40 Years of Access Media

Access media throughout New Zealand are celebrating a milestone – turning 40 and launching a book about their history.

OAR FM Dunedin is part of a grassroots network of 12 community access radio stations that has evolved over 40 years into an alliance of broadcasters that transmit daily in more than 49 languages, and publish a massively diverse array of podcasts online.

Known now as CAMA (Community Access Media Alliance), the network brings together communities, allowing volunteers to create their own radio shows and podcasts by, for and about their diverse communities.

Whether your interest is Buddhism or feminism, mental health issues or niche music tastes, or maintaining your culture through your heritage language, there is a programme for that on Access media.

Celebrating the 40-year milestone warranted a book. Sharing the Mic – The History of Community Access Radio in Aotearoa New Zealand was launched in April in the Grand Hall at Parliament at an event hosted by the Minister of Broadcasting and Media, Hon. Kris Faafoi.

Researched and co-written by Brian Pauling and Bronwyn Beatty, of the NZ Broadcasting School/Ara in Christchurch, the book travels the country, chronicling the people and stories that have shaped Access media.

The book is available for purchase via the Freerange Press website and local bookstores.

Photo: Milestone: OAR FM Community Connector Arina Aizal with a book tracing the 40-year history of Access media in New Zealand.