The aim of this article is to show to what extent alternative audio media can be built online, not only by amateurs but also as a combination of the energy and involvement of professional journalists and the community of listeners who are ready to support them. Moreover, the topic of the extent to which this form of production is similar to the model of alternative media produced by amateurs described by Hackett and Caroll (2006), as well as Atton and Hamilton (2010), is also discussed. Special attention is paid to the ways this can challenge the institutional media logic and provide an interesting alternative to pro-government public media and commercial mainstream media in a country in Central and Eastern Europe that is dropping down the rankings of the Democracy Index. The podcast Raport o stanie świata and two Internet radio stations, Radio Nowy Świat and Radio 357 from Poland, which are analysed in this article, were born in an act of protest against the negative changes in public service broadcasting, which became a propaganda tool. They are financed by listeners via the crowdfunding platform Patronite and do not broadcast advertising. A framework for analysing their functioning is devised using, in particular, theories of the public sphere and of alternative media. The study is based on content analysis of the call-in broadcasts disseminated for the first anniversary of the stations, Radio Nowy Świat (April 16 and July 9, 2022) and Radio 357 (January 5, 2022). Pre-structured interviews with the patrons of Raport o stanie świata are also used. Websites and social media accounts of these initiatives, as well as press coverage and data gathered by the National Broadcasting Council in relation to Polish Radio, are analysed as well. The research found that all three initiatives Raport o stanie świata, Radio Nowy Świat and Radio 357, despite being started by professionals, share some of the characteristics of alternative media and can significantly change the model of audio production, financing and consumption routines in Poland.

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Published on 18/09/22
Accepted on 18/09/22
Submitted on 18/09/22

Volume 31, Issue 5, 2022
DOI: 10.3145/epi.2022.sep.06
Licence: Other

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