Talk, telephone and the radio: the introduction of 'talk-back' radio in Australia

Liz Gould

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


In 1967, the Post-Master General’s Department (PMG) and the Australian Broadcasting Control Board (ABCB) formally permitted use of the ‘two-way’ radio technique in Australia. While radio broadcasters had infrequently employed the technique from 1949 for news and information relays, the modi operandi were bound by technological developments, and further subject to industry regulation and Commonwealth telephone privacy legislation. With the introduction of the Swedish ‘beep-a-phone’ in 1964 – a device allowing a caller and compère to be broadcast ‘onair’ simultaneously after only a few seconds delay – the debate turned to moral questions regarding the involvement, character and conduct of members of the general public participating in radio programmes. This paper will examine the protracted process preceding the introduction of talk-back radio in Australia, with reference to legislative and regulatory restrictions, and additionally, the commercial radio sector’s enthusiastic adoption of the technique.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMaking a difference
Subtitle of host publicationAustralian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference 2004 : presenters, abstracts, and papers
EditorsAnne Dunn
Place of PublicationSydney
PublisherUniversity of Sydney
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes
EventAustralian and New Zealand Communication Association (2004) - Sydney
Duration: 7 Jul 20049 Jul 2004


ConferenceAustralian and New Zealand Communication Association (2004)


Dive into the research topics of 'Talk, telephone and the radio: the introduction of 'talk-back' radio in Australia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this