Constructing an Audience Ratings Convention

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Massey University


Education and Arts


Communications and Arts, Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts,Technology, Education and Communications




This article was originally published as: Balnaves, M., & O’Regan, T. (2008). Constructing an audience ratings convention. In ANZCA 08 Conference, Power and Place, Wellington, New Zealand. Original available here


Broadcast ratings and survey forms of media research undertaken for advertisers, producers and broadcasters have been an integral part of our broadcast system for so long that it is difficult to see how much work had to go into constructing them and then having them accepted and utilised by the different industry players. Early promoters of ratings and media survey research more generally had to ‘invent’ then sell the very concept of ratings and survey research to reluctant radio stations, advertisers and advertising agencies. This paper will examine how the new forms of knowledge and practices and techniques associated with the application of social survey research techniques became integral to the very management and orientation of the businesses associated with broadcasting.