Sunrise Radio

“To serve and promote the needs and fulfilments of the entire South Asian community, both young and old”.

Sunrise Radio was the first independent 24 hour Asian station in the world. It began as a small local station. Formally launched in November 1989, it broadcast 24 hour radio to West London’s Asian community from its Hounslow studios on 1413 AM, soon after extending its operation to Bradford’s Asian communities. In the 1990s it launched new satellite and cable services to meet growing demand elsewhere in the UK and Europe.

“Today, Sunrise Radio reaches nearly two million Asian listeners a month via DAB digital radio, medium wave and the Sky platform. The station can be received locally in Greater London, the Midlands, Edinburgh and Glasgow, and nationally across the entire UK, making it the premier Asian media outlet in the UK.”

The story of Sunrise

The Jewish Chronicle

The Jewish Chronicle is a London-based Jewish newspaper. Founded in 1841, it is the oldest continuously published Jewish newspaper in the world.  With a weekly circulation of some 30,000, it is thought to be read weekly by about half the UK Jewish population.


Moving People Changing Places

Digital diasporas and the BBC World Service

With an audience of 180 million across its radio, TV and online services, in many regions the BBC World Service is a valued and trusted information source. At times of political crisis or ecological disaster, it has often been a lifeline. It no longer sees itself as a broadcaster targeting audiences conceived of solely in national terms or situated only in their country of origin. Changes in technology bring new audiences and connect them in novel ways.

Over 50% of the users of BBC World Service sites in languages other than English can now be defined as “diaspora users”. For example, 60% of the weekly users of www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/ are not from within the borders of Pakistan.

Visitors to www.bbc.co.uk/persian/ go to the site mainly to consume news about Iran, but the BBC Persian service also caters for them by providing a voice on life in the diaspora. In contrast, www.bbc.co.uk/arabic/ generates more cultural and information traffic between the Middle East and the Arabic diaspora on topics such as religion, language and the 'war on terror'.

From Tuning In: Researching Diasporas at the BBC World Service

Media, migration and diasporas

Migration and identity are important themes for understanding the wider media landscape. What part do professionals from minority backgrounds play in reporting and presenting the news, for example, or as the faces of TV comedy and entertainment? Are minority audiences best served by newspapers, radio, TV and websites specifically targeted at their needs and interests or should these be met by general coverage and programme schedules, and broad-based channels and stations? And how are ethnic, religious and other cultural groups represented in the media? Are they invisible? Are they stereotyped, generalised or equated only a certain type of behaviour, or set of beliefs? Do the media make room for such portrayals to be countered or criticised?

Diasporic communications

Although migration separates people from homes, families and friends, diasporas reconnect them.  Communication and networking are crucial aspects of diasporic life and are made possible by media technology in its various forms. Where they have access, telephone, wireless, satellite, cable and digital technologies allow people to communicate directly in sound, text, and image across the globe. And, although media revolutions are typically associated with large corporations and global finance, many innovations are driven by dispersed individuals and groups who want and need to be in regular direct contact with one another, to exchange information, goods and services, and just to keep in touch. If the home country or place of origin is the first space for migrants, and the settled country is the second, then communications technology creates the possibility of a third space which is not there, nor here, but an alternative space where contact can be made, new relationships formed, and identities negotiated.

Boy with football
© Tuning In
It is not surprising then that diasporas have often been at the cutting edge in terms of designing and adopting new media. Whether through print or broadcast media, the internet or social networking, they have been active transmitters as well as receivers of information. They have had something to say, not only to friends and family far and wide, but as critics of political repression back home, and in response to their treatment in the new location.