Curtin Journalism lecturer Thomas Yesudhasan’s passion for community radio was rewarded when he received the Best Paper Award at an international academic conference held in Dubai late last year.
Dr Yesudhasan’s paper, ‘Qualitative Audience Ethnography and Grounded Theory in Researching Indigenous Media Audiences’, took top prize at the International Conference on Emerging Research Paradigms in Business and Social Sciences.
The paper presented findings on the influence that community radio has on cultural and economic activities in small villages in southern India.
“Through my research, I met with around 150 people of all ages and backgrounds from four farming villages,” Dr Yesudhasan said.
“I found that the government funded stations were playing an active role in engaging the community by methods such as offering location specific farming advice and encouraging cultural activities through traditional Indian tribal song.”
The paper competed with works from almost 200 delegates from 100 countries, and its findings have been well received by the international academic community.
Over the past five years, Dr Yesudhasan has been invited to present his research on this topic at conferences in the United States, Canada, Australia, the Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Thailand, India, China, Malaysia and Singapore.
Dr Yesudhasan’s involvement with community radio started in high school when he was encouraged to prepare a script for the local youth radio program in Nagercoil, India.
Many years on, he is now sharing his knowledge and skills with Curtin University students by teaching Media Ethics, Intercultural Communication, and Cultural Literacy at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
Dr Yesudhasan also coordinates the university’s Master of Arts program in Journalism.