Podcasting and ethics: Independent podcast production in New Zealand

Lewis Tennant, School of Communication Studies, Auckland University of Technology


In New Zealand – like in the US and UK – independently produced podcasts fall outside of local media regulations. New Zealand’s media laws and regulatory bodies remain broadcast and legacy media-focussed, so podcast content that has not been previously broadcast is not regulated or otherwise overseen. In the absence of regulation, this study explores the ways nine independent podcast producers from New Zealand self-govern their content, as well as their motivations for doing so. It is an investigation of the ways ‘amateur’ content producers approach media ethics, and more broadly podcast production in practice. Not guided or bound by formal publishing or editorial responsibilities, and mostly with no formal media training, study participants demonstrate adherence to journalistic principles. They consider ethical and editorial quandaries as they arise during the production process, factoring in the needs and disposition of their audience. This process is informed by their worldview, as well as their perspectives and experiences as media consumers. Though these podcasters champion the ethos of independent podcasting, the content of their shows is not free from third party influence. These podcasters are also parents, partners, employees, and colleagues; life roles that inform the content of their show. Though they push back against podcasting being legislated, these podcasters see value in creating an informal set of guidelines or a voluntary code of practice for podcasting in New Zealand. This project contributes to ongoing explorations of independent podcasting and podcasting practice, focussing on what defines, motivates, and informs self-driven practitioners.

Open Access

Tennant, L. (2023). Podcasting and ethics: Independent podcast production in New Zealand. Convergence, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1177/13548565231187725