Can Art Survive in Commercial TV? A New Zealand Case Study
The New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage defines culture and cultural activities as a combination of past and present languages, traditions and beliefs; and activities such as dance, music, visual arts, theatre, reading, and crafts and hobbies. A recently released survey by the Ministry found that of the 1000 people interviewed seventeen percent thought culture and cultural activities were the most important in creating a sense of national identity defined as who we are as a country. One third of the people surveyed believed there is very little coverage of culture and cultural activities in the media (Ministry for Culture and Heritage, 2009). This paper analyses the impact of one aspect of the media - the commercially driven television environment - on portraying culture and cultural activities. It specifically focuses on the amount of arts programming on free to air New Zealand television and asks what active role do television broadcasters play in creating a sense of national identity through its arts programming choices.
Keywords: New Zealand, Television, Arts, Culture, Advertising
Senior Lecturer, School of Communication Studies, Auckland University of Technology