New Zealand Broadcasting And Radio History

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's October 2001

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The New Zealand radio industry was deregulated twelve years ago. Discuss the changes that have resulted from that process. What has this meant for the business of radio? Public ownership? The audience? In the beginning there was control. There were tribunals, there was red tape, there was censorship and somewhere amongst it all was the New Zealand radio industry. Of course it was the government who had the industry on the short leash and early on they would use radio as a vehicle for their own purposes. Many people disliked this idea and as a result we were given more news, lectures and even religious services (be them all closely monitored). Having had enough of the "˜nazi' broadcasting authorities, "˜pirates' went to sea in the mid-sixties for commercial radio. "They sought to crack open the state monopoly in New Zealand radio" (Cocker, Deregulation and Commercial Radio, 52) by broadcasting from international waters in the Hauraki Gulf outside of New Zealand jurisdiction.

It took three years but "˜Radio Hauraki', including Derek Lowe (who this information comes from during his February 26 lecture) cracked the government and became the first illegal station ever to gain a license.

From Cocker I have learnt that the industry paused here briefly at an intermediate stage. In this stage the new, private, commercial radio stations competed under the watchful eye of the state through the seventies and eighties. With the coming of a new Labour government came the move from total regulation to full deregulation, completing the swing. "A dramatic free market broadcasting experiment" (Cocker, Deregulation and Commercial Radio, 52) was imposed and brought with it, intense competition. This idea of increased competition was to play a big part in the changes to come. So what are these changes? Total deregulation is seen as a new era in...

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