Peter Thompson

Dr Peter Thompson profile picture

Senior Lecturer School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies


Teaching in 2020

Research interests

Political Economy & Cultural Economy of Media; Broadcasting Policy, Public Funding Mechanisms, Public Service, TVNZ Charter; Media/Communication/Information in Financial Markets; Media Society and Globalisation.


BA(Hons) Liverpool
MA Leicester CMCR
PhD RMIT Melbourne

Peter joined the Media Studies Programme at Victoria University of Wellington in 2011. He came to New Zealand in 1997, and lectured at Unitec Institute of Technology in Auckland, where he helped establish the postgraduate programmes in international communication. Prior to that he lectured in communication at Bangkok University in Thailand, and also tutored in Thailand and Singapore for the Centre for Mass Communication Research at Leicester University.

Peter's broad area of interest concerns the political economy of media. Much of his published work concerns media policy, particularly in regard to public service media. He has closely followed recent developments in New Zealand and has published widely on the public broadcasting reforms under Labour from 1999–2008, most notably on the TVNZ Charter and public funding issues. He is a regular media commentator on public broadcasting issues and was appointed as Chair of the Working Party that reviewed public submissions on the revised TVNZ Charter and helped amend the Charter document (which is currently due to be abolished). He has also undertaken commissioned research projects for the Ministry for Culture and Heritage (on public broadcasting funding mechanisms in 30 OECD countries) and for NZ On Air (on approaches to measuring broadcasting quality in seven countries).

The other key area of Peter's research concerns media and communication processes in financial markets. This was the focus of his doctoral thesis and involved the analysis of how financial traders and analysts use different forms of media and information in their investment decisions. The research also involved periods of trading floor observation and interviews at Deutsche Bank, ANZ, and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

Current research projects

Peter is continuing his investigations into public service media policy issues in New Zealand. Since the removal of the TVNZ Charter and the closure of public service channels TVNZ 6 & 7, he has been looking at government policy on digital media and convergence and the implications for non-commercial broadcasters

He is also developing his research findings on financial markets following state responses to the global 'credit crunch' crisis and their implications for democracy and civil society.

As a critical researcher, Peter is happy to engage with external stakeholders including government, industry and NGOs and welcomes opportunities for consultation and collaborative research.

Areas of supervision

  • Political economy and cultural economy of media.
  • Public media policy, especially public service issues, funding mechanisms, and NZ policy developments since 1989.
  • Media, communication, and informational aspects of financial markets.
  • Media and globalisation, especially in respect to financial markets.

Noteworthy achievements

  • Received award for research excellence (top PhD candidate), RMIT University, 2010.
  • Appointed Chair of the Working Party reviewing public submissions on the redrafted TVNZ Charter, 2007.
  • Commissioned by NZ On Air to write research report on Approaches to Measuring Broadcasting Quality, 2006.
  • Led the Unitec research team commissioned by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage to write a research report on Broadcasting Funding Setting Mechanisms in the OECD, 2007.

Selection of publications

Thompson, P.A. (2013). Invested Interests? Reflexivity, Representation and Reporting in Financial Markets (Online version (pre-print publication)). Journalism.

Thompson, P.A. (2012). The Murdoch media empire in New Zealand. Contribution to a round-table on the international dimensions of News Corp in the light of the UK phone hacking scandal. Global Media and Communication 8(3): 21-25.

Thompson, P.A. (2012). Last Chance to see? In M. Hirst, S. Phelan, & V. Rupar (Eds.) Scooped: The politics and power of journalism in Aotearoa New Zealand. pp. 96-113. Auckland: AUT Media/JMAD.

Thompson, P.A. (2011). Neoliberalism and the Political Economies of Public Television Policy in New Zealand. Australian Journal of Communication 38(3):1-16.

Thompson, P.A. (2011). Running on Empty? The uncertain financial futures of Public Service Media in the Contemporary Media Policy Environment. In D. Winseck and D. Y. Jin (Eds.). The Political Economies of Media. London: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 223-240.

Thompson, P.A. (2011). Journalists, Traders and the Crisis: Reflexivity and Representation. Invited paper presented to the British Academy Symposium, Soothsayers of Doom? The Media and the Financial Crisis in Comparative and Historical Perspective, 12-13 December 2011, City University London.

Thompson, P.A. (2011). Communication, Connectivity and Capital: The Political Economy of Information Networks in Financial Markets pdf576KB , Paper presented to the Political Economy Section, IAMCR 2011 Conference, ‘Cities, Creativity, Connectivity’, Istanbul, 13-17 July.

Thompson, P.A. (2011) . Show me the money - funding possibilities for public television in New Zealand pdf399KB . Invited paper presented at the 2011 SPADA conference. 10-11 November, 2011, Auckland.

Thompson, P.A. (2010). Worlds Apart? The Political Economy of Communication, Information and Institutional Investor Media Usage in Global Financial Markets. PhD Thesis, RMIT University, Melbourne.

Thompson, P.A. (2010). Sold Short: New Communication technologies and the ‘democratization’ of financial markets. In G. Murdock & P. Golding (Eds). Digital Dynamics: Engagements and Connections. New York: Hampton Press. pp. 23-44.

Thompson, P.A. (2010). Convenient fictions? A critical communicative perspective on financial accumulation, autopoiesis and crisis in the wake of the credit crunch. Paper presented to the Political Economy Section, IAMCR Conference 2010, Communication and Citizenship - Rethinking Crisis and Change, 18-22 May 2010, Braga, Portugal.

Thompson, P.A. (2009.) Market Manipulation? Applying the Propaganda Model to Financial Media Reporting. Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture. 6(2): 73-96.

Thompson PA (2009) Move along, folks – nothing to see here: How National’s broadcasting policy cover-up favours Sky. Foreign Control Watchdog 121, August, CAFCA: 18–28.

Thompson, P.A., Hope, W., Mollgaard, M. & McCullagh, C. (2009). Das Mediensystem Neuseelands. (Trans. G. Clausen). In C. Matzen & A. Herzog (Eds.) Internationales Handbuch Medien. Baden Baden: Hans Bredow Institut/ Nomos. pp. 1090-1106.

Williams, J. E., & Thompson, P. A. (2008). Digital Strategy 2.0: Political software or visionary upgrade? Paper published in the refereed stream of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association annual conference: Power and Place, Wellington, NZ, 9 – 11 July.

Thompson, P.A. (2007). From the Digital Sublime to the Ridiculous? TVNZ’s New Digital Services and the Future of Public Television in New Zealand pdf1MB , Communication Journal of New Zealand: Special Edition on Broadcasting Histories, Digital Futures, 8 (1): 43-62.

Thompson, P.A. (2007). Review of public submissions on the redraft of the TVNZ Charter: Report of the Chair of the Working Party. September 2007. TVNZ/ Ministry for Culture and Heritage/ Unitec. Auckland/ Wellington.

Thompson, P.A. (2006) Approaches to Measuring Quality in Broadcasting; Externally commissioned research & analysis report prepared for the NZ Broadcasting Commission (NZ On Air).

Thompson, P.A. (Ed.) (2005), Mechanisms for setting Broadcasting Funding Levels in OECD Countries. Externally commissioned research and analysis project report prepared for Te Manatu Taonga/ Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

Thompson, P.A. (2005), Desultory Dividends? The Politics of funding the TVNZ Charter, Media International Australia 117, November: 86-99. Available from:

Thompson, P.A. (2008). Public Goods. In W. Donsbach (Ed.) The International Encyclopaedia of Communication, Vol. IX. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 3960-3962.

Thompson, P.A. (2005). Calling the Tune Without Paying the Piper? The political-economic contradictions of funding the TVNZ Charter, Paper published in the refereed stream of the 2005 ANZCA Conference “Communication at Work”, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, 4-7 July 2005.

Thompson, P.A. (2004). Unto God or Unto Caesar? Television after the TVNZ Charter pdf311KB , Communication Journal of New Zealand, 5 (2): 60-91.

Thompson, P.A. (2004). The Political Economy of Information in the Global Finance Markets & their insulation from democratic accountability. Paper presented at the IAMCR Conference, Communication and Democracy: Perspectives for a New World, Porto Alegre, Brazil, 25-30 July 2004.

Thompson, P.A. (2003). Making the world go round? Communication, Information and Global trajectories of Finance Capital, Southern Review - Communication, Politics & Culture 36(3): 20-43.

Thompson, P.A., Mason, E.W. & Chase, P.A. (2002) New Zealand Media in the New Millennium- A Political-Economic Overview, Communication Journal of New Zealand, 3(1): 30-53.

Thompson, P.A. (2002), A sorry state? Public service broadcasting in contemporary New Zealand. Southern Review 35(1): 120-135

Thompson, P.A. (2000), A road to nowhere? Broadcasting and the ‘third way’ in New Zealand pdf1MB . Communication Journal of New Zealand, 1(1): 20 – 58.

Lewis, G. & Thompson, P.A. (2000), Communications deregulation and democratisation in Thailand, Media International Australia (incorporating Culture & Policy) 96, August: 121-134.


Teaching in 2020