Radio in the Bush: Special Report

What radio content do Aussies in remote areas listen to and why? 

Are their listening habits different from people in regional and metro areas?

Radio in the bush explores the radio listening habits of people living in remote and very remote Western Australia (WA). The ACMA undertook the research in 2016 to examine the role of AM radio in the contemporary communications environment.

Highlights of the report include:

Radio rules in the bush—remote Western Australians spend significantly more time listening to the radio (13.9 hours in any given week) than does the nation as a whole (8.6 hours).

AM radio on the road—residents of remote WA spend 6.9 hours listening to AM radio each week, more than double the regional and national levels (three hours each). For almost two‑thirds of this time (4.5 hours), they’re tuned to AM radio while in the car—compared to an hour nationally and just under an hour (0.9) regionally.

Local ABC radio a key community service—62 per cent of remote Western Australians would tune in to local ABC radio to get up-to-date information in an emergency, after the Bureau of Meteorology (74 per cent), and fire and emergency services (72 per cent). The most commonly reported sources for local news include the local print newspaper (52 per cent), social media (40 per cent) and local ABC radio (38 per cent).

Radio in the bush—A study of radio listening in remote Western Australia is available on the ACMA website.