Remote Beginnings, Metropolitan Developments: Community and Indigenous Television in Australia

  • Elinor Rennie


Australian television officially commenced in 1956, two decades after the United States and Britain. The United States had chosen to structure its television industry in favor of commercial media enterprise, whereas Britain kept television in public hands, implementing a state-funded British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and retaining public ownership of transmission sites. Having observed the benefits of both models, the Australian government opted for a “dual” model, permitting commercial television but also establishing an Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), which would operate under a similar framework as its British counterpart. Television was an immediate success in Australia. In order to maintain cultural policy objectives, the government adopted a method of quid pro quo, whereby broadcasters were required to conform to policy objectives (such as local content quotas and children’s programs) in return for a stable market in which no more than three commercial broadcasters were allowed to operate in any one area. By the early 1970s, television had evolved into a mature and relatively stable industry, but community television became a permanent fixture in the analogue landscape only in 2004.


Digital Television Community Television Television Channel Productivity Commission British Broadcasting Corporation 
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© Linda K. Fuller 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elinor Rennie

There are no affiliations available

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