Broadcasting Policy Advice 1986-88: a Critical Evaluation of New Zealand's Broadcasting Policy Framework
In August 1988, the Labour Government announced its policy to deregulate the broadcasting industry. The policy was comprised two of major initiatives; 1. Commercialising the Broadcasting Corporation of New Zealand, and 2. Creating property rights out of the right to broadcast and establishing a market mechanism to allocate these. The policy was based on an economic analysis of "the Economics of Broadcasting and Government Intervention" presented to the Royal Commission on Broadcasting and Related Telecommunications in a submission devised and presented independently of any political authority or mandate by the New Zealand Treasury. This thesis is presented as a piece of "public" policy analysis, in the sense that it seeks to explain, to a non-expert audience, the strengths, weaknesses and ethical implications of Treasury's analysis as well as the outcomes or effects that deregulation has had for New Zealand society. In doing this, it seeks also to explain to the community of policy analysts and advisors - using, as much as possible, the language of modern public administration and economics - the limitations of applying 'orthodox' economic theory to the role the media plays in mediating the relationship among audiences, the state, the market and society.