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Name: Emily Bettison

PhD: Creativity & Radio

Thesis Title: The Creation of Creativity in Radio: How does radio as an industry define, practice and negotiate creativity?


Thesis Description:

In the UK radio is positioned as a creative industry (DCMS, 2001: 03), which invites us to question the ways in which radio fits with sectoral, government and academic formulations around this category and expectations of it. However while research surrounding the creative industries often accounts for a wide range of activities (Haseman, 2005) they rarely include radio in their discussion. This gap in literature is the context for my thesis, and by talking to radio practitioners and observing their practice I aim to explore understandings around the creative practice that occurs within the radio industry. 

Radio as an industry not only facilitates creative practices, but also remediates others creativity and includes additional non-creative practice, which is also something that my research will account for. Additionally, given the formulaic and formatted qualities of the contemporary medium and its output, resulting in part from increased consolidation (Chambers, 2009), I also want to explore how radio can be understood to be creative in any recognisable sense. 


Supervisors and Institution(s):

Paul Long, Birmingham City University 

Katie Moylan, University of Leicester 


Scholarly / Public Engagement Activities:

2015: Researcher for the Head of Cultural and Creative Ecology at Birmingham City Council, mapping the provision for creative training and education in Birmingham.

2015: Presented the above mentioned research at a Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research seminar.

November 2016: Attended the Politics of Expertise Symposium at Birmingham City University

February 2017: Presented the early stages of my research to the BCMCR research community (Blog Post available here)

February 2017- Present: Research Assistant for The PGR Studio.

7th April 2017: Charles Parker Day

7th July 2017: Organised and facilitated the 'Beyond Borders' Conference at BCU (Blog Post available here) 

28th July 2017: Worked with the Talking Heads 2017 team to organise and facilitate a Media Interview Training Event for PhD students. 

13th August 2017: Appeared on Black Country Radio to talk about my research. 

6th September 2017: Presented at the CAMEo Mediating Cultural Work: Texts, Objects and Politics Conference 

28th September 2017: Attended the Tuning In Midlands Radio Industry Event

2nd October 2017: Attended the 'S-Town' Podcast Talk in Birmingham 

14th October 2017: Presented at the 'Provocative Pedagogies' conference in Lincoln

10th - 12th January 2018: Attended and presented on 'The Radio Practitioners Creative Agency' at the MeCCSA 2018 conference

25th January 2018: Organised and facilitated the Inside/Out PhD Research Festival at BCU (Information available here)

3rd July 2018: Presented about the pedagogy of the PhD at the UKCGE Annual Conference

10th - 12th July 2018: Attended and presented at the Annual Radio Conference in Italy. My paper focused on 'Regulation, Convention and Creativity? The Teaching and Freedom of Creative Practice in West Midlands Community Radio'.


Research Assistant for The PGRStudio (Feb 2018 - Feb 2019):

  • Organising the annual PGR Conference at BCU.
  • Supporting the mentoring programme.
  • Building the profile of the PGRStudio. 
  • Collating feedback from students about their PhD experience.

Teaching Experience:

  • Sessional Tutor at ACM (Birmingham) teaching Creative Industry Trends, Research Skills and Intellectual Property Rights. 
  • Delivering a session for third year students at BCU on the Creativity in the Media module.
  • Visiting Lecturer at BCU (Jan 2018 - July 2018), specifically teaching first year students on the Researching the Media module. 


Other Research Interests:

  • Cultural Theory
  • Creative Industries
  • Creativity
  • Cultural Labour
  • Social Media
  • Community Radio
  • Social Media as Culture
  • Policy for Creativity and Culture 


  • MA Creative Industries and Cultural Policy
  • PGCert in Research Practice
  • SEDA accredited 'Preparing Postgraduate Researchers to Teach' qualification
  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Upcoming Activities:

As an editor for the Riffs Popular Music Journal I am delighted to announced that the CFP for our next volume has been released. 



University email address:


Twitter: @EmilyBettison


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