Delegates from many countries in South Asia met at the AIBD/CBA/UNESCO Pre Summit Seminar at the Asia Media Summit in Bangkok, Thailand to participate in the workshop run by the CBA in May.
Participants were asked to consider what the real meaning of the words: Public, Service, Broadcasting really means and asked to contribute their thoughts about what PSB means for audiences now as well as what it will mean in 2020.
The workshop was run by CBA Project Manager Jasmine Dhariwal and facilitated by CBA Secretary-General Sally-Ann Wilson. Sally-Ann stressed that Public Service Broadcasters need to redefine their mandate for the future and ensure they offer relevant content and earn the trust of audiences to survive and grow in the digital landscape. This becomes more urgent as they face tough challenges brought about by the fast changing technology and global realities. They will increasingly need public support to ensure that they are allocated sufficient spectrum in the digital switchover process.
Dr. Palphol Rodloytuk, an independent media academic who works closely with the new Thai PBS public broadcaster, explained in a presentation to the group how the broadcaster was funded directly from the taxation raised from tobacco and alcohol consumption in Thailand… a funding model that intrigued many participants!
Mr. M Hamid, Director-General of Bangladesh Television, reminded participants to focus on protecting language and culture in the age of globalisation. “Out of 10,000 languages across the globe, we have lost 4,000 already, and we should stop this decline.” he said.
Ms. Noora Ali, Secretary-General of Maldives Broadcasting Commission, stressed the need for educating the public about the nature and purpose of PSB.
Another speaker was Ms. Sultana Siddiqui, President of HUM Network Ltd, Pakistan, who said that they will focus on expanding access to new media and help in improving media literacy in the country.
The session ended with participants working in 3 groups to design a ‘perfect’ PSB for the future. Everyone acknowledged the importance of creating relevant and engaging content and enabling and encouraging audiences to participate and interact.
At the end of the workshop Sally-Ann commented that, “There is no doubt that everyone at the session values and understands the need for a shared public media space that is trusted… somewhere where the public can go for life saving information in times of emergency and disaster and a place to share triumph and great moments.”