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The shaping of a voice: The early years of 6WF

Ciallella, Rebecca (1991) The shaping of a voice: The early years of 6WF. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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When 6WF began broadcasting in Western Australia it had the advantage of being the first radio station in the state. Western Australians had no expectations as to what radio 'should be'. Therefore 6WF could establish a particular type of relationship with its listeners. Only when it became part of the Australian Broadcasting Company and later the Australian Broadcasting Commission did 6WF realise the extent of the 'power' of communication it held. The ABC came to believe that it could educate Australians by the way in which it used radio.

Chapters One and Two of this dissertation provide a historical background into the beginnings of 6WF. They reveal how Western Australians had to be taught to become listeners.

Chapter Three studies 6WF internally after it became part of the ABC. It shows how 6WF reflected ABC opinion. Its programming policies and public image mirrored ABC's highbrow image and shaped listeners' expectations of ABC radio. Chapter Four concentrates on 6WF as 'highbrow' radio and the ways in which 6WF provided an example of ABC's dilemma. That is, - It wished to maximise audience numbers yet sustain the role of educator. This served to alienate listeners.

Chapters Five and Six suggest various strategies 6WF had developed in the early years to communicate and re-iterate messages which existed in society. These included the hierarchy of classes and the hierarchy of gender roles. 6WF did this by targeting socially constructed groups, for example, youth through educational broadcasts and women through women's sessions. There were various communication strategies developed by 6WF to promote the 'total listening experience' which are discussed in Chapter Five. Intertextual links were developed between 6WF and radio magazines/ newspapers in the early years. This communication strategy is the focus for the final Chapter Six. They made 6WF listeners almost 'passive' in their acceptance of the 6WF voice by constituting ABC opinion as public opinion.

Collectively the chapters in The Shaping of a Voice demonstrate how the early years at 6WF constituted a time in which a voice was being 'shaped' and an audience 'educated'.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Humanities
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Whitford, Irma
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