Fighting for a regime change through active listening

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This article presents a case of political participation through radio broadcasting during World War II. Focusing on how the Portuguese listeners interacted with the transborder broadcasts from the BBC, it demonstrates how politically engaged citizens struggled to use a foreign station to disseminate their views on the country's political situation. Grounded on Pateman's (1970) and Carpentier's (2011) definitions of different levels of participation, it demonstrates that listeners were not given the ability to achieve full or maximal participation due to limitations imposed by organizational and political structures. Departing from this case, the article also reflects on how audiences interact with "traditional media", questioning the widespread idea of radio listeners as passive agents and suggesting that an understanding of the political and social contexts in which media participation takes place is essential to ascertain the levels of empowerment given to the audiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-34
Number of pages20
JournalCM - casopis za upravljanje komuniciranjem
Issue number30
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Audiences
  • BBC Portuguese service
  • Listener interaction
  • Media participation
  • Oliveira Salazar
  • Political participation
  • World War I


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