How to Cite a Radio Broadcast in Harvard Referencing
  • 3-minute read
  • 31st May 2021

How to Cite a Radio Broadcast in Harvard Referencing

If you hear something interesting on the radio, you may want to cite it in an essay or research paper. But how does this work? In this post, we explain the basics for citing a radio broadcast or program in Harvard referencing.

Citing a Radio Broadcast in Harvard Referencing

In Harvard referencing, you typically cite sources by giving the author’s surname and a year of publication in parentheses. However, most radio programs won’t have a single author. As such, you will usually need to cite radio shows with the program name and year of broadcast:

Both events took place in 1485 (Spin the Globe, 2014).

Note that the title here is italicized. In addition, if you quote a source, you may need to include a timestamp to show where the quotation occurred in the broadcast:

Many rulers added to the construction, which was considered the “most important religious temple of the Aztecs” (Spin the Globe, 2014, 07:35).

Here, the “07:35” shows the reader that we’re quoting something from 7 minutes and 35 seconds into the show cited. This takes the place of page numbers.

Radio Programs in a Harvard Reference List

If you cite a radio broadcast in you work, you’ll need to add it to your reference list. In Harvard referencing, the basic information required here is as follows:

Title of Program, Episode Number, “Episode Title” (Year of Broadcast) Channel, Month and Date of Broadcast.

Some of these elements won’t be relevant for all broadcasts (e.g., one-off broadcasts won’t have an episode number or title), but make sure to include enough information to identify the source clearly.

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For programs available online, moreover, you can use this layout:

Title of Program, Episode Number, “Episode Title” (Year of Broadcast) Channel, Month and Date of Broadcast [Online]. Available at URL (Date of Access).

You can see how these would look in practice below:

Spin the Globe, “1485” (2014) BBC Radio 4, November 11.

Lady Chatterley’s Bed Bugs (2021) BBC Radio 4, January 4 [Online]. Available at https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000qwtx (Accessed February 24, 2021).

Variations in Harvard Referencing

In this post, we’ve set out a simple way of citing a radio broadcast using Harvard-style referencing. However, different organizations often use different versions of “Harvard style.” As a result, if you are a student, you should always check your school’s style guide for advice on the format to use.

In addition, our proofreaders are referencing experts and happy to check your documents for clarity and consistency in citations. Just let us know which version of Harvard referencing you’re using when you upload a document for proofreading.

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