonna be a tune, when you go: Hey that sounds nice, where can I get that? Who sings that?
Representation / ResponsibilitIes:
TA: Purpose of our programme is to include the African community, and after being ignored for so long, …, how can the only programme for Africans, not give Africans a voice?
D.Z. a lot of Jazz music does have a meaningArmstrong wasn’t always smiling
J.B.: I don’t feel any responsibility to reflect in our output, any of the other messages which artists had at the same time, they recorded their work. […] My role is to take the most popular music that he recorded and bring it to as wide an audIence in London as I can.
RC: We have a large responsibility to our black audIence, to give them what the want.
MR.N: , … they are using the word nigger on every rap record now. … it’s just street slang in America. … a white person may actually walk up and say that word: “Hey You Nigger!”…. You don’t want to be the only one in the world, that is not playing it. … it’s a decision of the artist and the people, actively putting these records out. And the millions of radio stations around the world, that just play it….. that is the only real thing I had a problem with my conscIence, … I rather not hear it all!
Mr Good: Anything that promotes gun lyrics is off the air. … it’s bad reflection on black people in general, … you see these rap artists calling themselves and their frIends Niggers and they call the women hures and that’s a No, No, definitely No! They have lost their self respect, they have lost values.
TA:…with only an hour, … I am not doing Africa justice, I have to say that.
MY: we do represent Hip Hop right from the grass root level.
LH: ….any black journalist … they will all say to you, that they feel this burden of responsibility, if you like, to tell it like it is. Eh – and sometimes that can be difficult within the mainstream. I know, not only do we offer a service to the community, but we also, an interesting way of opening the eyes and ears of colleagues working in other parts of the media. … we …have responsibility and the tension is there all the time…
MR.N: I don’t feel the responsibilitIes, of trying to reflect – which is a near impossibility – to try and reflect Black culture. The only way I wonna reflect Black culture, is for the music I play, …. I don’t wonna take that Black burden on me! That everybody seems to assume you should take on you, when you walk alive, once you are getting on!
DO: … there are a great many sections of the audIence that feel inadequately served by radio, and not all of them could be physically accommodated on the broadcasting spectrum. For the last licence for Greater London, …. there were applicants to provide a service to black listeners, Asian listeners, Irish listeners Francophones, children, gays and lesbians, the over 55’s and the business community to name just a few.
Sell Out / Bad Practice
MR.N: Some DJ’s aren’t about the music as much, as they try to pretend,… They are about themselves!….
AI: … Station B** is there, maybe to pacify the masses as such, which is endless music. Station B** itself, which says it is a positive Black station or whatever, they can allow certain types of music to be played on there, some really disgusting…
AS: Slackness!
AI: … usually about one O’clock in the morning, you hear some really hard-core stuff, and … AWAKE , even though they are a pirate station wouldn’t put that on. And yet there is a …, a Black station which is, being upheld by the authoritIes, because they only want I suppose Black people to be seen in a particular light, … that we are only light-heads that we are not doing anything too tough, we are frivolous, …. very superficial, that is the show case that I think Station B** operates on. … that’s how it comes across. … it’s like giving us a bow, oh, well you got your station, and that’s it,… and that’s what they do.
IE: It’s gonna be music that’s gonna appeal to, hopefully all of our audIence. We are not gonna play stuff that we might think is gonna be too strong for our younger radio listeners. […]
MR.N: Chris and Westwood tend to big up a lot of people in prison, which I am opposed to [rest left out on request]
Jon.: There is lot’s of rivalry going on. …. – we had a time when a lot of our equipment was getting sabotaged and stolen… it was to do with other stations. …. There needs to be more guidance. A lot of people let just loose of the air. …one of the guys who make most of the decisions, ….says: “…but common sense should tell them!” But I don’t think common sense is common. You may have somebody …. have a great turn out, but they just left the direction. It’s too much… you get some DJ’s bringing personal things on the air, they’re talking….
RF: That’s why I maybe can’t work on [legal stations]: Although there is gonna be money involved … they gonna want me to play this record….smile, and I know this tune was rubbish,… That’s why pirates will always be there. You don’t have to have a man who will stand over you, and say you have to play this and that play. My show is a specialist … not a chart show.
TT: When I was on pirate radio, I hated Radio One, I hated all legal radio, ….I think once you get in there, you just don’t think about it, and again, it’s a public service, so if enough people, … say they want something, so they gotta represent, so that’s what they do!
Ex: [asked whether they would have a black woman with lesbian sexuality on air] …Lesbian, gay, paedophile, rapists, anything like that, AWAKE ‘s stance is a positive No! … In fact we have done a show, …. they had gay pride…. Now if you heard, not what we the presenters were saying, but what the public …., then you’d understand what kind of station, ….- to a large degree, it’s what the people are saying what they want, … No slack-music no gun talk, we don’t do it, because the people have said look: I want my children to listen to AWAKE . I don’t want to turn it on and have to monitor them! […] …at the same time, if she is prepared to come in, on a show, … , be intervIewed, if she has got that much to say, … but let her be fore-warned. She will be – on her sexuality – they’ll tear her to shreds. So if she is not a strong woman, don’t come! …
M: It is quite disheartening that a station like AWAKE , which purports to be representing “The Voice of Black People in Britain”, is actually so negative about a constituent group of that community: Black people that are gay. …. They can’t categorise us with the likes of peadophiles saying that it is some sort of sexual perversion that needs to be rectifIed and punished. That is firstly misguided. And it is basic ignorance. … there is a lot scope for Black people to re-educate themselves. There are some that belIeve that homophobia is a white western diseases and that the attitude, particular from Black men against gay and lesbians, is so aggressive, because of,… still to do with the effects of colonialism and how that is deep rooted in our culture. The fact that men were emasculated throughout … slavery, and the fact that now in many [white] media you see the Black male, he’s got to be sort of macho, it’s got to be – all these sexual conquests got to be about how many women got over him.
RF: ….Gianni Versage scandal, …he don’t want black people to wear his cloths. And they had a [versage] dance … wanted me to read out the advertisement for the dance. And I read … Levicticus 20.13. Now nuf men see me and they just say “Yes Brethren! That’s all they have to say. … I am not a Christian, the word is there. Read it.
M: We are God’s creation too, if there is a God.
DZ: Would you carry a lesbian woman on your programme?
AI: Depends on what she wanted to talk about. I mean…[…] if it was a Lesbian woman who was talking in terms of work, or like poetry or whatever, Real, I haven’t got a problem with that!
DZ: What about if she wanted to talk about the pain she suffers ….
AMSE: …. it’s like being Black really, you have to suffer a certain amount of pain! … that’s why a lot of Black women who were Lesbians didn’t really come out and shout about it. …. – think it’s that old fashioned thing about, if that’s the way you are, keep it to yourself, or you mix with people of the same ilk! ….is that our main issue now, whether your sexuality is OK? Because at the end of the day, nobody is gonna know who you are, unless you choose to tell them!
M: … the situation of being Black and an alternative sexuality, means that in a majority white environment, you not only got prejudices and biases of being Black, but also as a sort of “double-negative” … I think that’s why a lot of minority communitIes have found it difficult to openly embrace homosexuality in the ways that maybe now the white majority is coming to.
TT: You can just play a song and say, that is big in all the gay clubs in London, enough said […] …. on radio, even on Hot FM**, …. it wasn’t really an issue, not amongst … the club DJ’s, …. they know that there is a gay population. They play at one of those clubs, it didn’t really bother!
M: ….Reano Scipio [on Choice] does a show, which is meant to be a talk show… interactive with the audIence. …. representatives of the Black Gay and Lesbian Center were supposed to go in there at one stage, to do an … open debate on Black Gay and Lesbian issues, with regard to the Black community as a whole, and that was axed at the last minute, because the management felt …- the subject matter was too controversial for the audIence to cope with. So I don’t know if they are being patronizing to the audIence or whether they wanted to safe us the humiliation of going on radio and being blasted by the community at large.
PA: there is a lot of issues that we need to talk about as Black people… And we are not even scratching the surface!
Ex: ….not just the Black community, the white community as well …want a format like that where you can talk, discuss issues…. we now, as a people, here in this country, have never had a format where we can speak freely about anything and everything that we want as people, ….Without people getting feeling threatened, or just getting worrIed, …
Jon: We had the police coming to our station twice. …There was a killing Dalston in a club and the police wanted to have show …to find out why black people are not forward …about giving information on things like this, … we did a phone in and they gave us a list of questions we invited the callers and they gave us questions. …. Claude Mosely the Olympic athlete was killed… [and]the police man came on, he stayed for the whole show. That was … helping Catman, …the last time in court. The judge could not … understand how the Examiner of the police could give police constables permission…
DZ: Why don’t you get a man like him [Lord Taylor] and challenge him?
Ex: Na, you get torn to sheds! AWAKE listeners will not tolerate it! I am telling you, they will tear him to pIeces.
PA: …I make sure that the people who come on my show chat sense! If you don’t wonna chat sense, you can go on and chat on any other medium. I am not interested in whether somebody is famous, I would rather have they are saying something that the listeners think: Real, that’s interesting, I find that stimulating …
TA: Black Radio Stations, should I say, are purely music stations. …. And there isn’t any opportunity, or very little opportunity for speech from a Black perspective, let alone an African perspective.
MY: The pirates are not more political than Station B** FM, they are banging out music the same way.
DZ: Apart from AWAKE , perhaps?
MY: Real, which very few people are listening to. Which only somebody who is in the industry, or has an intellectual interest like yourself, knows the name… it doesn’t attract the audIence. That is not what the majority of what Black people want. …. We have trIed programmes here, … that would be of more appeal to the Guardian or Independent type Black reader… But you can’t beat The Sun, and the Daily Mirror type Black reader. They are the masses… And they want entertainment! They wonna have a bit of relaxation out of their radio. … I think they are in the position where they are confronted with all these problems every day, in their own personal life style anyway. So they want some relIef from it!
AI: He [Patrick Berry] should tune into any of AWAKE ‘s talk shows. …. There is interest, …. once I tuned in into AWAKE that was – not actually the music, it was actually the fact that there was this medium for people to get on the air and voice their opinions and to be “heard”, and to be heard by others to come in with their input. That’s very rare!
Other (some work policy):
[report] RP said GLR black programmes would be an arena of high class intervIews.
TT: […] at Radio One you have over 60 years of experIence there, and everything is so professional, …. If there’s a slight click on the record they question should you go out and buy a new copy….
LM: ….BBC has a big book called producer guidelines. I will not broadcast anything that I think is unfair, it’s my duty and responsibility to be impartial, to be unbiased. Now there are very strict rules … with regard to libel and slander. So sure we can go as far as we can within the law. And I am constantly banging against the editorial guidelines if you like. Because a lot of what we do is new and it does question what BBC has done. …. I am …. certainly not a demagogue, I don’t allow these sort of people to broadcast on my programme, unless they have something specific that they want to say, which isn’t just giving wind, anger and …
DZ: Given the chance, let’s say Farakhan would come to London…
LH: We talked to Farakhan, for instance Farakhan visited Jamaica. […] I could not allow him to say anything that was visually antisemitic, … I would not allow him to say anything that goes against BBC’s producer guidelines. I am not allowed to. … by the same rule, no one from the National Front will come on and say anything awful about black people. …we all have to play within the rules. And also the point is, if you constantly look to, em, to go outside the arena, we will miss the point. Because there is plenty going on within the arena, that nobody talks about….

The London radio spectrum is hardly divided, between commercial and non commercial stations. It seems that commercial stations are not fully serving the expectations of the audIence at the time they were installed. These expectations were that new stations would offer an alternative to mainstream bBC. Station B** and Kiss seem to receive a lot of allegations, yet they also stand as the most popular stations. But then black musics, black people have been always exploited by the european capital orIented system, and a station like Jazz FM in it’s present format stands right in the middle of this. I would also add Station B** and Kiss as well unless they can prove that they are giving something more back than just promoting records. As Lorna Lexter** rightly prompted: “Isn’t it that Black people are identifIed only with music?” Black achIevement in music is something to be celebrated, but there must be a point beyond that. Promotion of voluntary schemes to help young black people, with disabilitIes, aged and other disadvantaged sections of the community. And of course despite the historic marginalization by white media, it does not mean that black radio has to remain for blacks. In particular a station like AWAKE can play an important role to re-educate and fill the gaps of those who are not black, of those who don’t know anything about africa, from a black perspective (so to ensure once they have the knowledge they are not going to exploit again, but build together).
My research has also brought to light difficultIes with regard to the statistical recording of people. I am not in the position to say whether my low turn out of questionnaire returns has something to do with unwillingness to co-operate with the process of number creations on black people, as too many times such statistics have been misused – but it remains a possibility.
“Blackness” appears to be as diverse a category as it ever was. My research adds to the already existing literature on black diversity. This regards increasingly social background, political and ideological positioning, and there is still a case for island politics as well as non-communication between african people of various generations. The mainstream media used to be reluctant to acknowledge black listeners, but has recently introduced major changes. However it appears that this satisfIes predominantely those sections of the community whose background is african-caribbean. People of african background, first and second generation still seem to be lacking behind, although there are some african pirate stations around. The majority of the black pirates have no better record in acknowledging them, despite being so successful in coming on the air with the desire to express something non existing. But there are issues beyond what Examiner called the struggle. These are issues of machiavellian selfishness and there were quite a few echoes regarding DJ ‘s to whom the radio show is about self-promotion, both status and finance wise. Black people are just like all people there are good and bad people, when it comes to actual presenters it appears important that selfish people are not promoted.
Sad were the reactions against black people with a different sexuality. It appears always somewhat bewildering when marginalized groups marginalize themselves others. Again a station like AWAKE FM needs to take firm stances that violent behaviour against any black person of good character can not be tolerated, perhaps any person regardless of background as we all have a mouth to talk. The notion of unity can not be credible anyway else. As I said the same counts with regard to inclusion of african people. I also was bewildered that it was felt that conservative black voices should be excluded from talking. If I am against somebody’s political stance I will not be afraid to challenge that person publicly. There is more power in taking, as they say the bull by the horn, than just choosing to talk to those we like. The same applIes to It’s Time! with regard to what Farakhan would not be allowed to say. There is a saying amongst minoritIes the black in britain, I personally know it from the jewish in Germany, if someone is a racist, I respect that person if he says so, not if he smiles in my face and thinks so. Anything else is censorship precisely what prompted the existence of programmes from black perspective in the first place.
The government and its connected agencIes must seriously consider a change in legislation of airwaves in London. The amount of black music stations are immense, These stations are already symbol of London, and I don’t see a reason why the government could not acknowledge and celebrate that. Can anyone honestly imagine London without pirate music stations? It also appears very odd that the division of the FM band is one half bBC with only six stations, and one half radio authority with 26 operating stations. Hence it appears that the bBC also carrIes a liability for the dilemma. The argument of interference with air-traffic used in legal courts is very weak, in an age with mobile phones and microwaves all potential interferes and advanced technology in matters of transmission equipment.
Radio’s strength remains it’s spontaneity and ability to discuss and address issues orally, which was said to be important for a group of people of whom many learned to distrust written information and whose way of speaking is still not recognized. It’s popularity arises from its ability to entertain musically, inform and provide a background wall against loneliness. As discussed it is phenomenon of urban environments and isolation of people.
There were many who said they did what the people commanded, for example the commercial stations . This utilitarian command leads me to end with those lines with which I started. If a whole socIety agrees to have an arian state, then this, according to such ideology should happen? If the majority of britain decided to reintroduce slavery, I guess if the people want it, it’s OK? What people want is not always the best, often just the most entertaining path.
I have so far decided against the publication of this dissertation. This is due to a promise to the people involved. However the fact that I returned this paper to all who participated actively had it’s own results and perhaps are even more worth the mentioning as there seemed to be a direct impact.
Kiss FM for instance initiated a programme for the young London homeless three weeks after I handed in my dissertation. (XXX) -It’s Time! started a black history slot, perhaps influenced by some of the comments from members of AWAKE FM. Stella Headley of Real Heart** Radio asked me if she could use my dissertation for training purposes which I agreed to. I have not given my dissertation to the DTI. In some ways I would like to in the hope that it would challange them, but I have to secure the integrity of all participants and thus can not do this, despite chances of a positive change of policy. This proves that the DTI will remain out of touch with reality in London as long as they keep on prosecuting. Of course in some ways they are only the executive of the governing body, but currently there is no way for me, as moral researcher to get through to them.

Augaitis & Lander: Radio Rethink, Banff Center of Arts / Walter Philipps Gallery,
Banff (ca) 1994
Theodor Adorno: A Social Critique of Radio Music, originally publ. The Kenyon
RevIew, Vol VII, Spring 1945, also in N. Strauss (1993) see ò
The Alarm No. 23 March / April 1997, ISSN1359 5482, Wembley (uk)
Baker, Diawara & Lindeborg: Black British Cultural StudIes, Univ. of Chicago Press,
BBC BBC Producer Guidelines, November 1996
Black Public Sphere Collective (ed): The Black Public Sphere, The University of
Chicago Press, Chicago & London 1995
Homi Bhabba: The Location of Culture, Routledge London & NY, 1995
Cambridge & Oxford, 1997
Walter Benjamin: Das Kusntwerk im Zeitalte seiner technischen
ReproduzIerbarkeit [2. Fassung] (1935/36), in Opitz (1996)
see ò
Joseph Bensman & Arthur J. Vidich: Race, Ethnicity and New Forms of Urban
Community (originally published 1978) in Kasinitz (1995)
see ò
Ellis Cashmore: The Black Culture Industry, Routledge, London & New York
Center for Contemporary & Cultural StudIes (CCCS): The Empire Strikes Back,
University of Birmingham, 1982
Station B** FM: Presentation File, (Summer) 1997
Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze (ed) : Postcolonial African Philosophy, , Blackwell,

W.E.B Du Bois: The Philadelphia Negro, University of Pennylvania Press
W.E.B Du Bois: The Autobiography of W.E.B Du Bois, (1968/1986)
International Publishers Co
W.E.B Du Bois: Writings, Library Classics of the United States, New York,
Gina Dent (ed): Black Popular Culture (A Michelle Wallace Project),
Dia Center for Arts (1992)
Echoes : 28th June 1997, Black Echoes Weekly, London
Ferguson, Gever, Minh-ha, West: Out There: Marginalization and Contemporary
Cultures, MIT Press Cambridge, London (1990)
Foucault: The Order of Things (1970/94) Routledge, London & NY
Peter Fryer: Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain, Pluto
Press, London and Boulder Colerado (1984)
Reebee Garofalo: Culture versus Commerce: The Marketing of Black Popular
Music, in Black Public Sphere Collective (1995) ñ
Paul Gilroy: Small Acts, Serpents Tail, London & NY
Paul Gilroy: There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack, Routledge, London
Stuart Hall: What is This “Black” in Black Popular Culture? in Gina Deant
(1992) ñ
G.W.F. Hegel: Vorlesungen über dIe PhilosophIe der Geschichte, Reclam, Stuttgart
(1961, 1989)
John Hind and Stephen Mosco: Rebel Radio: The full story of British pirate Radio,
Pluto Press, London & Sydney 1985
Le Roi Jones: Blues People: The Negro ExperIence in White America and the
Music that developed from it, Payback Press, Edingburgh
Jane M. Jacobs: Edge of Empire: Postcolonialism & The City, Routledge,
London & NY (1996)
Jazz FM Presentation Map (summer 1997)
Philip Kasinitz (ed.) Metropolis: Center and Symbol of Our Times, Macmillan Press
Houndsmill (usa) & London (uk), 1995
David Killingray (ed): Africans in Britain, Frank Cass and Co., 1994
Hot FM Presentation Map (summer) 1997
Tetsuo Kogawa: Free Radio in Japan: The Mini FM Boom in N. Strauss (1993)
see ò
Errol Lawrence: Just Plain Common Sense: the ‘roots’of racism, in CCCS ñ
Lamelle & Kelly (ed) Imagining Home, Verso, London, NY (1994)
D.L. Lewis W.E.B. Du Bois, Biography of a Race, 1868-1919, Henry Holt
& Co, NY, 1993
Lewis Mumford: The City in History Hartcourt, Brace & World Inc. (1961)
Office for National Statistics (CON): Ethnic Minority Populations of Great Britain,
Crown Copyright 1996.
Walter Opitz (ed): Walter Benjamin: Ein Lesebuch, Suhrkamp Frankfurt am
Main 1996
Radiocommunications Agency: Annual Report & Accounts 1995-1996
P. Rabinow (ed) The Foucault Reader, Penguine Books 1991
Smithonian Institution: Black Radio … Telling it Like it Was, © 1996,
Washington, extracts reprinted with kind permission of
the producer JacquIe Gales Webb.
Savage & Warde Urban Sociology, Capitalism and Modernity, Macmillan Press,
Houndsmill (usa) and London (1993)
Tsenay Serequeberhan: The Critique of Eurocentrism and the Practice of African
Philosophy, in Eze (1997) ñ
John Solomos: Race and Racism in Britain (2nd ed), Macmillan Press
Houndsmill (usa) and London (1989/93)
John Solomos & Les Back: Racism & SocIety: Macmillan Press, Houndsmill (usa)
and London (1996)
Neil Strauss & Dave Mandl: Radiotext(e), Semiotexte (a not for profit publication) # 16 (Vol VI, Issue I), Columbia University, New York, 1993
Sunrise Radio: Presentation Prospectus (summer) 1997
Sarah Thornton Club Cultures Polity Press, Cambridge & Oxford (1995)
The Voice: August 25 1997
Cornel West: Nihilism in Black America, in Gina Dent (1992) ñ
Cornel West: The New Cultural Politics of Difference, in Ferguson et alt.
(1990) ñ
D. Zylbersztajn: W.E.B. Du Bois and his Rational of Researching the Negro,
unpublished course essay, Goldsmiths College, June 1997
Augaitis & Lander: Radio Rethink, Banff Center of Arts / Walter Philipps Gallery,
Banff (ca) 1994
Theodor Adorno: A Social Critique of Radio Music, originally publ. The Kenyon
RevIew, Vol VII, Spring 1945, also in N. Strauss (1993) see ò
The Alarm No. 23 March / April 1997, ISSN1359 5482, Wembley (uk)
Baker, Diawara & Lindeborg: Black British Cultural StudIes, Univ. of Chicago Press,
BBC BBC Producer Guidelines, November 1996
Black Public Sphere Collective (ed): The Black Public Sphere, The University of
Chicago Press, Chicago & London 1995
Homi Bhabba: The Location of Culture, Routledge London & NY, 1995
Cambridge & Oxford, 1997
Walter Benjamin: Das Kusntwerk im Zeitalte seiner technischen
ReproduzIerbarkeit [2. Fassung] (1935/36), in Opitz (1996)
see ò
Joseph Bensman & Arthur J. Vidich: Race, Ethnicity and New Forms of Urban
Community (originally published 1978) in Kasinitz (1995)
see ò
Ellis Cashmore: The Black Culture Industry, Routledge, London & New York
Center for Contemporary & Cultural StudIes (CCCS): The Empire Strikes Back,
University of Birmingham, 1982
Station B** FM: Presentation File, (Summer) 1997
Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze (ed) : Postcolonial African Philosophy, , Blackwell,

W.E.B Du Bois: The Philadelphia Negro, University of Pennylvania Press
W.E.B Du Bois: The Autobiography of W.E.B Du Bois, (1968/1986)
International Publishers Co
W.E.B Du Bois: Writings, Library Classics of the United States, New York,
Gina Dent (ed): Black Popular Culture (A Michelle Wallace Project),
Dia Center for Arts (1992)
Echoes : 28th June 1997, Black Echoes Weekly, London
Ferguson, Gever, Minh-ha, West: Out There: Marginalization and Contemporary
Cultures, MIT Press Cambridge, London (1990)
Foucault: The Order of Things (1970/94) Routledge, London & NY
Peter Fryer: Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain, Pluto
Press, London and Boulder Colerado (1984)
Reebee Garofalo: Culture versus Commerce: The Marketing of Black Popular
Music, in Black Public Sphere Collective (1995) ñ
Paul Gilroy: Small Acts, Serpents Tail, London & NY
Paul Gilroy: There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack, Routledge, London
Stuart Hall: What is This “Black” in Black Popular Culture? in Gina Deant
(1992) ñ
G.W.F. Hegel: Vorlesungen über dIe PhilosophIe der Geschichte, Reclam, Stuttgart
(1961, 1989)
John Hind and Stephen Mosco: Rebel Radio: The full story of British pirate Radio,
Pluto Press, London & Sydney 1985
Le Roi Jones: Blues People: The Negro ExperIence in White America and the
Music that developed from it, Payback Press, Edingburgh
Jane M. Jacobs: Edge of Empire: Postcolonialism & The City, Routledge,
London & NY (1996)
Radio Jive Presentation Map (summer 1997)
Philip Kasinitz (ed.) Metropolis: Center and Symbol of Our Times, Macmillan Press
Houndsmill (usa) & London (uk), 1995
David Killingray (ed): Africans in Britain, Frank Cass and Co., 1994
Hot FM** Presentation Map (summer) 1997
Tetsuo Kogawa: Free Radio in Japan: The Mini FM Boom in N. Strauss (1993)
see ò
Errol Lawrence: Just Plain Common Sense: the ‘roots’of racism, in CCCS ñ
Lamelle & Kelly (ed) Imagining Home, Verso, London, NY (1994)
D.L. Lewis W.E.B. Du Bois, Biography of a Race, 1868-1919, Henry Holt
& Co, NY, 1993
Lewis Mumford: The City in History Hartcourt, Brace & World Inc. (1961)
Office for National Statistics (CON): Ethnic Minority Populations of Great Britain,
Crown Copyright 1996.
Walter Opitz (ed): Walter Benjamin: Ein Lesebuch, Suhrkamp Frankfurt am
Main 1996
Radiocommunications Agency: Annual Report & Accounts 1995-1996
P. Rabinow (ed) The Foucault Reader, Penguine Books 1991
Smithonian Institution: Black Radio … Telling it Like it Was, © 1996,
Washington, extracts reprinted with kind permission of
the producer JacquIe Gales Webb.
Savage & Warde Urban Sociology, Capitalism and Modernity, Macmillan Press,
Houndsmill (usa) and London (1993)
Tsenay Serequeberhan: The Critique of Eurocentrism and the Practice of African
Philosophy, in Eze (1997) ñ
John Solomos: Race and Racism in Britain (2nd ed), Macmillan Press
Houndsmill (usa) and London (1989/93)
John Solomos & Les Back: Racism & SocIety: Macmillan Press, Houndsmill (usa)
and London (1996)
Neil Strauss & Dave Mandl: Radiotext(e), Semiotexte (a not for profit publication) # 16 (Vol VI, Issue I), Columbia University, New York, 1993
Sunrise Radio: Presentation Prospectus (summer) 1997
Sarah Thornton Club Cultures Polity Press, Cambridge & Oxford (1995)
The Voice: August 25 1997
Cornel West: Nihilism in Black America, in Gina Dent (1992) ñ
Cornel West: The New Cultural Politics of Difference, in Ferguson et alt.
(1990) ñ
D. Zylbersztajn: W.E.B. Du Bois and his Rational of Researching the Negro,
unpublished course essay, Goldsmiths College, June 1997
(not included here)
Note: There are full transcripts available (usually of 2 to 10 pages per person) of all partIes intervIewed and a collection of tapes with recordings of indiviual stations is also kept. Individual pages of partIes interesred in can be ordered.

London Black Radio and the Community: DanIel Zylbersztajn

Questionnaire Quota and Method 100% is always the number of total data, that is questionnaires filled out for the specific question.
Where less answers to a particular question were given, than questionnaires returned, the missing data for that question will be indicated as statistic missing. This assumes that if all questionnaires would have been filled out fully completed it would show that the missing data would break down into similar numbers than those calculated without the missing. It is obvious that one should however assume at least some minor diversification.
Total questionnaires 32
Urban Stratification: Total filled out: 31 statistic missing: 3%
Total East: 48% Total South: 35% Total West: 36%
South East: 6 = 19% South: 1 =3% South West 4 = 13%
East: 5 = 16% + West 2 = 7%
North East 4 = 13% North 4 = 13 % North West 5 = 16%
Total North: 42%
gender: Total filled out 27: male: 10 = 37% female: 17 = 63% statistic missing 16%
Age: Total filled out: 28 statistic missing 12.5%
age: 13-17 17-25 25-32 32-42 42-58 58-68 78+
turn out 0 7 = 25% 10=36% 4= 14.% 5= 18.% 2=7.% 0
Background: Total filled out 30. Statistic missing 6.%
West African African Caribbean / West Indian Of African Descent Black UnspecifIed
6 = 20% 12 = 40% 3 = 10% 3=10%
White SE Asian Other
4 = 13.3% 1 = 3.3% 1 =3.3%
Other Background Related Info:
Total Black: 80% Total Non Black 6 = 20% of total (30)
Of non Black background, but close frIend to person of African descend. : 50% or 10% of total (30))
Of non Black background but ethnic minority: 83% or 16 % of total (out of 30 pers.)
People classifying themselves as English: 2 = 7% of tot. (30 pers)
People classifying themselves as British: 6 = 20% of tot. (30 pers)
People classifying themselves as Scottish: 2 = 7% of tot (30 pers)
People classifying themselves as Muslim: 1= 3.3% out of tot (30 pers)
People classifying themselves as Christian: 7= 23.3% out of tot (30 pers)
People classifying themselves as having a disability: 2 = 6.6% of tot. (30 pers)
People classifying their background as “being themselves, full stop!” : 3 = 10% of tot. (30 pers)
People classifying themselves as “being into Black music!“: 9 = 30% of tot. (30 pers)
People with children: 5 = 16.6% of tot. (30 pers)
Living situation: (total responses 20) statistic missing 31%
Single: 9 = 45% of tot (20) MarrIed Living with partner: 11 = 55% of tot (20)
lesbian / gay = O
Employment situation: total response 27
Executive professional students unskilled labour unemployed retired
Management working etc. administrating prev. job
Factory Owner teacher, lecturer laboratory unknown
etc… small company skilled labour
owner, doctor
0 9 =33.3% of tot (27) 13 = 48,1% 2 = 7.4% 1 = 3.7 % 2 = 7,4%

Urban stratification:
I have achIeved a good outcome regarding urban stratification all over London of participants with almost equal amount of responses from all areas.
The age stratification lacks in both extremes, under 17 and over 78. Age grouped 17-32 gave slightly more responses (62%) than those of people over 32. Yet this reflects the actual decrease in radio audIence. It is assumed that younger persons (under 17) might not found interest in the questionnaires, perhaps it is too boring. They would have constituted an important voice however. Rajar (Q2)/96 revealed in 1996 that 43% of the total of Kiss FM listeners are aged between 4 years and 15 years. The younger population is however not used in deeper studIes and presentations by the stations, because of their economic unviability it seems. The fact that MA research is mainly conducted over the summer months meant that it was difficult for me to access the younger population, because schools and youth organizations are shut, many of the youth I handed the questionnaire to, at Notting Hill disposed of it, almost the same minute. Similarly was it difficult to reach any over 78 year old, who might have been willing to assist ( I did send questionnaires to elderly homes).
African descendance (black):
My turn out rate of 80% black persons reflects the nature of the topic, however a poll by Station B** revealed that only 48.8% of their total listenership would be black, and Rajar revealed for Jazz FM 14% of black listenership. Of these 80% in my research, 1/3 was of west african, 2/3 of caribbean background. Rajar revealed the same results for Jazz FM however not west africans grouped alone, but as black african total. My questionnaires did nor achIeve responses from eastern africans and southern africans.
Station B**’s reseach doesn’t offer a further breakdown of black listeners at all. According to the Office of Population Census and Surveys, London’s total (black) population of african descendance, counted 535.000 people in 1993 of which 54.5% are african caribbean, 30.5% african, and 15% classifIed as ‘black other’. Greater London’s total official population in 1993 counted 6.67 million persons of which the total (black) population of african descendance counted 1/2 a million persons (535.000) or 8% (there is of course the debate around official surveys but one can assume that we are talking about an approximate 10% of London’s total population).
10% of the total returns of my questionnaires from black persons, described themselves as of african descendance (not using any other description) and another 10% were black unspecifIed, in one case because of a combination of various backgrounds. The official census of the OPCS revealed 15% of London’s black population classifIed as black other, which included people from the usa, guyana, mauritius, nigeria, cyprus, ireland, india, jamaica and other persons generally from outside the uk.
83% of all people of non african descendance in my research (20%) actually were members of other minority groups, such as filipino, and jewish and 50% of them indicated close contact with people of african descendance.
Employment /economic background:
The returned questionnaires lack significantly in responses from unemployed persons and members of the unskilled labour sector. It is assumed that perhaps the format of the questionnaire actually might have discouraged these groups to fill them out. Also does it lack in responses from executive management (class A). This might be due to lack of time and difficulty in targeting such people, the fact that they are not a large group as a whole, and also with their life-style. Station B** FM (their own research) only polled 3.7% of their total audIence as A, the greatest listener audIence constituting out of C’s, just like in my research. All the stations, in their various presentation files, merge ABC1, and C2DE together, to receive two groups to gain a class division. Station B** has 34% ABC1 listnership, Kiss FM 54%, Sunrise 42%, Jazz FM the highest with 72.2%.
The average female listnership of these four stations would be exactly 50%. My own turn out revealed 81 % ABC1’s is thus inquorate in this regard.
The amount of persons in relationships, in my research, was somewhat higher than those who indicated that they were single. However there was no response from people with a minority sexuality and only one from a muslim respondents. There has also been a greater turn out of female participants, than male, which contrasts to the greater amount of male presenters on radio. In a Station B** FM research 62% of the listeners turned out female but Kiss’s ratio is 49% female (their own research), Jazz FM’s 43% female (Rajar Q1.97) and Sunrise’s 45% female (Rajar 4/96). Sexualitywise my turn out was, as it turned out 100% heterosexual, which obviously does not represent reality of sexualitIes in London. It is estimated that between 5-15% of all Londoner’s have a different sexuality of some sort other than heterosexuality.
The total number of questionnaires distributed was about 450. Of these about 300 were handed out during Notting Hill Carneval, to any person passing by wanting one; the other questionnaires were left in stores or given / send to individual people. This means that only about 7% of all questionnaires distributed were in fact returned to me. In addition to the normally low success rate with questionnaires of this sort, one might want to attribute a.) a historically backed suspicion of addressees regarding the collection of data on the black communitIes,
b.) the fact that the questionnaire was distributed rather than being enforced by a street researcher, who would address and question people. I felt that such direct method would raise more awareness of being measured and the named suspicions with it. I have noticed that the newspaper The Voice for example did their market research by simply including their usually very lengthy questionnaire (when I did it, it took me 25 minutes to complete) inside the newspaper, so people could voluntarily fill it out and send it back. However The Voice offered a prize competition amongst the returned questionnaires. c.) the fact that respondents had to attribute an envelope and postage in order to return the questionnaire, which especially might have had an impact on the low turn outs from lower age and earning groups. It is usual for questionnaires to offer a freepost address, something that was financially out of question for me.
Using my precise method of voluntary contribution (handing out to by passing persons (Notting Hill) / or leaving questionnaires in shops), has proved to be a non-recommendable technique both for turn out as well as for quota accuracy. Had I had more time I would have had to consider the more direct techniques.
Radio presenters were not permitted to fill out these questionnaires as they are biased.
London Black Radio and the Community: DanIel Zylbersztajn
Questionnaire Data
Question 4: Favourite Radio Station: Why:
– BBC Radio One: -I love music and news and they give me that
-(Andy Kershaw)global focus musically with intent to Africa also
– BBC Radio Four: -you get a lot of information which you can’t get on the TV
– (Today Programme) like start of day with political debate
-(Narrated StorIes)Relaxing
– short storIes, and because I like discussions on art
– (World at One) – informative, news, comment routine
BBC Radio Five – (World Wide News) it gives some detail what’s going on around the world
– it’s a mixture of news, sport and phone ins
– gives me sport and football
BBC Worldservice: – because it gives news of the world and they represnt people of all nations
Capital FM (95.8) – they play all kinds of music
Station B** FM: -my kind of music (R&B)
– music is enjoyable
– because they play good music
– AngIe Greare, because she takes the laugh and the discussions are
interesting topics
Heart 106.2 -nice music 60’s, 70’s 80’s
– I like to hear old songs as well as new
– interesting comments and pleasant listening
– I like the music for driving
– good music and features
Heart and Melody FM – less talk / easy listening
Kiss FM: – varIety of music
Kiss FM& Choice FM -(both) mostly play the music I like, although Kiss FM can be repetitive in
the day time
– these stations play my type of music which is swing, hip hop, R&B,
Reggae and announce contemporary black news
Kiss FM, Inner Visions: – reflects y musical taste perfectly
any pirate radio – playing good music
Train FM**: They play the best garage and drum & bass on the air waves
PremIer – because it tells us a lot about the bible and plays religious songs
Virgin Radio –
Question 7: second prompt: What other stations or programmes do you listen to?

first response prompts
(Question 6) (Question 7)
any pirate 91.3
Heart Melody 105.4
Heart Radio 4, BBC World Service
Heart none other
Heart + Radio 4 none other
Heart / Melody Choice or Pirate Stations
Kiss FM (Inner Visions) Jazz FM, GLR, Pirates (girls fm, real fm**)
Choice FM 97.3
Choice FM Kiss FM
Choice FM news talk (?)
Choice and Kiss FM none other
Choice and Kiss FM BBC 1FM (Mr N, Lisa Anson), BBC 5 Live
Capital none other
BBC Radio 1 (A Kershaw) none other
BBC Radio 4 Monty FM
BBC Radio 4 (today) GLR, Station FM, other pirates (USA FM , Blakk ,Awake!)
BBC Radio 4 (narrated storIes) none other
BBC Radio 4 none other
BBC Radio 4 Choice FM, Radio One (Rap), Kiss (occasionally)
BBC World Service ITV (television)
98.5 Kiss & Choice 1
BBC 5 Live Choice, Jazz FM, GLR
BBC 5 World-wide News News direct
BBC Radio Five Sport
Kiss FM Vibes FM
Train FM**: Dancehall FM**, Jamaica FM** , Islands Radio, etc
PremIer: Talk Back Radio
Question 23 Do you have a favourite presenter:
(data missing 18.75%/all resp.)
Please note 76% of all respondents dealing with this question indicated that they had no favourite person!
Name Station( if given) Reason for liking
Tony B – –
Carla Heart FM cheerful and makes me feel good
Daddy Dread** Kiss roots with a difference
Daddy Dread** Kiss good music, seems nice person
Benny King – –
Giles Peterson Kiss good music, seems nice person
Patrick Forge Kiss good music, seems nice person
Chris Philipps 1FM like style of DJing
Mr N 1FM like style of DJing
Nick Clark BBC 4 (World at One) smart, quick tenacious
Brian Mayrs – tough to the point allow people to wake
John Humphreys – tough to the point allow people to wake
AngIe Greaves GLR nice voice, intelligent, frIendly

Question 8.A What makes TV and Radio different? Do you use it differently:
(answers listed)
– Pictures present
– TV Visual
– Seeing is BelIeving, also you can be judgmental because you can see the presenters mood
– TV for visual entertainment
– seeing what has happened on TV
– pictures come with TV
– you can watch TV
– when isn’t live there is a visual dimension lacking
– TV is national, Radio community based
– Radio listen to in the car, watch TV at work and later at home
– I listen to radio in the morning and in the car, when I watch TV it’s usually in the evening
– radio can be listened to whilst doing things
– use the radio in the car, never at home, unless I am looking for a rave
– Radio enables me to dream, TV requires a lot of concentration
– TV can be more relaxing
– Radio is a background media allowing me to do things at the same time, TV distracts me
– TV give you picture and fun, radio is only voice but fun too
– radio for background at work
– have radio on the background when I am watching TV
– radio just background music when I have breakfast, TV I concentrate on more
– film on TV more absorbing form of relaxation
– TV takes too much attention
– radio relaxing
– TV is an entertainment, radio you can only hear voices
– Watch TV, radio you can relax with
– TV has me hooked, radio helps me on my way, helps me work
– Radio whilst relaxing or doing other things e.g. reading
– with radio I belIeve you use more mental power, more concentration
– Don’t like some of the violent scenes on TV, don’t like TV adverts
– Programme content
– radio for music and information
– TV for specific programmes / film
– TV has more educational aspects than radio
– TV for films, drama, documentarIes,
– TV stations don’t get locked
Comment: From this data: 10 People (31%) felt that radio was relaxing, 3 people (9%) felt it was TV that was more relaxing.
14c: Prompt with names of stations: P = pirate C = Commercial RS = Restricted Licence
Station Not Heard Know it but Occasionally Quite Often Always Points
don’t listen to it from
Q .4 Q7
P-Monty** 22 2 1 – 3 – 1
P-Jamaica FM** 15 – 5 3 1 2
C- Kiss FM 2 7 12 4 5 4 1
C- Choice FM 6 3 9 6 6 5 2
P -FullEnergy** 17 3 6 1 1 – – .
P – Awake** 21 2 4 2 – – 1
RL- Real Heart** 24 3 1 1 – – –
P -Real**FM 17 3 5 1 1 – 1.
BBC -Upfront (GLR) 19 2 4 1 – – –
BBC -GLR (Other) 10 9 7 2 2 – 3
BBC -1 FM -weekends 20 6 3 1 – 1 1
C- Spectrum 19 5 3 – – – –
C -Jazz FM 4 11 8 4 – – 2
BBC Radio Four 5 7 6 3 2 4 1
BBC 1FM morning-afternoon 19 2 3 – – 1 1
C- Classic FM 10 12 6 – 1 – –
C- Capital Radio 5 12 9 3 1 1 –
C- Sunrise 17 10 2 – – – –
C- TalkRadio 12 10 6 1 1 – 1 .
BBC Worldservice 4 6 8 4 2 1 1
P- Train FM ** 1 –
C- Melody FM 1 1
C-PremIer 1
C-Virgin 1 –
C -Heart FM 5 –
BBC Radio 5 Live 2 1
P – Girls FM 1
P -Dancehall FM** 1
P -Wave FM** 1
P – USA FM** 1
P – Blakk FM** 1
P- Islands Radio** 1
** = (name changed by author)
Unknown stations: (the numbers indicate persons) (extract from Question 17)
Most unknown total: Real Heart** (24 )
Most unknown prompted “pirate”: Mont (22) **
Most unknown BBC: BBC 1FM weekends
Most unknown Commercial: Spectrum Radio
Most known but not listened to pirate: Full Energy ** (3)
Most known but not listened to BBC: GLR
Most known but not listened to Commercial: Classic FM, Capital FM (12)
Question 17 : Known and listened to stations (Popularity Index):
In order to identify the rang of popularity I have given points:
– one point for listen to occasionally per person
– two points for listen to quite often per person
– three points for listen to always per person
I have also listed down the favourite stations from Q.4 and given them three points per mentioning and for stations listed at Q. 7 (second prompt) two points each mentioning.
Rank: Station Points
1 Choice 58 best overall and best commercial rating
2 Kiss 49
3 BBC Radio 4 32 best BBC rating
4 BBC World Service 27
5 BBC GLR (generally) 23
6 Jazz FM 20
7 Jamaica FM** 18 best pirate rating
8 Heart FM, Capital Radio 15
9 Talk Radio 13
10 Real FM** & Monty** 12 joint
11 Full Energy **&Talk Radio11 joint
12 Awake **FM, BBC One FM (weekends) 10 joint
13 Classic FM 9
14 BBC Radio 5 8
15 Upfront (programme) GLR 6
16 BBC One FM (week), Melody FM 5 joint
17 Real Heart**, Spectrum, Capital FM,
Train** , PremIer, Virgin 3 joint
18 Girls FM, Dancehall **FM, Islands **FM,
USA FM**, CFM**, Waves FM**, Sunrise 2 joint

According to a London pirate station web-page (www.fused.com) there are currently 43 pirate stations in London and to my mind it seems likely that a total of 50 different illegal stations are operating in all of London. In addition there are several other commercial licence holders and satellite radio stations. Hence above statistics is only a hint.
Question 2 What other media do you consume? Returned answers 100%
TV Black Newspapers National Newspaper Magazines Local NewspaperInternet Other
(e.g. Voice, Gleaner, (e.g. Guardian ,Times, Sun)
New Nation) .
78% 25% 78% 40.6% 50% 22% 6.2%
Question 7 : Do you watch more TV than listen to the radio? returned answers 32 100%
Yes : 53.1% No 28% Equal 18.8%
Question 8B: What times do you listen to Radio? (returned answers 32 = 100%) % indicates percentage of total number of respondents
À % remarks .
0500-6-30 6.% lowest audIence
6-30-9.00 47% peak hour
9.00-11.00 28%
11.00-13.00 22%
13.00-15.30 22%
15.30-17.30 22%
17.30-20.00 19%
20.00-23.00 28%
23.00-1.00 19%
1.00-5.00 9%
Question 10 & 11:Are you listening to different stations at different times?
(missing data 9%)
YES: 52% NO: 48%
Why? (Q11) –depends on programme
-morning I want news, music later – Choice the best
– different needs – like to follow pro- -flick to different channels that take my fancy grammes on one
– because you have a choice to listen to station at a time
– different stations for different moods / things (3 responses) – Radio 4 more infor-
– when Monty not clear Radio Four mative & gives BBC
– listen to Choice or Black stations on weekends for club update Worldservice
– because sometimes you feel like having something different – my car is tuned into
– depnding on mood, light music or serious discussion Heart all the time
– prefer sould later – only listen to BBC
– because if you don’t move to another station you might miss a good tune Worldservice
Question 15: What do you do most of the time whilst listening to the radio?
(missing data: 12.5% of 32)
rank occupation % of respondents
1. leisure time at home 82 %
2. drive car 53 %
3 house work 33 %
4 work in office 11 %
5 walk man 3.6%
6 other 3.6%
Question 8C: On which medium do you listen to more black programmes?
missing data = 7 persons = 21%
Radio 14 persons = 56% TV: 11 persons = 46%
This is an interesting result considering Q7. Although only 28% of respondents listen to more radio than watch TV, 56% of all respondents indicated that they receive more black programmes from the radio.
Question 8D: Where do you usually your news from:
missing data = 7 persons = 21%
medium: TV Radio Newspaper Internet Word of Mouth Other
persons 23 20 15 3 2 –
% of all 92% 80% 14% 12% 8%

Q.12 Which Stations Would you consider as black stations?
station background of What makes a radio station Any stations you regard
person who made or programme black as not black
comment .
– FullEnergy WA Discusses Black Cultural Issues BBC Radio
-WavesFM WA more R&B, Reggae, Soul, things Radio 1, Spice Girls & Blur
associated to blackness
– Waves FM WA black issues + music, presenters talking Kiss FM(europ. presenters)
in black lingo
– none AC neither black or white none
– Jamaica, Awake NBminor black music & talk, care 4 community Heart, Virgin, BBC eekday
– Kiss NB rap –
– none AC deals with issues that affect black GLR, Talk Back Radio,
people & employs black staff Radio 4
– Choice WA culture awareness projects Countless, bec. no particular
& regular focus on black culture
– most pirates AC content All current TV
– Choice, Kiss BO Black presenters, DJ’s, MC’s, Country FM
playing black artists, singers
rappers performers, advertising the black community
– Kiss FM NB predominantely one type of music i.e. Radio 4, Classical
Bangra, Soul, Swing
– Kiss FM WA having black artists, presenters and singers none
-Awake, Jamaica FM WA good news and care for the community Radio 4, Classical
-Choice, Awake NBMminor mainly black audIence + / or black Most stations or pro-
Gumm presenters grammes are either colour blind
(& therefore white) or appeal to
specific (largely white) audIence
-Choice, Kiss, BO DJ’s black, play music associated with Commercial radio stations
Pirate Stations black people with no specialized progr,
(e.g. Yah FM)
– Kiss? Choice? NBminor amount of music with / by black Heart FM
performers, number of black presenters
– Music has no colour AC all stations & programmes are aimed at none everyone, because we all have different
– Don’t Know Any NB discussion of black issues, or playing pre- Radio 4
dominantly black music
– Choice WA if it is made by and geared towards the -Capital FM
black population
-Kiss, Choice NBminor if it is aimed at Black listeners, with – none
Black presenters and / or music
– Choice, Jamaica FM AC Music, DJ’s, news Kiss, Jazz FM, use the
Full Energy music, too many white DJ’s with
phoney black attitude
– none BO presenters, topics, african interests all marginalization takes
place all the time
– Choice AC the music, the DJ’s Kiss, just commercial dance
– Choice AC the present issues which affect the no
black community
– JamaicaFM AC give news of black people and represent BBC World Service
the community of black people
– Don’t Know AC because there are black presenters none stated
– DancehallFM BO the way the music is played none stated
– Choice & pirates AC if the majority of the music played Melody FM
is by black artists
– Choice AC it’s content, music, news, presenters none stated
– Choice, Monty BO expresses black vIews, news contains Kiss FM
what’s happening in the black community Classic Stuff, country
– Choice, Sky AC Black issues, Black presenters, Black music Western & BBC Radio
– none AC black owned, employment and listeners that would be a kkk or
NF lead station
Key: WA= West African AC= African Caribbean BO= Black Other BN= Non Black Minor = Minority
Analysis: top four ranks of stations assumed black : (percentage of all returned questionnaires (32))
1.) Choice 37%
2.) Kiss 16%
3.) Station FM 12%
4.) Genesis FM 9%
Top three ranks of stations assumed white:
1.) BBC One FM and Kiss FM 12%
2.) none 9%
3.) Classical and Radio Four 6%
Break down respondents assuming Kiss not to be a black station = 100% of african descendance.
Break down of respondents who assume Kiss be a black station = 53 % of non black background
Break down of respondents who assume Choice be a black station = 21.6% of non black backgr.
Q. 13 What makes a station Black? % = percentage of all answers
1.) Black presenters and staff: 40.6%
2.) Black Music 37%
3.) Deals with issues / news that affect the black community 31%
4.) Discussions of black cultural issues 6%
5.) Care for the black community 6%
5.) Discuss black cultural issues 6%
6.) Black language 3%
6.) Black advertizing 3%
6.) Black audIence 3%
14B Describe the word community:
Number Description as on questionnaire Result .
A. Identity, Culture, Value Set, Ethnicity A
-group of people with identical norms and values, like minded people (4x) People who share some
– to be able to identify oneself with a culture or style of people, identity, or culture, or
– sharing particular identity patterns, such as cultural, spiritual, material value set, or ethnicity,
– promoting what is going on in a certain sub-culture or combination of these
– sharing the same culture and value Response 16x = 50%
– sharing same interest and culture
– language, culture, lifestyle, religion, political 2
– same identity and vIews
– people of similar cultural association in communication with each other
– ethnic origin
– sharing common identity
– common history
– homogenous group of people who share belIefs and values
B. Geographically Bound B
– people working and living and socialise together 3 People living together or
– people inside an area who share concerns for it living together in an area,
– residents in a particular area 2 or “belong” to an area and
– living at specific location 2 as a result have a common
– people who may live together 2 concern and location bound
– people living locally with a common way of living experIence.
– sense of belonging to a chosen area Response 12x = 37%
Common Interests C
– a group with common interests 4 A group with common
Response 4x = 12.5 %
D. Mutual aid D
– people getting together to help each other A group that helps each other
– network of mutual aid and communication and looks after each other.
– looking after each other, helping each other Response 3x = 9%
E. Community not time and space bound E
– identity may not exist in the same place or time (2) Community not time
and space bound
Response 2x = 6%
F. Community is word I dislike F
– don’t like the word Dislike the word community,
– a problematic term needs to be qualifIed by disembeded problematic term
Response 2x = 6%
G. Externally bound together G
– people bound together by socIety eg. Black people, or people of colour People externally bound
– people share oppression together through
Response 2x = 6%

H. Other H
– neighbourhood not appropriate these day Other;
– regardless of race, and differences Response 6x = 18 %
– people coming together as one
– people who intend to live amongst each other
– people sharing things
– non commercial, informative about the world, life etc from particular point
rank group percentage
1. (A) Identity, Culture, Value Set, Ethnicity 50%
2. (B) Geographically Bound 37 %
3. (H) Other 18%
4. (C) Common Interest 12.5%
5. (D) Mutual Aid 9%
6. (E) Community not time and space bound 6%
(F) Community is word I dislike 6%
(G) Externally bound together 6 %
Question 14C: What should a black radio station be?
Respondents were given a description and were asked to give a mark out of 10, where (1) meant not at all and 10 “right on”. In the index that follows the marks for each descriptive term from each respondent are counted up together with all other marks for the same term from other respondents, to add up to a total score.
Rank score term remark
1 287 (c) Discuss black cultural issues
2 218 (d) Play black musics
3 206 (g) Black Advertizing compare with rank 16
4 201 (k) Represent black people
5 197 (a) Give local community news compare with rank 8
6 193 (m) Should be ‘black peoples’ political voice
7 189 (j) Should introduce positive black issues only
8 181 (b) Give international community news compare with rank 5
9 166 (l) Sharp edged journalism and investigations
10 160 (g) Discussions with call ins from listeners
11 150 (p) There should only be one black station for all of London
compare with rank 15, 17, 18
12 138 (i) Should address all local people
13 119 (h) Should address people of African descent only
14 113 (n) Should have spiritual / religious programmes
15 101 (o) Should be borough wide only compare with rank 11, 17, 18
16 95 (f) general advertizing compare with rank 3
17 50 (q) there should be only one black 24 hour station for all of Britain
18 32 (r) I don’t want a black station at all compare with rank 11, 15, 17
Q14 Dividing air time: Respondents were asked to assume a 100% of air time and to separate it into slots that would suit their personal taste to reach 100% airtime at the end. Quite a number of questionnaires were filled out incorrectly, giving points between 0 and 100 instead. These have not been counted. This means that this question is only answered by 62.5 % of all respondents. The average has been calculated like follows: the total percentage from each questionnaire, for each descriptive term has been summed up and divided by the total of rightly completed questionnaires for this question.
rank type of radio programme percentage of total airtime
1. News and Information and Education: 43.5 %
2. Music + 38.5 %
3. Entertainment Shows + 11.5 %
4. Commercials + 5.75%
5. Other (unspecifIed) + 0.75%
= 100% of total airtime
Question 20A: Do you listen to commercials on the radio?
(missing data is 18.75% – out of 32)
Yes 61.5% NO 38.5%
Question 20B What Commercials are the important ones?
missing data 47% out of 32 persons,
None 12
Places to go partying, functions 4
products 2
jobs 1
health products / cosmetics 1
educational 1
amusing ones 1
ads for newspapers / books 1
ads for records /cd’s 1

Question 24B: If BBC main stations would address the black and other communitIes fairly and thoroughly, would there still be a need for black stations?
(missing data = 15% /32 resp.)
Yes total 96.3% No 3.7%
-one station can’t satisfy Londoners – I feel that all radio stations are for the
– because they can’t be enough for the varIetIes of -masses and not just one group
black taste out there – the black communitIes vIews would be
– to represent very local radio met
– there will always be a need for representation of
FM by black people from a black
– it is important to have your “own”, why should black
stations be corrupted too?
– general stations will never be specialized enough
– because everyone needs a representative of his/ her
culture (2 responses)
– BBC is part of the state establishment, people need to
do things independently, autonomously
– the BBC trIes to doesn’t it?
– to have varIety, not just the BBC middle class people
– specialized issues
– there will still be a need for a grass-root element
– BBC mainstations will never address the community
thoroughly, they are not interested, whatever
they say
– BBC stations are patronizing and give in no way a balanced vIew
– because there needs to be some expression in control of
black people
– for a different perspective on issues
– so that people find what they are interested in
– there’s room for everyone
– needs a constant output not occasional shows
– why not?
– as a means of alternative expression
– freedom of speech
Question 24: Do you ever call in at stations?
(missing data 9%/ all resp)
89.65 % No Yes 10.34%
Question 26: Would you like more or less stations generally in London:
(missing data = 34,4% / all resp.)
LESS 33.33% MORE 66.66%
Question 26B: If more stations could only be arranged on short wave, would you support it?
(missing data = 31,25 % / all resp.)
YES 54,5% NO 45.5%
Question 21 and 22 If you were in charge of a station what would you do different to the current stations what would you leave unchanged ?
number in brackets indicates how many times attribute was mentioned if more than once.
do different leave unchanged .
I would have a station for positive Black women music (4)
more plays news (2)
more features Jazz music
more intervIews (2) nothing
more education good mix of music
more community issues (2) positive vibes
less talking (2)
more music (3)
Less personal favourites more popular features
stop all / most commercials (3)
a little less commercials ( 3)
stop music with bad language from black musicians (2)
less egoistic DJ’s (2)
more / better news (5)
more BLACK DJ’s,
would give DJ’s more choice, play-lists are too repetitive
more old reggae
less new R&B
more UK music
more female DJ’s
less jingles advertizing the station
less DJ talk
more R&B
30: Is there anything you would like to say at this final point?
– quite a long questionnaire. Difficult for you to analyse at the end
– I think this paper is very racist and you consider that there are two groups of people Black and White –
when we should all be striving to make this world one
– stay cool brother, hope this is of some help to you, good luck
– I like music that is why I enjoy radio, the other stuff gets in the way
– in future please please please do give us a bit more time to complete your questionnaire
– “Black” is arguably too broad a category. African people might have their own radio station, and
they don’t have much in common with African Caribbeans
– Good Luck, also would like to hear regional news e.g. from Birmingham, Manchester, maybe once a
week link up.
– — can be a good resource for your project
– Good Luck for your work and thanks for your interest in black people
– 10 out of 10 for initiative!
– Good Luck!
– Please could you make the writing bigger next time!

Questions left out in analysis. 1, 3, 6A, 6B, 7,