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Title: Television and Dependency: A Case Study of Policy Making in Fiji and Papua New Guinea 
Author: Stewart, Julianne; Horsfield, Bruce; Cook, Peter G
Date: 1993
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Center for Pacific Islands Studies
Citation: Stewart, J., B. Horsfield, and P. G. Cook. 1993. Television and Dependency: A Case Study of Policy Making in Fiji and Papua New Guinea. The Contemporary Pacific 5 (2): 333-63.
Abstract: Dependency theory continues to offer the development researcher attractive possibilities
for heuristic claims about relationships of cultural or economic dependency
between nations. However, as recent work on dependency theory-for
example, by Larrain (1990) and Wallerstein (1990)-demonstrates, claims that
dependency theory provides a valuable explanatory tool must take into account
the specific social, cultural, and economic circumstances and idiosyncrasies of
that country. That is, dependency theory must always be a possible conclusion,
rather than a premise, of investigation. Dependency theory must be answerable,
therefore, to empirical investigation.
This paper details two empirical studies that furnish data for evaluating the
validity of applying dependency theory to an understanding of the socioeconomic
impact of televisual development in the Pacific. In the mid-1980s both Fiji and
Papua New Guinea leaped enthusiastically into agreements with Australian
media interests to introduce broadcast television into those countries. An examination
of the policy formulation and decision-making processes of both Fijian
and Papua New Guinean governments at the time shows that politicians in both
Suva and Port Moresby did not cope well with the incompatible needs of profitoriented
foreign media entrepreneurs and development-oriented national groups.
This paper therefore focuses on the period of the early negotiations and dealmaking
in the two countries, during the mid-1980s and on the social, political,
and economic consequences of the resulting deals for both television institutions
and their target audiences. It is argued that these consequences have been conducive
to relations of cultural and economic dependency.
ISSN: 1043-898X
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/12924
LC Subject Headings: Oceania -- Periodicals.

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