The changing face of current affairs programmes in New Zealand, United States and Britain
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This paper will explore the changing face of current affairs programmes in three countries, New Zealand, Britain and the United States. News and current affairs programmes have been the subject of much debate in recent years in these three countries. It is common to read of the tabloidisation of news and current affairs and its general decline. This paper will evaluate how key drivers such as legislative changes, globalisation and technological advances have impacted on current affairs programmes in these countries. A recent British study by the University of Westminster is used as one example to discuss the issues facing current affairs as a genre with the claim that it is in crisis and possible terminal decline. For other academics and television executives comes the response that the genre of current affairs has changed with the demands of changing audience taste and commercial realities. This paper suggests that the genre has undergone significant change and is in some crisis. It argues that the change in itself is worthy of investigation and consideration and questions whether the once respected formats of the past that offered context, depth and serious commentary represent the norms of a discarded television genre.