Producing community radio during a pandemic

April 5th, 2021

Our guest this month is Dr Josephine Coleman of Brunel University, London. She discusses her research on the production of local content in UK community radio – a timely topic given the impact of COVID-19.

We also have our regular correspondents, Tadhg and Noah, talking about the blockage of the Suez Canal, Passover, and Easter.

As usual, the show is available for download from the A-Infos Radio Project and the Internet archive.

Latest episode: interrogating the gig economy

February 24th, 2021

Our guest this month is Prof. Brian Dolber of California State University. He is an editor of The Gig Economy: Workers and Media in the Age of Convergence. We talk about the nature of the ‘gig economy’, worker organising, and prospects for worker rights in the aftermath of Proposition 22 in California (where ‘rideshare’ companies spent over $100m on their campaign to strip workers of their rights) and of court rulings in the UK and EU, which have been largely in the workers’ favour.

The discussion is timely, as companies like Uber are currently exerting pressure in the EU for legislative changes that would, as Leïla Chaibi MEP puts it, create a ‘third status’ for platform workers, who would “have to bear the disadvantages of being an employee and the disadvantages of being self-employed”. With a directive on the future of worker rights currently under development, this is a crucial time for European workers, and this issue is one that needs more public attention.

As always, our show is available on the Internet Archive, on the A-Infos Radio Project, and on Flirt FM.

World Radio Day special!

February 13th, 2021

It’s World Radio Day – an annual celebration of radio, established by UNESCO and the UN in 2011. 13th February was chosen because it’s the day in 1946 – 75 years ago today – that the UN set up its Department of Public Information, and UN Radio.

Flirt FM – our home station – is marking the occasion with activities online and on-air (the only Irish body to show up on the global map of official WRD activities!). We’re excited to have a special episode of A Critical Ear to share with you today.

On today’s show, we have:

The show is now archived on the Internet Archive, and available for syndication from the A-Infos Radio Project.

Assessing the change of US administration

January 27th, 2021

Our January 2021 episode is now available for download ( link here). Following up on a reflection on the lessons to be taken by Irish observers from the attempted coup in the US, we interview Dr Caitlin Miles, a US-based media scholar about the rhetorical and material impact of the change in administration.

A memorial at Dachau with the words 'Never Again' in Hebrew, French, English, German, and Russian

Our new episode is going live – on-air and on-line – on Holocaust Memorial Day. Today is the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenhau concentration and death camp. As part of our responsibility to bear witness and pledge never again, we include a short excerpt from the HETI Irish national commemoration.

We also include a report by regular correspondents Tadhg & Noah about their experiences with home-schooling, Zoom, and more.

As always, we welcome rebroadcast on other stations – if you plan to rebroadcast our work regularly, we ask that you let us know, so we can include you in our on-air and on-line promotion.

Trade unions, the organising model, and ICTU’s ONE movement

December 28th, 2020

This month, I interview Fiona Dunne of ICTU about the ONE movement, which provides a grassroots approach to trade unions, integrated with other civil society groups, such as student unions. We discuss the organising model of trade unions, and some of their recent projects, including a campaign to secure workers a legal right to their tips.

In our regular monthly segment from special correspondents Tadhg and Noah, we look back on 2020, discuss the impact of COVID-19 on their schooling, and look towards the rollout of the vaccine in 2021.

News headlines open the show, as always, focusing this month on immigration.

The show is available for download from the Internet Archive, on Google Drive, and from ONEdrive.

The programme is available for broadcast/syndication on non-commercial stations, under a Creative Commons license – use the A-Infos Radio Project version. No advance notice is required, though it is appreciated if you let us know – if you plan to use the show regularly, we can include a shout-out in the credits.

New episode

November 24th, 2020

Our November episode is now available for listeners to download (here – Sharepoint) or (here – Google) – or tune into Flirt FM tomorrow (Wednesday) at 3pm (101.3FM in Galway, or online worldwide). The episode will also be available to stream from the station’s Mixcloud shortly after broadcast.

For those who prefer to watch their audio, check out our YouTube channel – the video goes live at 3pm.

UPDATE: See updated download links above (Sharepoint and Google Drive). The show will also be rebroadcast next Wednesday, 2nd December, at 3pm. And for those interested in syndicating/rebroadcasting on their station/site/stream, see our previous post, with links to programme files on Radio4All (A-Infos Radio Project) and the Internet Archive.

UPDATE 2: For those fans of our special correspondents, Tadhg & Noah, who want to hear their segments – they start at the 49 minute mark!

New episode on air this Wednesday

November 23rd, 2020

The first episode of our new series is on air, on Flirt FM, this Wednesday 25th November at 2pm. Tune in, in the Galway region, on 101.3FM, or online at

The show includes:

The show will be available to stream on MixCloud following broadcast – and we will provide a link here. Check back shortly for other download and streaming options.

A Critical Ear is also available for broadcast by other non-commercial media outlets. We syndicate the show on the A-Infos Radio Project (episode here) and (episode here). If you air the show, please do let us know – if you plan to air it regularly, we can promote that in the audio file, and through our social media channels.

Returning to the airwaves

October 15th, 2020

A Critical Ear will be returning to the airwaves shortly, broadcasting on Flirt FM 101.3FM in Galway, and online.

ACE 2010-03-04 Digital Radio

March 4th, 2010

A bit of a different focus this week as I talk with John Anderson, a media activist and doctoral candidate at the University of Illinois, about HD-Radio, discussing the corporate-dominated development of the standard and the failures of regulation. Available at

First show of 2010 – Bob returns from Cairo

January 7th, 2010

Bob provides a detailed report from the Gaza Freedom March, which he joined in Cairo. The marchers were never let into Gaza, but succeeded in raising public awareness of the blockade of Gaza on the first anniversary of the Israeli invasion.

Listen here.