Kathryn McDonald

Dr Kathryn McDonald

  • Principal Academic in Audio Production
  • Weymouth House W212, Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole, BH12 5BB
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Kathryn's research, practice & teaching is centred around participatory media, broadcast talk, media ethics, community engagement, radio production and broadcasting history.

Kathryn is co-editor of The Bloomsbury Handbook of Radio, to be published at the start of 2023. She is currently researching two areas: how radio can be used articulate the experience of motherhood inside prisons; and how and why suicidal listeners might call into radio stations.

Before completing her PhD, Kathryn previously worked as a radio producer in independent production (documentaries, live events, awards, festivals, specialist music shows). She continues to consult on podcasts pitches and audio projects in the industry.

She lectures across the undergraduate and postgraduate framework and is Level 4 Coordinator on the BA Media Production degree. She was Programme Leader on the BA Radio course and is External Examiner at the University of Salford. Kathryn is the Wellbeing Coordinator for the Department of Media Production, and is Equality, Diversity & Inclusivity representative for the BA Media Production programme...



The Bloomsbury Handbook of Radio edited by Hugh Chignell and Kathryn McDonald is due for publication in 2022.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person's work contributes towards the following SDGs:

Good health and well-being

"Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages"

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Reduced inequalities

"Reduce inequality within and among countries"

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Responsible consumption and production

"Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns"

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Peace, justice and strong institutions

"Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels"

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Journal Articles


  • The Bloomsbury Handbook of Radio. New York: Bloomsbury Press.


  • Khamkar, G., 2023. Daring to be different! Ethnic Community Radio as the Space of Inclusion. In: Chignell, H. and McDonald, K., eds. Handbook of Radio. Bloomsbury Academic Press.
  • McDonald, K., 2023. The Radio Phone-In and the Suicidal Caller. In: Chignell, H., ed. Bloomsbury Handbook of Radio. Bloomsbury Academic Press.
  • Karathanasopoulou, E., 2023. Audio within audio: Story-telling and the Evocation of Emotion in Podcasting. In: Chignell, H. and McDonald, K., eds. The Bloomsbury Handbook of Radio. Bloomsbury.
  • Murphy, K. and Murphy, C., 2023. Studying Radio: Researching Women in Radio Production in the Early BBC. In: Chignell, H. and McDonald, K., eds. The Bloomsbury Handbook of Radio. Bloomsbury Publishing USA.


PhD Students

  • Stuart McNally. Sound, trauma and the documentary. Exploring dramatic reconstruction and survivor stories, (In progress)
  • Grace Ogbole, 2026. News Media use by Diasporic Communities in the UK during the Covid19 Pandemic Lockdown., (In progress)

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

  • Chair, BBC Centenary Committee Steering Group. Media Production Department, BBC Centenary Committee Steering Group. https://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/celebrating-centenary-bbc-our-work-creative-industries
  • Staff Wellbeing Lead, Faculty of Media and Communication
  • Departmental Wellbeing Coordinator, Media Production Department
  • Level 4 Coordinator, BA Media Production, Faculty of Media and Communications
  • Programme Leader, BA Radio, Faculty of Media and Communication

Journal Reviewing/Refereeing

  • Journalism: theory, practice and criticism, Anonymous peer review, 25 Apr 2023
  • Journal of Radio and Audio Media, Anonymous peer review, 27 Mar 2023

Public Engagement & Outreach Activities

  • Beyond Radio Specificity Panel - Institute of Communication Studies & Journalism, Charles University Prague (26 Nov 2020)
  • The co-creation of unit assessments based on the principles of ‘backward design (10 Jun 2017)

Conference Presentations

  • Radio and Sound Ecosystems in the Platform Age, Climate, creatives and change: Exploring environmental sustainability within our sonic ecosystem, 06 Sep 2023, Barcelona, Spain
  • Radio and Sound Ecosystems in the Platform Age, Prison Radio Panel, 06 Sep 2023, Barcelona, Spain
  • 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

Consultancy Activities

  • English IRL Podcast, Senior Editorial Producer & Podcast Consultant. More Than Words Media

Attended Training

  • Managing COVID-19 Risks on Production, 05 Nov 2020, First Option Safety Certificate
  • ScreenSkills: Coronavirus basic awareness on production training, 19 Oct 2020, Certificate
  • 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)
  • Nominated, Community Award (Vice Chancellor's Staff Award 2023)



  • EMHIS Network - International Entangled Media History Clink Women's Network BU Women's Academic Network BU Media History Group Radio Studies Network Aural Diversity network
  • Co-Founder of BU Sound Network
  • Bournemouth University, Women’s Academic Network
  • Entangled Media History Network (EMHIS)

Social Media Links

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. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b095f1ll