Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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News & the politics of satire: TV3's 7 Days

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posted on 2021-11-14, 12:16 authored by Robêrt, Elyse Katherine

As New Zealand’s favoured satirical television show 7 Days reconstitutes the week’s current affairs and offers up a valuable counter narrative to traditional news media through its remixing of the conventions of news and the panel quiz show. Whilst many academics have studied satirical television in the US and UK contexts very little attention has been paid to the collection of New Zealand television satire and local audiences’ preference for satire over other local comedy forms. In comparing the three television systems several characteristics emerge as unique to 7 Days and New Zealand’s satiric tradition; an affinity for self-deprecating humour, the targeting of hubris, and the assailing of tall poppy syndrome; the hailing and sustenance of public feeling, and thereby the nourishment of nationalism and a communal ‘Kiwi’ identity.  Television satire dealing in news and review is a well-established practice but is often referred to in academia and popular culture as simply a ‘genre’ when it rather operates as somewhere between a discourse and a genre. Television satire is born of a strong literary tradition but literary criticisms fail to adequately address the functions of contemporary satire; its affective powers, the limits of its uptake, and the ideological footing of its critiques. Examples from US and UK television are considered as precursors to New Zealand satire, and a close analysis of 7 Days reveals that it is not only the conventions of genre that limit satire’s incarnations but also an unstable broadcasting history and an uncertain future.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Media Studies

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Arts

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970120 Expanding Knowledge in Languages, Communication and Culture

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies


van Belle, Douglas; Dunleavy, Trisha