The Birth of a hybrid: the shaping of the Australian radio industry

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This article surveys the emergence and evolution of the Australian radio system, hybrid system that by the 1930s embraced both public and private broadcasters. It examines the ways in which proponents of Australian broadcasting viewed developments in Britain and the United States; the debate about cultural standards reflected in arguments about the merits of public sector and commercial broadcasting; the influence of American advertising agencies on Australian programming; and the emergence of an Australian advertising and production infrastructure. In sketching more recent developments, the article argues that Australian broadcasting history should be seen as a continuing struggle between large commercial proprietors that wish to extend their reach over the entire nation and those interests that seek to preserve the local and regional character of radio.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-169
Number of pages17
JournalRadio Journal: International Studies in Broadcast and Audio Media
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Australia
  • Australian Broadcasting Commission
  • commercial broadcasting
  • public service broadcasting
  • radio
  • radio advertising


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