Koori Radio is the only Aboriginal community radio station in Sydney that broadcasts full-time a mixture of local, classified Aboriginal and international music across the world and Australia. With the current technological trend in the radio industry, Koori radio has resorted to adopting the use of the internet to develop a mobile app to use in broadcasting to the Aboriginal society (Radio, n.d.). In this generation, mobile phones have been significantly embraced by people. Almost everyone has a mobile phone as the use of mobile phones has advanced from just for communication to entertainment and facilitating other important services (Radio, n.d.). To broadcast and reach a wider Aboriginal population in Australia, Koori Radio mobile app was developed but had to be compatible with the indigenous communities. Therefore, this paper will analyze the Koori Radio mobile app’s context, target audience, the indigenous culture representation, its indigenous principles and protocols as well as its user interface and user experience.
Background and context
Koori Radio is a 24/7 community broadcasting service from Redfern, Australia. Its broadcast covers 9000 square km and a probable audience exceeding 6 million. This radio offers a live and entertaining mixture of music, news, community information as well as important discussions drawing a large audience of listeners from the Aboriginal people within Australia, other several First Nation people who consider Sydney as their home and also ordinary Australians sharing their musical taste and cultural views (Radio, n.d.). Gadigal Information Service is leading Aboriginal is the top Aboriginal as well as Torres Strait Islander media hub founded in 1993 and located in Redfern, Sydney (Radio, n.d.). Essentially, Gadigal Information Services is facilitates full-time indigenous broadcasting of Koori Radio in the analogue form in Sydney on 93.7 FM and as well broadcast as KR00 on Digital Radio via its mobile apps offering live streaming (Radio, n.d.).
In essence, the Indigenous Remote Communications Association Aboriginal developed the Koori Radio mobile app both for IOS users and Android phone users. The purpose of these apps was to increase the audience of Koori Radio broadcast through Digital Radio. The IOS Koori Radio mobile app is 17.4 MB in size and its requirement being at least a mobile phone with IOS 9.0 or later (“Koori Radio,” n.d.). This app is only compatible with iPad, iPod touch as well as iPhone. They also developed an android Koori Radio mobile app which is 3.6MB in size and its requirement is that it is compatible with Android phones of android version 4.1 and above (“Koori Radio,” n.d.). These applications are available at the app store and Google play store and are available for download at no cost.
The target users or audience for this app are the Aboriginal people living in Australia. This is evident from the fact that Koori Radio plays local music and mostly presents local news. Also, it can be based on the fact that Koori Radio provides community information together with discussions drawing from the Aboriginal audience (“Koori Radio,” n.d.). Generally, the target audience or users of this mobile app are the people living in Australia sharing the same cultural views. The mobile application apps speak to its audience by offering live online streams but it lacks an effective engagement with the audience because it lacks a comment section for them to express their feelings or participate in the discussion.
The key objective of this app is to provide timely news and information to its audiences and also promote effective engagement between the broadcasters and the audiences. With regards to this objective, the Koori mobile app partly delivers its objective since it provides timely information through a live online stream of news and information (“Koori Radio,” n.d.). However, it has failed to deliver its objectives by failing to provide effective engagement with the audience. The audience is not provided with a platform or section to comment or respond to the broadcast which makes the engagement effective between them. The engagement would have been effective suppose the audience is provided with a section to comment and give their feedback (“Koori Radio,” n.d.). Therefore, in my view, this mobile app should be redesigned and create a comment box section whereby audiences can comment and give their feedback and express their opinions, especially during discussions. This would make the engagement effective thus meeting the objective of the mobile app.
Indigenous culture & representation
The aboriginal indigenous culture has been represented in the app by showing the area coverage of the Koori Radio broadcasts. Specifically, in the Koori Radio mobile app, at the home page, the broadcast coverage reach has been indicated to be 9000 square kilometers with more than six million listeners (“Koori Radio,” n.d.). Moreover, a map of Sydney has been drawn. These two aspects represent the aboriginal people. It shows that the area that the aboriginals live and therefore this indicates that the aboriginals are represented and taken into consideration through inclusion in the broadcast. The indigenous aboriginal culture emphases oral traditions through communication, this culture are represented in the app through oral broadcasts that are streamed online (DPA 2019-Wk3, Slide 6). Moreover, the aboriginal culture values music especially country music genre.
This culture is represented in the app since music is played like most of the music played is of country music genre. However, the indigenous aboriginals have been nuanced represented in the app through broadcast programs that are focused on discussing issues affecting the aboriginal’s community (“Koori Radio,” n.d.). These issues under discussion also affect other groups of people such as the Torres Strait Islander, therefore, making the representation of the aboriginals nuanced. Moreover, there is no evidence of an effective engagement as well as input from the aboriginal community in the app. First, the app does not track and show the number of listeners listening to a broadcast. Second, the app does not have any option or section for commenting. Therefore, there is no input at all from the aboriginal community because the app has failed to provide a platform for engagement between the aboriginal community and the broadcasters. The app has been registered under the copyrights and all rights reserved to Gadigal Information Service (“Koori Radio,” n.d.). Apparently, there is no issue or any evidence showing misappropriated cultural content. All cultural content are appropriately represented. There is no tension at all between the app developers and the end users as can be noted from the reviews given by the users giving five star reviews and positive comments about the app (“Koori Radio,” n.d.). The users have expressed their impression about the app and gave their credit. This is valid because it is evident from the reviews given in the play store and app store.
Indigenous principles & protocols
The app has efficiently taken into acknowledged the indigenous agency of the indigenous Australians by respecting their right to retain, control and protect their cultural heritage (DPA 2019-Wk3, Slide 13). The contents such as broadcasts made through the app are tied to the cultural heritage of the Australian people and respect them. The representation of this culture is done appropriately in the app which is an observation of the right for the community to maintain their culture.
The app functions well and easy to use therefore make the user experience efficient. Upon launching the app, it does not have any barriers to navigation through the app. Its user interface design is excellent making which eliminates barriers and enhances navigability in the app (DPA_Wk4-2019-UX-UI Design, Slide 15). The broadcast in the app works well no buffering or hanging (“Koori Radio,” n.d.). The most interesting thing about the app is that the broadcast is one click away upon launching the app as it saves time.
To sum up, Koori Radio mobile app indeed helps in increasing the audience. The app has been designed to suit the indigenous cultures and people of Australia and especially the aboriginals. Actually, the app has been designed in a manner that represents the Australian culture appropriately. Additionally, the user interface design is excellent which provide the users with convenience to use the app. However, the engagement level in the app is low; the app needs to be redesigned to include a comment section in the app along every broadcast.