Sharing the mic: Community access radio in Aotearoa New Zealand

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This book is due for release on 29 April at parliament.

By Brian Pauling & Bronwyn Beatty

From Invercargill to Auckland, community access radio has been broadcasting by, for and about New Zealanders across four decades. Within a rapidly shifting mediascape, the twelve current stations came into existence through a combination of passion, hard work, community engagement and enabling legislation, allowing the diversity of local communities to speak to themselves through the borderless realm of radio.

Using extensive interviews and in-depth research, Sharing the Mic tells the stories of the volunteers, staff and managers at the heart of access broadcasting and places the history of Aotearoa’s access radio within the wider media and technological changes of the last 40 years.

This is also the story of the changing voices of an increasingly diverse country and the way that access broadcasting has become a vital part of New Zealand’s media. From being a welcoming presence to new arrivals through to multi-language Civil Defence communications, access radio continues to support generations of New Zealanders.

Brian Pauling

Brian founded the New Zealand Broadcasting School at the Christchurch Polytechnic (now Ara Institute of Canterbury) in 1983 where he maintains a role as associate researcher. In 2020 he was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to broadcasting and education.

Dr Bronwyn Beatty

Bronwyn is research leader at the New Zealand Broadcasting School, Ara Institute of Canterbury where she has taught for ten years. Her interest in the media’s ubiquity and its impact on everyday lives informs her research, with particular emphasis on audience encounters with popular culture.