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Interactive Radio: Diversity on Air

10:00 am
Room 183
Attend this Session

…or, how I hacked a radio to illustrate the lack of diversity on Toronto’s airwaves.

I gathered data about whose voices are heard loudest on mainstream radio in Toronto, and whether radio hosts reflect the diversity of the city’s population. Then I made Interactive Radio: Diversity on Air, a data visualization and auralization tool that allows users to explore information about diversity among radio hosts in Canada’s largest radio market. Using this specially hacked radio, tune to an AM or FM radio station and discover, through soundscape, visual information, and the moving radio antenna-meter, how many men, women, and/or racialized persons have control of the microphone on Toronto’s top radio stations. In this session I’ll tell you what I found out about who is on the air and how this specially-hacked radio was built. You’ll have a chance to explore the data yourself using this interactive radio, and join in a broader discussion about who has access to the mic.

Key Take Aways

  • how many racialized persons are on air on Toronto radio stations
  • how many women are on air on Toronto radio stations
  • how the format and target audience of the station may correlate to the diversity of the hosts
  • what the broader implications of this data is for audiences and the radio industry
  • about a cool way to display & share data about radio on a hacked radio
Beginner Community, Activism &
Culture Session


  • Lori Beckstead

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