Examining the changing face of television current affairs programme in New Zealand from a 'political economy' perspective
This paper will look at the changing face of current affairs television programmes in New Zealand from a political economy perspective. As part of that exploration it will examine the contending cultural studies position and address the claimed limitations of the political economy method. The Political Economy approach provides a framework from which to examine key areas of change in Western and New Zealand broadcasting. Many Western governments have lessened their commitment to public service broadcasting and the political economy method is well suited to research where economic structures, social and cultural life are interconnected, and can be used to evaluate these relationships. For New Zealand broadcasting a defining event of recent years was the application of neo-liberal policies after the 1984 election, taken even further by successive governments. These changes mirrored other Western nations where broadcasting became increasingly commercial, deregulated and globalised. As debates continue about the reduction of quality current affairs programmes on New Zealand television, this paper will explore the application of a political economy approach to changes that have occurred to this television genre.