DOI: 10.5176/2301-3710_JMComm15.22

Authors: Bradley C. FREEMAN

Abstract: Due to its demographic makeup, where some 85{6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465} of the population are foreigners, the United Arab Emirates is a multi-ethnic, if not multi-cultural, country. The media reflect this diversity; local newspapers and radio stations cater to the different language groups. Thus a hybrid model for media exists in the UAE, whereby the government oversees and operates some media, while allowing businesses to operate others, often using foreign languages. The present study examines the existence and programming of one such radio station, Dubai’s Tag FM, which uses the Tagalog language and targets the large population of Filipino workers, known to each other as Kabayans or fellow countrymen. Tag FM is the first full-time Tagalog station to operate outside the borders of the Philippines. This private commercial station operates in a community-public service way, in that it is providing entertainment and information in a language that is not native to the region, and that is not an official language of the country. Its existence raises a number of interesting questions given what we know about media and its effects on community and culture. The study is divided into two parts: In the first paper, we examine the programming of Tag FM, along with the regulatory and market environment in which it operates. In the second paper, we survey local listeners to determine their uses and meanings of the station to examine the discursive construction of audience identity and immigrant adaptation in the multi-ethnic city of Dubai.

Keywords: ethnic radio, diaspora media, Dubai radio.


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