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Audio presentation

The 1992 Broadcasting Services Act simplified an unwieldy existing legislative framework and reformed the broadcasting regulator, renamed the Australian Broadcasting Authority. In accordance with the Labor government's desire for a co-ordinated expansion and diversification of services it directed the new authority to initiate an integrated nationwide spectrum review and planning process. This process was designed to identify capacity and demand for new services and to inform the subsequent release of new licences in each of Australia's commercial, community and national broadcasting sectors.

In this seminar Chris K. Wilson will argue that the new Act and spectrum review did more than just reveal demand: it inspired the formation of hundreds of new broadcasting organisations (particularly in the community radio sector), encouraged experimentation in broadcasting content, communication infrastructure configuration and media convergence, and clearly impacted the cultural landscape beyond broadcasting. This incredibly dynamic period of broadcasting-led cultural innovation has received little scholarly attention and has largely been passed over by Australia's collecting and exhibiting institutions. Following the presentation, Chris will open up discussion of new pathways for examining this period.

This public lecture was held on Friday 20 March 2015.

About the presenter:

Chris K. Wilson is a member of the Centre for Communication, Politics and Culture and Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University. He recently completed a PhD at the Swinburne Institute for Social Research. His dissertation, Frequently Modulating: Australian radio's relationship with youth, examines the variety of ways in which Australian broadcasting has understood and sought to engage with youth since the late 1950s. It focusses on the intersection of technical affordances, including technological, legislative and regulatory conditions that govern the use of radio spectrum, and the discursive formulation of rationales that made it possible to conceive of a specific relationship between radio broadcasting and youth and established the desirability of maintaining this relationship.

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