Another Essay: But Nearly Done… Sort Of!

Its that time of the term again. I’m spending the weekend writing essays for university.

It is this essay which has meant that there’s been nothing new on my Radio Listening Blog for 6 days now – don’t worry though. The articles have been written… I just haven’t uploaded them yet!

Its also why I haven’t uploaded the recording of Tuesday’s Tone show yet. I’ll get round to that too, eventually.

As tedious as writing a 3000 word essay is though, there are some very interesting things I’ve learned about radio in South Africa. That is the subject of my essay, which is part of the Radio Genres and Cultures module.

I’ve been looking at the RAMS listening figures on the SAARF website, and I’ve also been looking at how South African radio stations see their audiences. In the UK its not uncommon to hear someone mention an ABC1  audience profile. In South Africa, you’re much more likely to hear reference to an LSM 7-10 audience, which is how the SAARF looks at audiences.

Just for fun, I had a little go at the Do-It-Yourself LSM Classification to see where on the LSM scale I come. The way this works is: answer a few questions to see what items I have in the home. Each one represents a value, and the total value you get at the end determines which group you’re in. Sewing machines and VCRs used to be on the list, but they’ve now been removed.

So… Having done this little quiz, I can tell you that I do fall within the LSM 7-10 category (I think I was group 8, to be specific)! I lost a few marks for not having a swimming pool at home… I also don’t have pay TV, air conditioning, a dishwasher or a tumble dryer. In addition, I had to subtract 0.301327 because there are no “domestic workers or household helpers in household (incl. both live-in & part time domestcs and gardeners)” in my household.

I think the Living Standards Survey (that’s what LSM stands for) is quite an interesting way of looking at audiences. Reading the SAARF research does tell you a lot about the South African culture as well.

Whilst doing my essay I’ve been listening to OFM, a commercial radio station in South Africa. Sounded a lot to me like daytime Radio 2 – I really couldn’t tell you the difference between OFM and a lot of UK radio stations. They were giving out the football scores of British football teams, even had adverts about St. Patrick’s Day! The website of the South African RAB came in very handy as well, for looking at the target audiences of commercial radio stations, as you can see on this page about OFM.

So… The following things are all talked about in my assignment: the SABC, the SAARF, RAMS, LSM, the ICASA and the South African RAB. Thank god this is a 3000 word essay, otherwise I wouldn’t have enough room to explain what they all mean!

I think I’m going to retire to bed now. I’ll continue with my essay tomorrow. 1300 words to go!

Good night!

(Or maybe I should say it in Afrikaans: Goeie Nag)!


Fred Hart

Stock Controller and Radio Presenter/Producer

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