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Alexandros Baltzis, Oliver Hahn, Henrik Hargitai

In The Impact of Internet on the Mass Media in Europe, pp. 65-76
Editor: Nikos Leandros
Suffolk, UK: Abramis, 2006



The article presents a sample research on the radio station websites in the cases of Hungary, Greece, and the singular ARTEradio.com site. The website analysis took into account the textual information, the website layouts, the navigation schemes, the audio contents and the existence or absence of accessible archiving systems. The samples studied include commercial, public, and community radio stations, both with aired and Internet-only programs.

Based on this analysis - which is part of a project still in progress - the paper discusses the multifaceted impact that the Internet has and might have on the radio both as a medium and as a form of mass communication. In order to understand the functions of the radio station websites, the purposes for which they are produced and how they are used, the paper discusses their possible classification scheme. Several methodological questions are discussed in this context. The comparative analysis and the typology derive from and are based on the attempt to understand the extent to which the radio stations use the Internet:

  1. in an innovative way, i.e. the extent to which they consider it as a new medium and produce new types of content applying new forms, models and patterns of production;
  2. in terms of a way to reach new target audiences using already known and well tested patterns of content presentation.

The article describes the theoretical background, the methods and the models used for the analysis of the websites. In the case of Hungary, the sample included 36 radio websites, while in the Greek case it included 44 radio websites and it was representative in terms of the radio stations distribution in the 51 prefectures of the country (there are more than 1,000 radio stations in the country). The typology of the radio websites spotlights the main functions of the radio websites which are further clarified through the analysis.

The results from the Greek sample indicate that there is a dominant view about the internet as an additional medium to reach the audiences in known and well established ways rather than a new form of communication that might enrich the content produced and/or distributed by the radio stations.

However, several issues concerning the impact of the radio websites on the listening habits and the musical culture of the audiences in general, remain open for future research.