New Zealand History

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With the Boys Overseas: radio listening during World War II and New Zealand’s first broadcast war correspondents

August 1st, 2022

In the 1940s radio played a central role in the life of the New Zealand household as a source of news and entertainment. Sound historian Sarah Johnston is researching radio during this era, particularly the role of our first radio war correspondents, who travelled with the New Zealand forces in North Africa, the Middle East, Italy and in the Pacific as mobile broadcasting units.

Three soldiers around a microphone

Sarah outlines details she has uncovered in her research, including the way demand from listeners back home shaped the work of the broadcasting units. Her talk includes archived radio recordings from the era, courtesy of RNZ and Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.

This talk is also available on YouTube.

These monthly Public History Talks are a collaboration between the Alexander Turnbull Library and Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Recorded live via Zoom, 5 May 2022.

Download a transcript of this talk:

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