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Kathryn"s research, practice & teaching is centred around concepts of participatory media, broadcast talk, mediated interaction, community engagement, radio production, oral history & storytelling.

Before completing her PhD, Kathryn previously worked as a radio producer in independent production (documentaries, live events, awards, festivals, specialist music shows). She lectures across the undergraduate and postgraduate framework and is Level 4 Coordinator on the BA Media Production degree. She led the BA Radio course for 3 years and is External Examiner at the University of Salford.

Kathryn"s research has focused on the historical and contemporary radio interview - particular interest in Desert Island Discs, the Radio Ballads, the 'confessional' phone-in and radio created/made for/about/by prisoners. She is currently researching two areas: firstly, how radio can be used articulate the experience of motherhood inside prisons; and secondly how and why suicidal listeners might call into radio stations.

Journal Articles

  • McDonald, K., 2020. "Scripting the Radio Interview: Performing Desert Island Discs". The Radio Journal: international studies in broadcast and audio media.
  • McDonald, K., 2014. A cultural history of the radio interview - A PhD Research Project. Rundfunk und Geschichte, 40 (2014, 1–2.), 88.


PhD Students

  • Yixing Huang
  • Philip Shakeshaft

Profile of Teaching PG

  • Masters Research Project
  • Masters Production Project
  • Professional Practice
  • MA Radio Production & Theory

Profile of Teaching UG

  • Developing Concepts for Radio
  • Dissertation
  • The Graduate Project
  • Audio Production
  • Radio Station
  • Radio Industry Perspectives
  • Media Theory Perspectives
  • Radio Production 1
  • Open Project (BA Television Production)
  • Career Pathways
  • Advanced Radio Production
  • Open Project
  • Career Pathways

Invited Lectures

  • “I love you Brother”: Suicide & the radio phone-in, University of Salford, Manchester, 30 Oct 2019 more
  • Production & Participation: BBC Interviews 1940-65, Lund, 04 Feb 2014 more
  • Presentation of Doctoral Research Project, Hamburg, Germany, 13 Nov 2013 more


  • Exploring Motherhood through Prison Radio (Bournemouth University IMPACT Fund, 31 Oct 2019). Awarded

External Responsibilities

Internal Responsibilities

  • Programme Leader, BA Radio, Faculty of Media and Communication
  • Level 4 Coordinator, BA Media Production, Faculty of Media and Communications

Public Engagement & Outreach Activities

  • 'The co-creation of unit assessments based on the principles of ‘backward design' - Staff and students from across three faculties at Bournemouth University set about exploring ways to work collaboratively on assessment. The outcome was an exploratory workshop in which staff and students from Science & Technology, Health & Social Sciences, and Media & Communication set out to co-create assessment for some of each of their programmes’ units. The workshop was filmed by a small team of Media Production students.

Conference Presentations

  • ECREA Radio Research Conference 2019: Radio as a Social Media: community, participation, public values in the platform society, “Tonight I’m Not Letting You Die”: The Radio Phone-In and the Suicidal Caller, 19 Sep 2019, Siena, Italy
  • MeCCSA 2014, Empowerment and the Interview: A Prison Radio Perspective, 29 Jan 2014, Bournemouth
  • ECREA London: Radio, the Resilient Medium, Broadcasting Behind Bars: Exploring Prison Radio in the UK, 18 Sep 2013, London
  • The Radio Conference: A Transnational Forum, The Return to Liveness in British Speech Radio, 24 Jul 2013, Luton
  • Ethical Dimensions of Media History, Representation and Participation: The Ethics of the Interview, 06 May 2013, Bournemouth

Attended Training

  • Safety Services and Training for the Broadcast, Television and Film Industry, 05 Nov 2019
  • Supervisory Development Training for Established Supervisors., 10 Jun 2019


  • PGCE in Post Graduate Certificate in Education Practice (Bournemouth University, 2015)
  • PhD in Broadcasting History (Bournemouth University, 2015)
  • MA in Radio Production (Bournemouth University, 2006)
  • BA (Hons) in Journalism, Film, Broadcasting & Sociology (Cardiff University, 2005)


  • Winner of the first Guy Starkey Prize for the most promising and original paper presentation (ECREA Radio Research, 2019)
  • Fellow (The Higher Education Academy, 2015)



  • Entangled Media History Network (EMHIS)
  • Bournemouth University, Women’s Academic Network
  • Co-Founder of BU Sound Network

Broadcast Interview

  • BBC Radio 2 at 50: The Listeners' Stories, 2 part documentary. Listeners tell their stories of Radio 2 over the years - how it has shaped their lives and how its shows, music and personalities have come to be a familiar presence in their daily routines., McDonald, K, 26 Sep 2017.
The data on this page was last updated at 04:07 on September 26, 2020.