Thursday, June 30, 2011

CRI will bring a live broadcast on the 90th anniversary celebrations of the CPC

CRI will bring you a live broadcast on the 90th anniversary celebrations of the Communist Party of China at 10 a.m. on Friday. Outside of its English service, CRI will also broadcast the event through its Chinese, French, Spanish, and Russian services.

(Source : China Radio International)

AIBD Radio Awards 2011 WINNERS

This year, the AIBD Radio Awards winners are:

REINHARD KEUNE'S MEMORIAL AWARD for "The Best Radio Programme Dealing with Forest Issues”
  • Programme: “Mangrove, Wind And Tsunami Barrier in Baros”
  • Directed by: Arlin Setyaningsih
  • Broadcast by: RRI Yogyakarta, Indonesia
AIBD RADIO AWARD for "The Best Web Radio”
  • Programme: “Galaxy Web Radio”
  • Webmaster: Yu Jingjing
  • Organisation: China National Radio
Congratulation to the winners!

(Source : Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development)

Michael Mcintyre to serve up festive treat on BBC One this Christmas

Michael McIntyre is to return to BBC One over the festive season with a one-hour Christmas special of his Comedy Roadshow.

Michael says: "Having visited 12 of my favourite cities, I'm thrilled that my Comedy Roadshow is coming home for Christmas. It's such an honour for the show to be on Christmas Day and to be introducing some of the biggest names in comedy to entertain a turkey-filled nation slumped on their sofas!" 

Mark Linsey, Controller, Entertainment Commissioning at the BBC, says: "Who better to bring some Christmas cheer to BBC One viewers than Michael. He is such a favourite with our audiences and this show is bound to be a real festive treat." 

Michael McIntyre's Christmas Comedy Roadshow is an Open Mike Production, produced by Anthony Caveney and executive produced by Andrew Beint and Addison Cresswell. Karl Warner is the BBC's executive producer. 

(Source : BBC press release)

The Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc (MBN) Launches a New Mobile Site

Alhurra and Radio Sawa announced the launch of a new combined mobile site today. This mobile-friendly site improves Alhurra and Radio Sawa’s audience experience by displaying content in a way that is easy to read and navigate on mobile devices. It provides users with quick access to news and information when they’re on the go.

This co-branded Radio Sawa and Alhurra mobile site is a comprehensive, one-stop destination site for seekers of Arabic-language news and information. Users can access this site through Additionally, they can enter or and will automatically be redirected to the new mobile site which is optimized for all mobile devices and platforms. Its enhanced functionality allows users to stay informed of breaking news stories as they happen.

“As audiences in the Middle East are turning to mobile devices for news and information, we need to provide them with the convenience of this service,” said Brian Conniff, President of MBN. “It is extremely important to employ modern communication technologies and techniques to meet the needs of our audiences around the world. We created a site optimized for mobile devices and user-friendly.”

MBN mobile site users can now effortlessly navigate the top headlines across category-based news sections, including sports and magazine, making it easier to share content via Facebook, Twitter and e-mail.

Alhurra Television and Radio Sawa are operated by the non-profit corporation The Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc. (MBN). MBN is financed through a grant from the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), an independent federal agency funded by the U.S. Congress. The BBG oversees MBN and acts as a firewall to protect the professional independence and integrity of the broadcasters. Alhurra Television and Radio Sawa broadcast from studios in Springfield, Va. and bureaus throughout the Middle East. According to international research firms such as ACNielsen, Alhurra and Radio Sawa have an unduplicated weekly reach of 35 million people.

Mary Zoorob
Communications Manager
Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc.

(Source : Broadcasting Board of Governors press release)

NHK President and Ingrid Deltenre meet in Helsinki

Ingrid Deltenre and Masayaki Matsumoto at the EBU General Assembly in Helsinki
The president of Japanese public broadcaster and EBU associate member NHK has applauded the EBU-NHK agreement that brought nonstop coverage of the March 11th earthquake, tsunami and ensuing nuclear catastrophe to Europe. 

Meeting in Helsinki at the opening of the 66th EBU General Assembly, NHK president Masayaki Matsumoto and Ingrid Deltenre confirmed the strong ties between the two organizations, which will continue to collaborate on future events. 

Under the deal, NHK provided ten days of unbroken live pictures to the EBU News Exchange in Geneva, which then distributed them to the European Broadcasting Area.     

The top-quality NHK coverage was extensively used by the EBU Membership, giving European viewers a sharp understanding of the reality of the tragedy as it unfolded.     

In the wake of the disaster, the EBU News Committee and Editorial Sub Committee wrote a joint letter to NHK, warmly thanking them for their exemplary dedication and professionalism at an extremely difficult time. For their part, NHK's news management has since thanked the EBU for helping them fulfil their public service remit. 

(Source : European Broadcasting Union)

66th EBU General Assembly opens in Helsinki

The 66th EBU General Assembly opened today in Helsinki, under the auspices of the Finnish Broadcasting Company and EBU Member YLE. 

The annual two-day Assembly, which takes place in Finlandia Hall, brings together 200 leaders and decision-makers from the EBU Membership and beyond. It is the foremost event for EBU Members to share ideas and take stock of current trends and challenges affecting public service media.

Opening speakers this morning included YLE CEO, Lauri Kivinen, and the new Finnish Minister of Communications, Krista Kiuru. (Click here for Lauri Kivinen's speech and here for Minister Kiuru's speech)

Nokia Services Executive Vice-President, Dr Tero Ojanperä, gave the keynote speech, which centred on the growing importance of mobile TV to both public service broadcasters and the commercial sector.  

During his address Dr Ojanperä said: "The future of media is going mobile and mobile strategies will be vital in future for broadcast, TV and media organizations. We are seeing a growing culture of participation, and media content has become fluid, with consumers interacting with media across different platforms."

The key theme of this year's Assembly is the role of public service broadcasting in the rapidly-changing, globalised media landscape at a time when economic uncertainty has slowed funding.

The popular uprisings in Arab countries and other movements have provoked debate about the role of traditional media in events brought about by the instant spread of information through social media.

(Source : European Broadcasting Union)

EBU and France Télévisions celebrate journalists' release

The EBU  has joined France Télévisions in celebrating the release of two French TV journalists and their interpreter, who had been held hostage in Afghanistan for 547 days. 

An EBU Executive Board meeting in Helsinki was unexpectedly interrupted yesterday as the news was announced. On hearing that Hervé Ghesquiere and Stéphane Taponier had been liberated, the Board Members congratulated EBU Member France Télévisions, which had worked hard for the men's freedom.

France Télévisions director of international relations, Jean Réveillon, said Hervé Ghesquiere and Stéphane Taponier were in good health, despite their ordeal. 

He added: "When Hervé and Stéphane were kidnapped it prompted outrage across the French media. There can be no doubt that the tireless efforts by France Télévisions and Hervé and Stéphane's colleagues helped to achieve this fantastic result."

EBU President Jean-Paul Philippot paid tribute to the campaign mounted by France Télévisions, but said that while today was a day for celebration, it was also a stark reminder of the dangers that journalists face daily.

He said: "Many media professionals are killed, injured and detained in the line of duty every year. Sadly, journalists remain a target because of the nature of their work. The EBU continues to urge governments to fulfil their duty to protect the media and prevent them from becoming a victim of their own profession."

(Source : European Broadcasting Union)

BBC Glastonbury television coverage enjoys record audience reach with 18.6 million

The BBC today announces that it has achieved record reach for this year's television coverage of Glastonbury

Having delivered its most comprehensive offering to date, general TV reach (from overnight figures) increased by over three million from last year's 15.4m, to 18.6m viewers (1). In addition to the general TV reach, individual channels also saw a notable rise. 

Offering a complete TV experience, the award-winning coverage from six stages, included live headline sets, classic acts, world music, festival highlights and interviews – taking viewers directly into the heart of one of the world's greatest festivals. 

BBC Two, presented by Lauren Laverne, Zane Lowe, Mark Radcliffe and Jo Whiley, reached 15.7m viewers, a rise of 3.6m viewers compared to last year. All headline performers enjoyed an average audience of more than 1.5 million viewers, with the biggest peak of 2.6 million viewers for Beyoncé on Sunday, a peak of 2.2 million for Coldplay and a peak of 2.1 million for U2 (2).

BBC Three's coverage was fronted by Fearne Cotton and Reggie Yates and its reach was 6.7m viewers compared to 5.6m last year. Mumford and Sons had the biggest performance, with an average audience of 777,000 and a peak of 1.1 million and the second highest average audience was Elbow, with 712,000. 

BBC Four, presented by Mark Radcliffe, pulled in 4.3m viewers, up by 1.9m on last year. U2's performance also enjoyed the highest average audience on BBC Four, with 1.2m people and a peak of 1.35 million. 

Jan Younghusband, Commissioning Editor, BBC TV Music and Events, says: "It's terrific that the BBC has been able to bring Glastonbury to such a wide audience – with great access across TV, radio and online – taking viewers into the heart of the action of this amazing festival." 
Notes to Editors
(1) Based on Live+VOSDAL data, individuals 4+, 3 minute reach. Reach is measured since 2001 when current BARB methodology began.

(2) Peak figures based on one minute period. 

BBC Red Button, interactive and radio figures will be available over the coming weeks. 

(Source : BBC press release)

Dutch station Kink FM to close on 1 October

Dutch commercial radio station Kink FM will stop broadcasting on 1 October. The Veronica organisation has decided to end funding for the station. In May, it was decided that V-Ventures, part of the Veronica group, would not submit a bid for an FM package for the station due to the high licence fee. Without a terrestial FM frequency package, V-Ventures sees no way to profitably exploit Kink FM.
Guido van Nispen, director of V-Ventures said: “It was a very difficult but unavoidable decision. Led by Station Manager Jantien Tol it’s a beautiful and innovative station of which the staff and listeners can be proud. The recent rebranding to “Kink: Messenger of Music, led to an historic increase in Kink’s market share.”

Kink FM was founded by
Rob Stenders and Jan Hoogesteijn and began broadcasting on 1 October 1995 on the old cable channel of RTL Rock Radio. The station was originally owned by  the Holland Media Group which later became RTL Nederland. On 2 December 1996 the station was sold to the Veronica organisation. Since then, Kink FM has frequently had to fight for survival.

Among the low points was its failure in 2003 to get an FM frequency. Veronica pulled out from the frequency auction at the last minute. Another blow was the sudden death of its director Arjen Grolleman in January 2010. Together with current station manager Jantien van Tol, he had led Kink FM since 2006.

Kink FM will continue to broadcast Until 1 October, its 16th birthday.

(Source: via Media Network Weblog)

BBC publishes annual WOCC results and response to BBC Trust's second WOCC review

Figures out today for the BBC's WOCC (Window of Creative Competition) for financial year 2010/2011 show marginal changes to the hours won by in-house versus independent production companies.

Overall, network programme hours within the WOCC have remained broadly the same between in-house and independents but there has been a slight growth for independents, from 70% to 72% and a slight dip for in-house, from 30% to 28%. 

Within individual genres, however, there have been changes in the numbers which shows the WOCC's success in providing a platform for creative competition in action (see numbers below). 

George Entwistle, Director BBC Vision, said: "The WOCC was set up to stimulate creativity and every year we see that demonstrated through healthy competition in each of the genres. As one of the key ways the BBC continues to deliver high quality programmes for its audience from both in-house production and the independent sector, the WOCC continues to do a very important job." 

Bal Samra, Director Vision Operations, added: "Over the past four years we've seen movements in individual genres. This is how it should be and demonstrates the success of the WOCC in inspiring the best for all audiences." 

Last year the BBC worked with a total of 305 independent production companies across the UK strengthening the BBC's supplier base. 

(Source : BBC press release)

Wachenbrunn 1323 kHz to continue in operation

Our report on the closure of the German mediumwave transmitter at Wachenbrunn on 882 kHz erroneously added that the high power transmitter on 1323 kHz at the same location was also due to close tomorrow (1 July). This is incorrect and we apologize for the factual error, which has now been removed. According to the operator, Media Broadcast, “The transmission of Voice of Russia will continue and is not affected by the shutdown.” In fact the 1323 site is located 900 metres south of the site which is closing.

(Source: Wolfgang Bueschel via Media Network Weblog)

BBC to broadcast Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

All the action from the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will be broadcast exclusively in the UK on BBC television. 

Agreement between the Games organisers and the BBC will ensure the continuation of a long broadcasting association dating back to 1954.

In addition to securing the rights to broadcast the 2014 Games on TV, radio and online, the BBC has also agreed to work with the organisers on a number of fronts, including assistance in appointing a host production broadcaster.

The multi-million pound agreement will give the BBC exclusive audio-visual UK transmission rights along with non-exclusive audio rights across all platforms and all means of reception.

As well as showing all the sporting action form the Games, BBC Scotland will also show additional programming previewing the Games and its participants in the run-up period, including a number of cultural events planned as part of the overall package involving the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Queen's baton relay.

BBC Scotland's support for both the Olympic Games in 2012 and the Glasgow showpiece two years later was highlighted recently with the launch of a media apprenticeship scheme run in partnership with John Wheatley College and Skillset Scotland. It will result in 10 apprentices working with both the BBC and a number of broadcast companies over a year with the aim of providing sufficient media skills to allow them to provide some of the output.

The Director of BBC Scotland, Ken MacQuarrie, is relishing a return of the Games to Scottish soil: "BBC Scotland will have a special role at the heart of our coverage in giving the games extensive exposure in Scotland across our dedicated TV, radio and online services – all of which will help make the 2014 Games a truly momentous occasion in Scotland."

And Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport, is equally enthusiastic: "We are proud to have broadcast every Commonwealth Games to the UK public since 1954 and we look forward to continuing the BBC's relationship with the Games in Glasgow." 

(Source : BBC Press release)

RNW budgets cuts to go ahead

The Dutch parliament has voted against two motions which might have blunted the effect of the budget cuts facing Radio Netherlands Worldwide. One motion called for a separate debate devoted to the future of RNW. Previous debates tackled the cutbacks facing all public broadcasting. The other criticised the decision-making as hasty and called for a postponement.

Effectively, this vote means that the cabinet’s plans to move RNW from the education, media and culture ministry to the foreign ministry and cut the budget from 46.3 million euros to 14 million will definitely go ahead. RNW’s management will now draw up a redundancy plan, which is expected to be completed in October.

(Source: RNW News via Media Network Weblog)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tunisia to approve 12 new private stations

Tunisian authorities signaled today that 12 new private radio stations are likely to be granted broadcasting licences soon. Neji Bghouri, president of the National Union of Tunisian Journalists, told AFP that the 12 stations are expected to get the green light “in a few days”.

Kamel Laabidi, who heads the national panel supervising the reform of news and communication (INRIC), said the body had recommended to the prime minister’s office that the licences be granted. The 12 include Radio Kalima, which had been operating clandestinely under the rule of ousted president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali. Radio Kalima’s director Omar Mestiri began a hunger strike on 21 June to demand that a licence is granted to his station. INRIC however chided Mr Mestiri for failing, unlike other candidates, to present a complete licence application and for acting as if his station deserved special treatment.

Freedom of expression was one of the most important demands of the weeks of street protests that forced out Ben Ali in January.

(Source: AFP via Media Network Weblog)

Polskie Radio goes mobile for Android and iOS

Polskie Radio has just launched its own mobile application for Android and iOS, bringing all domestic channels and the External Service to the palm of your hand wherever you are. Users of Google Android and Apple’s iOS operating systems now have the opportunity to listen to all four domestic channels of Polskie Radio, as well as all the foreign language broadcasts of the External Service.

Listeners wanting to tune in to the English service via live streaming are reminded that broadcasts are at 0330, 0700, 1200, 1700 and 1930 UTC.

While a themed text service is currently being offered for the domestic services of Polskie Radio, text news from the External Service, including up-to-date information from, is still missing, but should be added soon.
(Source: via Media Network Weblog)

Nigeria: ‘70% of citizens can’t afford digital broadcasts’

Over seventy percent of Nigerians will not be able to pay for digital broadcasts in the country from 2015 when migration fromanalogue is completed, a lawyer and IT activist, Chukwuemeka Okereafor, has said. Speaking at a workshop on digital broadcast migration in Nigeria yesterday in Abuja, Mr Okereafor said that because at least 50 dollars was required to be paid by each Nigerian to be able to enjoy digital broadcasts, most Nigerians who live below one dollar per day would be cut off from the new technology.

According to him, digital broadcasts may also run into hitches in the country as TV stations lack local content that can make people locals and foreigners patronize them. He said the government seemed not prepared for the digital broadcasts as little or nothing was being done by its agency responsible for the new technology.

Also speaking at the event, editor of IT Edge News, Mr Segun Oruame, said the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) was not carrying Nigerians along on what they should know about digital broadcasts. He called on NBC to embark on public enlightenment on the new technology if the country is to meet the 2015 target.

(Source: Daily Trust via Media Network Weblog)

Scottish Government wants more broadcasting powers

Proposals to transfer broadcasting powers to Scotland have been set out in a paper published today by the Scottish Government. It is one of six papers, prepared by Ministers, proposing amendments to the Scotland Bill that aim to support Scotland’s economic recovery.

The broadcasting paper identifies priority areas:
  • To have the right to establish public service broadcasting institutions
  • To be involved in future licence fee setting arrangements
  • To have responsibility for approving licensing decisions made by the UK Government for local television stations which will broadcast within Scotland
  • To have the ability to intervene in local cross-media mergers that affect Scotland
  • To have the power to add or remove events from the list of those that must be shown live on free-to-air television
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Broadcasting is of vital cultural importance to Scotland. It strengthens our democracy and makes a valuable contribution to our economy. However, the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament have virtually no powers in relation to broadcasting.

“That must change. There is a clear need for greater accountability and responsibility for broadcasting in Scotland and it is agreed across the political spectrum that Scotland needs its own distinctive broadcasting space to reflect our society, our culture, our debates and decision-making.

“The Scotland Bill in its present form does contain provisions on broadcasting in relation to the BBC Trust and MG Alba [the Gaelic language channel]. While these are welcome, they do not go far enough. Our proposed amendments to the Scotland Bill will give Scotland a stronger voice on broadcasting. They will enable us to make progress establishing a Scottish Digital Network, which is a priority at Holyrood but an afterthought for the UK Government.

“We firmly believe that Holyrood should have the power to establish the Scottish Digital Network as a public service broadcaster - independent from government - with a focus on producing quality content. It should be publicly-funded, with the television licence fee the best possible source of funding - as recommended by the Scottish Digital Network Panel.

“We want to strengthen, not weaken, Scotland’s broadcasting sector which is why we are calling for the right to approve future licence fee settlements. This will ensure Scotland receives its fair share of the £315 million generated each year by licence fee payers north of the border.

“Scotland was short changed by the recent licence fee agreement. It was negotiated in secret and closed off a potential source of funding for the proposed Scottish Digital Network, while providing a top slicing of £95 million of support annually to the Welsh-language channel S4C from 2013. The equivalent spend on BBC ALBA is just £8 million per year.

“Scotland also needs a say on broadcasting decisions which could affect Scottish media companies. It is our view that these decisions require the formal involvement of the devolved nations. The Scottish Government has consistently been supportive of local television and believes the Scottish Digital Network is the best way to support local television services in Scotland.

“We also believe that it would be appropriate for devolved administrations to have the power to add or remove events to the list of those which must be shown on free-to-air television for their nations. In Scotland, this might mean granting protected status to qualifying matches for major international tournaments played by the Scottish men’s national football team.

“It is clear that current broadcasting arrangements are not meeting the needs of devolution in Scotland. We are proposing sensible and proportionate changes to the Scotland Bill which will improve accountability and responsibility for broadcasting in Scotland, to the benefit of all.”

(Source: Scottish Government via Media Network Weblog)

Google targets Facebook with new social service

Google Inc is making its boldest move to take on Facebook in the fast-growing social networking market and to maintain its dominance on the Web. Google, which has been frustrated by a string of failed attempts to crack the social networking market, introduced a full-fledged social network on Tuesday dubbed Google+. It is the company’s biggest foray into social networking since co-founder Larry Page took over as chief executive in April.

Mr Page has made social networking a top priority at the world’s No 1 Internet search engine, whose position as the main gateway to online information could be at risk as people spend more time on sites like Facebook and Twitter.

“They had the luxury of making mistakes in the past with their social initiatives. They don’t really have that luxury now,” said Ray Valdes, an analyst at research firm Gartner, referring to Google. “Companies that are successful with the social web will get the page views, they’ll get the engagement and they’ll eventually get the advertising dollars that are so important to Google,” he said.

Google+, now available for testing, is structured in remarkably similar fashion to Facebook, with profile pictures and newsfeeds forming a central core. However, a user’s friends or contacts are grouped into very specific circles of their choosing, versus the common pool of friends typical on Facebook.

Enticing consumers to join another social networking service will not be easy, said Rory Maher, an analyst with Hudson Square Research. “They’re going to have an uphill battle due to Facebook’s network effects,” said Mr Maher, citing the 700 million users that some research firms say are currently on Facebook’s service. “The more users they (Facebook) get, the harder it gets for Google to steal those,” he said. But he added that Google’s popularity in Web search and email could help it gain a following.

To set its service apart from Facebook, Google is betting on what it says is a better approach to privacy - a hot-button issue that has burned Facebook, as well as Google, in the past. Central to Google+ are the “circles” of friends and acquaintances. Users can organize contacts into different customized circles - family members, coworkers, college friends - and share photos, videos or other information only within those groups.
“In the online world there’s this ’share box’ and you type into it and you have no idea who is going to get that, or where it’s going to land, or how it’s going to embarrass you six months from now,” said Google Vice President of Product Management Bradley Horowitz. “For us, privacy isn’t buried six panels deep,” he added.
Facebook, which has been criticized for its confusing privacy controls, introduced a feature last year that lets users create smaller groups of friends. Google, without mentioning Facebook by name, said other social networking services’ attempts to create groups have been “bolt-on” efforts that do not work as well. Facebook, in an emailed statement, said “we’re in the early days of making the Web more social, and there are opportunities for innovation everywhere.”

Google+ started rolling out to a limited number of users on Tuesday in what the company is calling a field trial. Only those invited to join will initially be able to use the service. Google did not say when it would be more widely available. Google, which generated roughly $29 billion in revenue in 2010, said the new service does not currently feature advertising.

Google drew more than 1 billion visitors worldwide to its websites in May, more than any other company, according to Web analytics firm comScore. But people are spending more time on Facebook: The average US visitor spent 375 minutes per month on Facebook in May, compared with 231 minutes for Google.

Google+ seems designed to make its online properties a pervasive part of the daily online experience, rather than being spots where Web surfers occasionally check in to search for a website or check email. As with Facebook’s service, Google Plus has a central Web page that displays an ever-updating stream of the comments, photos and links being shared by friends and contacts.

A toolbar across the top of most of Google’s sites - such as its main search page, its Gmail site and its Maps site - allows users to access their personalized data feed. They can then contribute their own information to the stream. The company has combined the Facebook and Twitter models of social networking in Google+: A person can have friends in their network with whom they share information and they can also follow certain people, say a movie critic, as occurs on Twitter.

Google+ will also offer a special video chat feature, in which up to 10 people can jump on a conference call. And Google will automatically store photos taken on cell phones on its Internet servers, allowing a Google+ user to access the photos from any computer and share them.

When asked whether he expected people to switch from Facebook to Google+, Google Senior Vice President of Engineering Vic Gundotra said people may decide to use both. “People today use multiple tools. I think what we’re offering here offers some very distinct advantages around some basic needs,” he said.

(Source: Reuters via Media Network Weblog)

AIBD’s Surveillance Audit – 2011

AIBD is in its third year of being certified as ISO 9001: 2003 and ISAS BC 9001:2008 by the Media & Society Foundation in Switzerland. This reflects the Institute’s competency and credibility in pursing initiatives in media management systems.

The external audit was carried out at AIBD on 27th June 2011 as required by the certification process on the performance of the management system. The scope of the external audit was to cover all activities organized by AIBD with a particular focus on co-production activities, improvement actions since the last surveillance audit in April 2010.

The objectives were to check if the management system is in compliance with the standards, the efficiency and performance of the quality management system to improve the areas identified of the surveillance audit carried out in the previous year with the focus on identifying potential risks, non-conformities and accuracy of compliance in the documentation.

All procedure authors, the quality manager, executive officer administration, finance officer including Mr Yang Binyuan, Director AIBD were well under the scrutiny of the external auditor during this one day rigorous exercise.

The lead auditor was non other than Dr Magali Modoux, Director, Ethics - an organization specializing in ethical integrity and corporate management standards in Geneva.

In her concluding remarks she said that she was impressed by the commitment and the efforts and congratulated the staff members for carrying out this challenging task successfully with a lot of additional work with new staff, changes in the top management at AIBD during the last year, yet, maintaining its conformity to the quality management system.

She also emphasized the importance for members, and partners of AIBD to be responsive in providing feedback to the institute. The measures taken in particular by the institute to focus on their needs has reflected the attempts to ensure servicing them to be in conformity of the quality management systems. She further reiterated that this is yet another achievement and credit to AIBD’s competence and credibility as a leading international broadcasting institute and continuously improve and fulfill the expectations of its stakeholders in benchmarking, promoting and implementing best practices in management, technology and contents for media organizations in the Asia-Pacific region.

Mr Yang Binyuan thanked Dr Magali Modoux for her comments and took the opportunity to share his appreciation and said that he “ is blessed with a small yet committed staff who worked together as an efficient team who had made the management system to be compliant with the certification as the institute takes more challenging and new approaches in serving its members.”

The certificate, which will be renewed in June 2012 covers training, consultancy publications, content production and conferences of the AIBD.
(Source : Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development)

swissinfo readies itself for the future

The board of directors of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), swissinfo’s parent company , accepted on 28 June a new strategic plan for The online service will now focus mainly on readers abroad interested in Switzerland as well as the Swiss abroad. will offer background information on Swiss politics, the economy, culture and social affairs in ten languages, including Russian from 2013. Editorial processes will be reorganized. The yearly costs for the news mandate abroad will be cut by SFr9 million.

Guaranteeing a long-term mandate
For the past ten years, has fulfilled an information mandate for the Swiss government, complementing the work of  the online services of the SBC’s radio and television stations. During this period, the framework conditions have changed fundamentally for The availability of news services has increased rapidly and internet usage is focusing more and more on multimedia.

To guarantee the long-term viability of the government mandate for international news and information, the board of directors of the SBC decided on 28 June, 2011, on the basis of proposal made by the executive board, to adopt a new strategic offer as well as a new organizational structure for swissinfo. The new offer will serve as a negotiating basis for the pending discussions with the federal authorities concerning swissinfo’s mandate for 2013-2016.

Background information
swissinfo’s offer will be streamlined. The three national language departments – French, German and Italian – will be reduced and become a single department. A Russian subsite will also be launched, once approved by parliament. In the future, will report in English, French, German, Italian, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian. News will remain the main element of the offer, as well as vote and election dossiers in French, German and Italian. Besides text, video, photo galleries, audio slideshows and audio podcasts will remain on offer.

Job losses covered mainly by natural attrition
With the reorganization, swissinfo will lose 40 of 126 full-time equivalents. Around one third of these losses will be incurred by the editorial services, with the remainder in the support sector. Around two thirds of the losses will be accounted for by natural attrition, early retirements and transfers to other SBC units. For the remainder, redundancies will be necessary and a social plan will be implemented.

swissinfo will remain in Bern
swissinfo will remain as an SBC unit in Bern. With the reorganization, its budget will be reduced from SFr26 million by a third. The annual savings of around SFr9 million will be shared between the SBC and the federal government.

(Source: swissinfo via Media Network Weblog)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

UNAMID Radio and Sudan Radio sign broadcast agreement

The United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) Communications and Public Information Division (CPID) has signed an agreement with the National Public Radio Corporation (NPRC) for the broadcast of UNAMID Radio programmes on Al Salaam Radio and Darfur state radio stations. This is an interim arrangement whilst the Government of the Sudan reviews the Mission’s application for a radio broadcasting licence, in conformity with the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) signed between the Mission and the Government of the Sudan.

According to this interim arrangement, UNAMID Radio will broadcast for two hours daily, on Al Salaam Radio, with repeat broadcasts at appropriate times on Darfur state radio stations, starting on 3 July 2011.

The Director of the Communications and Public Information Division, Kemal Saiki, who led the UNAMID delegation to the signing ceremony, remarked that the lengthy and sometimes difficult discussions between the two parties bear testimony to “the important role radio has in bringing peace and development to the people of Darfur.” Mr. Saiki added that “the agreement marks the beginning of a fruitful relationship between UNAMID Radio and NPRC, one that will also witness a cross-pollination of talents from both sides.”

(Source: UNAMID via Media Network Weblog)

AIBD at Broadcast Asia 2011

AIBD took part in Broadcast Asia 2011 from 21 to 24 June in Singapore. The conference is in its 16th edition and gathers the industry’s leading broadcast players. For the first time, AIBD has been offered a booth at the exhibition.

During Broadcast Asia 2011, AIBD Director Yang Binyuan attended conference sessions and met participants and exhibitors at AIBD booth. It’s the first time that AIBD has had a booth at the exhibition and the organizer of Broadcast Asia 2011 offered it free of charge as the conference is supported by AIBD.

Although not as fancy and sophisticated as others, thanks to Mr. Geoff Walburn, the AIBD consultant, who manned the AIBD booth during the exhibition, it has garnered quite some interest from exhibitors and participants.

During the exhibition, AIBD Director Yang Binyuan met with a number of AIBD members and consultants including those from SLRC in Sri Lanka, Thai PBS and India. Also, a few broadcasters and universities from the Asia-Pacific region approached him and showed interest in becoming AIBD affiliate members.

Also during the conference, Director Yang Binyuan met with representatives from Singapore Exhibition Services (SES), organizer of Broadcast Asia and agreed to continue the partnership on the event.

Fiji FM stations get 10 more days to change frequency

Fiji’s Communications Ministry has now given another ten days from the 1 July deadline for the change in frequencies for certain FM radio stations to ensure there is no interference and that every operator complies with the National Spectrum Decree. The Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, believes that after the ten day period there will be no radio station interfering on another station’s frequency.

(Source: Communications Fiji via Media Network Weblog)

IRNA, Bernama stress end of West monopoly on media

Officials of Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) and Malaysian news agency (Bernama) in a meeting in Mongolia stressed further cooperation in order to break up the western monopoly on news and media. The meeting was held in Ulaanbaatar with participation of IRNA first Deputy Managing Director Gholamhossein Eslamifard and Bernama General Manger Datuk Hasnul Hassan.

Iran’s Eslamifard said IRNA and Bernama play an effective and important role in broadcasting news and developments in World of Islam, particularly in Asia. Hasnul Hassan for his part said strengthening of cooperation between the independent news agencies can be effective in breaking the West monopoly on news.

The Executive Board of the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA) started its 33rd meeting in Ulaanbaatar this morning. A delegation from the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), headed by Mr Eslamifard, is attending the meeting, which is planned for two days and Mr Eslamifard is due to address it this afternoon.

(Source: IRNA via Media Network Weblog)

European Broadcasting Union releases study on radio consumption and trends

The European Broadcasting Union today released the results of an in-depth study on the situation of public service radio and its relation to social media.

The report includes data on international radio consumption from 31 EBU Member organizations in 28 countries. It also features 28 case studies on radio programme formats, as well as social- and cross-media strategies in seven European countries plus the USA.

The study found that public service broadcasters are successfully exploiting social media to reach new listeners and boost their relevance.

One key finding was that while traditional AM/FM radio consumption is down, most public service radio broadcasters now provide online and mobile services, social media interactivity and smartphone applications that have actually extended their reach. Public radio broadcasters are adapting to and even shaping the new radio landscape by building their cross-platform presence to raise their profile and make their content more accessible.

EBU Head of Research Alex Shulzycki said the data showed that the heightened social media activity of radio presenters and their programmes meant public service radio's relevance was continuing to grow.

In an increasingly competitive radio market, European public broadcasters maintained a strong average 37% share for their national radio channels in 2010, unchanged from the previous year and this is also due to multiplatform distribution and social media,” says Shulzycki.

Mike Mullane, Head of News, Sports & New Radio at the EBU, stated that public radio broadcasters were meeting head-on the challenge posed by music-on-demand websites.

“When these services began to gain a foothold, some people were predicting the end of music-based public service radio. What this study shows is that listeners are still tuning in because they value the interactive human experience that radio offers, but which is not available from music streaming sites,” says Mullane.

The programme case studies showed that European public service radio is engaging with diverse audiences. Programme formats analysed varied from morning shows to cultural magazines and documentaries, but all had social media strategies designed to hold listeners' attention after the radio is turned off.

All of the data gathered over four months is compiled in a full 200-page report published today, an executive summary of which can be downloaded by clicking here.

 (Source : European Broadcasting Union/Media Network Weblog)

Towards a roadmap for media transition in Tunisia

The EBU and the Mediterranean broadcasters' conference COPEAM held a joint seminar in Tunis with the Tunisian EBU members, Tunisia TV and Tunisia Radio, to discuss the transition towards bona fide public service broadcasting in the north African country. The talk took place during the three-day Anna Lindh Tunis Exchange Forum.

The seminar, called "Towards a roadmap for media transition in Tunisia", was attended by 20 managers and journalists from Tunisia TV and Radio, and by European experts from various fields, including legal frameworks; self regulation; ethics in journalism; election coverage and new and traditional media.

EBU director of Public Affairs and Member Relations Ignasi Guardans, COPEAM secretary general Aleksandra Paradisi, BBC Arabic Service head of programmes, Naglaa El Emary and BBC head of special projects, policy and strategy, Catherine Smadja all addressed the event. And Anna Lindh Foundation executive director Andreu Claret represented his organization.

EBU director of Public Affairs and Member Relation Ignasi Guardans 

At the event it was agreed that a maximum effort should be made to ensure successful international cooperation in helping Tunisia TV and Tunisia Radio to produce high quality, impartial coverage of the elections on October 23. 

The results of the seminar were then reported by Ignasi Guardans and Aleksandra Paradisi to the Anna Lindh convention, which closed on Sunday afternoon.

(Source : European Broadcasting Union)

Emma Swain confirmed as BBC's Controller Knowledge Commissioning

Emma Swain has today been confirmed as the BBC's new Controller of Knowledge Commissioning, responsible for devising and leading the Knowledge strategy across the breadth of factual programming, including arts, music, history, natural history, business, science, religion, consumer journalism and contemporary factual.

Emma has been the acting Controller of Knowledge Commissioning since February 2011. For the two years before this, Emma was the Head of Knowledge TV Commissioning, overseeing the eight-strong team that commissions 1,600 hours of factual TV content from Vision Productions and the independent sector, developing supply strategies for both, overseeing the operation of the WOCC and managing the Discovery Joint Venture. 

In her new role, Emma will retain responsibility for leading the commissioning teams as well as taking a strategic overview of Knowledge commissioning across all four channels. 

(Source : BBC press release)

German mediumwave site in Wachenbrunn to close

The German public news network MDR Info is to cease broadcasting on mediumwave in the southwest of Thuringia. Station operator Media Broadcast has decided to stop broadcasting from Wachenbrunn on 882 kHz from 1 July. The other AM stations used by MDR Info will continue. Listeners in southwestern Thuringia are advised to switch to FM, DAB + or satellite.

The high power (800 kW) transmitter on 1323 kHz will also close as of 1 July. This frequency, used by the Voice of Russia and Universelles Leben, has been the cause of complaints from nearby residents about interference to electrical equipment.

(Source: RS/Radio.NL via Media Network Weblog)

Parliamentary vote on RNW motions delayed two days

The Dutch parliament was due to vote today on three motions affecting RNW that were submitted during yesterday’s debate on public broadcasting. The government opposes all three motions, the most significant one being from Martijn van Dam of the PvdA (the Dutch Labour Party). In the motion he denounces the abrupt manner of the proposed cuts to RNW’s budget and suggests that “no irreversible decisions” be taken until there has been a further debate on the future of RNW after the summer recess.

This morning, the parliamentary clerk informed RNW that the vote will now take place on Thursday, rather than today. The reason(s) for the delay are not clear.

(Source : Media Network Weblog)

Preparedness 'key to good sports reporting'

Being well prepared is one of the keys to effective sports reporting, an ABU workshop in Kuala Lumpur heard today. 

The two-day Sports News Training Workshop is being staged jointly by ABU Sport and Asiavision, the ABU's daily news exchange. 

Forty news and sports journalists from 16 countries are taking part. The trainers are Steve Robilliard of ABC-Australia, Tracey Holmes of CNN, Yalda Hakim of SBS-Australia. 

On the opening day, both Mr Robilliard and Ms Holmes said good preparation was an essential ingredient for successful sports reporting. Understanding the assignment and researching the event were critical. 

Have a plan but be ready if things don't go according to plan, participants were told. The real story might not be the one you were expecting. 

Ms Holmes described sport as real life people giving everything to finish first. And the story was not only the person who finished first; it could be the one who finished last.

Mr Robilliard said a good sports reporter should show empathy for the athletes he was covering, and should observe, not judge.

ABU's Legal Counsel Axel Aguirre was also on hand to clarify access regulations at major sporting events to the participants. 

(Source : Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union)

New VOA Africa Health Network Announced

Governor Dana Perino addresses town hall in Abuja, Nigeria. June 27, 2011
The Voice of America’s African audience will have greater access to health information through the soon-to-be launched VOA Africa Health Network.  BBG Governor Dana Perino announced the new initiative today during a speech before representatives of the Nigerian Government and the media in Abuja, Nigeria. She made her remarks at a town hall meeting sponsored by the Broadcasting Board of Governors and Radio France Internationale.

“The establishment of the VOA Africa Health Network reaffirms an American commitment to support healthy living in Africa and establishes a unified approach that reaches listeners with the best information possible,” said Perino.  “The Africa Health Network will pull together the work of all ten language services broadcasting to Africa and coordinate with VOA’s International Media Training Center to organize journalists’ training and public meetings on key health issues.”

The VOA Africa Health Network will take advantage of new technologies spreading throughout Africa along with radio and television.  Nigeria alone has more than 70 million mobile phones and more than 40 million Internet users.  VOA will use these technologies to more effectively provide information to its urban and rural audiences in Nigeria and throughout all of Africa.

“We see this as a means of increasing our dialogue with Africans about health issues that affect them every day,” said VOA Executive Editor and Acting VOA Director Steve Redisch.  “VOA has always broadcast health programs, but   we are now setting a new course for   health programming to the African Continent.”

VOA Africa Health Network programming will reflect the varied health concerns of all Africans.  Periodically, VOA will hold Town Hall meetings to bring together government representatives, health experts, and private citizens for a public discussion of critical health issues.

(Source : VOA press release)

Winners of BBC Radio 3's New Generation Thinkers Scheme announced

BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) today announce the 10 winners of the inaugural New Generation Thinkers Scheme – the culmination of a nationwide search for the brightest academic minds with the potential to turn their ideas into fascinating broadcasts. 

The scheme received over 1000 applications from university researchers who, after a six month selection process, were whittled down to the final 10 by a judging panel of Radio 3 producers and AHRC academics.
The winners were chosen from a group of 57 finalists who attended a series of day-long workshops at the BBC exploring the key to making scholarly research into good radio. 

The New Generation Thinkers for 2011 will now work closely with dedicated mentors from the production team of Radio 3's arts and ideas programme Night Waves (Mondays to Thursdays 10-10.45pm). And each night from Tuesday 28 June, and for nine subsequent editions of Night Waves, a New Generation Thinker will talk about an idea inspired by their research. 

Launched in November 2010 at Radio 3's Free Thinking festival of ideas, the scheme invited applications from academics at an early stage of their career who are passionate about communicating modern scholarship to a wider audience.

The winners will now become Radio 3's first-ever resident New Generation Thinkers and will be given the unique opportunity to develop their broadcasting ideas hand-in-hand with Radio 3 and appear on air in special New Generation Thinkers debates and sessions. 

Matthew Dodd, Head of Speech programming, Radio 3, says: "The aim of this scheme is to find the next generation of academics who can broadcast their ideas to the general public. The response from scholars has been overwhelming – and the quality of their proposals a revelation. New Generation Thinkers will introduce Radio 3's audience to charismatic new voices and fascinating areas of contemporary research."

Professor Rick Rylance, Chief Executive of the AHRC, says: "We are delighted at the runaway success of this scheme and the quality of those who applied for it. We had over 1000 applications in a very short time which indicates the depth of talent among the new generation of arts and humanities researchers and the appetite they have to communicate their knowledge and enthusiasm. The successful 10 had to beat off exceptionally strong competition and I look forward to following their work on air."
The 10 New Generation Thinkers for 2011 and their specialist subjects are:

Alexandra Harris, Department of English, University of Liverpool
A Brief History of Being Cold
Journeys through English art and the elements.
Alexandra was winner of last year's Guardian First Book Award for her work Romantic Moderns about Englishness and the arts.

Corin Throsby, University of Cambridge
The History of Fan Mail
A look at how fan letters provide insight not only into how 19th century authors such as Tennyson and Browning were read in their time, but also into the emerging culture of celebrity. 

David Petts, Durham University
The Commercialisation of British Archaeology
The story of radical changes in British archaeology over the last 20 years. 

Jon Adams, London School of Economics
Rat Cities and the Bee-hive Worlds: Space and Numbers in the Modern City
An examination of how arguments about the effects of crowding on human behaviour have influenced city planners and architects during the 20th century. 

Laurence Scott, Kings College London
Desert Space
The image and significance of the desert in modern culture.

Lucy Powell, University College London
Mind Forg'd Manacles
A literary exploration of prisons. 

Philip Roscoe, University of St. Andrews
Investigating the Moral Work of Economics in Everyday Settings
How economics affects the moral landscape of internet dating. 

Rachel Hewitt, Queen Mary, University of London
Britain in the 1790s: The Age of Despair
An alternative narrative of Romantic-era Britain, told through the projects that failed to succeed.
Rachel was author of one of last year's publishing successes, Map Of A Nation, a history of the Ordnance Survey Map.

Shahidha Bari, Queen Mary, University of London
The Arabian Nights
A voyage of discovery around the Arabian Nights, both their interpretation in Western literature, and also the stories themselves and why they tell us about notions of Arab identity. 

Zoe Norridge, University of York
The Testimony of Place: Cultural Responses to the Rwandan Genocide
How the memorial landscape and geography of Rwanda have affected writers, directors and journalists seeking to represent the genocide. 

The winners will receive advice on how to develop their ideas into viable programme propositions, and will spend time shadowing the work of presenters and producers. They will also be invited to make regular appearances on the network to discuss their own work and the world of ideas, and to deliver talks at Radio 3's annual Free Thinking, Festival of Ideas at the Sage, Gateshead in November 2011. 

(Source : BBC press release)

BBG Governor Tours BBC, Discusses Cooperation

BBG Governor Dennis Mulhaupt (right in photo) met with senior BBC officials in London on June 9 and toured BBC's historic Broadcasting House facility, which is undergoing massive reconstruction and expansion.

When the project is completed next year, broadcasting house, built in 1932, will be an 80,000-square-meter state-of-the art digital broadcast facility for all BBC domestic and foreign news, including the World Service, and for all BBC domestic radio and music services. At the heart of the building will be the largest live newsroom in Europe.

For more about Broadcasting House, click here.

Governor Mulhaupt met with Peter Horrocks, director of BBC's Global News Division, who directs the BBC's international news services on radio, television and new media. They discussed ways to further cooperation between the BBG and BBC and other members of the so-called DG ("Directors General") 5.

The DG5 also includes Germany's Deutsche Welle, France's Audiovisual Exterieur de la France (AEF), and Holland's Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW).

Jim Egan, Director of Strategy and Distribution for BBC Global News, and BBG Executive Director Jeff Trimble also participated in the meeting.

(Source : Broadcasting Board of Governors Highlights)

Robert Bole and Raina Kumra Co-Leaders of Digital Innovations at the BBG

The Broadcasting Board of Governors announces the addition of Robert Bole and Raina Kumra to serve as leaders of digital media efforts across U.S. international broadcasting. Effective June 27, Bole and Kumra will be co-directors of a new board-initiated innovation practice integrated into the existing Office of New Media.

“Rob and Raina will bring their incredible experience and talent in new media to innovate on all levels across international broadcasting. Their efforts will help bring great global journalism to new audiences by leveraging new technologies for content creation, distribution and access,” said BBG Governor Susan McCue.

The new leadership team will help advance the BBG’s mission to reach larger worldwide audiences where they are through innovation, enterprise journalism and audience engagement. Bole and Kumra will carry out the Board's plan to streamline functions across international broadcasting, through collaboration between all BBG networks: the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Radio and TV Marti, Radio Free Asia, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks. The new team will also focus on private-public partnerships, building on the BBG’s proven success in this area.

Robert Bole comes to the BBG from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, where he was vice president of Digital Media Strategies. While there, he developed a unified digital distribution platform across television, radio and mobile content. He also created and executed strategy to improve public media’s use of social media as a means of engaging citizens in journalism, civic dialogue and education. Prior to that, Bole worked for the One Economy Corporation, a global non-profit organization that leverages the power of technology in underserved communities around the world.

Raina Kumra is a BBG contractor and most recently served as Senior New Media Advisor to the U.S. Department of State’s Office of eDiplomacy, where she focused on revising the use of technology and media in development and diplomacy. She brought unique private sector partnerships and strategic insight to initiatives focused on strengthening technology for civil society and open government. Kumra heads a strategic design firm focused on creating cross-platform cultural impact. She led the transformation of Wieden+Kennedy New York to a full-service interactive agency and has worked with clients such as Nike, Nokia, Levi’s, HP, Nestlé, Newsweek and several non-profit organizations.

(Source : Broadcasting Board of Governors press release)

Monday, June 27, 2011

RSF deplores Tunisia’s failure to issue new broadcast licences

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) says it deplores the failure of Tunisia’s new authorities to issue any broadcast licences in the six months since President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali’s ouster. RSF says that they are supposed to be building a new, free and democratic Tunisia, but that no democracy will be possible without truly independent media.

RSF notes that the Tunisian broadcast media landscape has not been renewed. No licences have been awarded, either to media that already operated clandestinely under President Ben Ali, such as Radio Kalima or Radio 6, or to proposed new media for which an application was filed after the old regime fell on 14 January.

“We know that a transition of this scale cannot happen overnight,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Jean-François Julliard said. “But the absence of media freedom was one the leading characteristics of the old regime and there is an urgent need for a complete break with this sad heritage.

“The content of the media changed after Ben Ali’s departure and this is an encouraging evolution. But the creation of new media and the legalization of those that are still broadcasting without a licence are now really urgent. Administrative and procedural issues must not prevent full realization of one of the revolution’s most important demands – freedom of expression.”

RSF says Tunisia’s new authorities must lose no more time in accepting their responsibilities to the media, including those that are already broadcasting. It says the future of Tunisian democracy is at stake, and the Information and Communication Reform Authority that was set up three months ago cannot wait until after the constituent assembly election on 23 October to issue these licences. The election campaign must be covered by media that reflect the diversity of views in Tunisia.

The head of Radio Kalima, Omar Mestiri, began a hunger strike on 21 June in protest against the current impasse and the prime minister’s failure to keep promises he made publicly. Mr Mestiri intends to continue his hunger strike until Radio Kalima gets a licence.

(Source: Reporters Without Borders via Media Network Weblog)

AIBs 2011 closing date extended

Following requests from broadcasters and independents around the world, AIB has decided to extend the closing date for this year's international media excellence awards, the AIBs

The new closing date is 15 July, two weeks later than the closing date published at the launch of the AIBs. 

Full information on how to enter is available in the 2011 AIBs entry booklet, available in PDF format at the link below.

(Source : The Association for International Broadcasting)

Development and Human Rights – What Can the Media Do?

By Jeff Trimble, Executive Director, U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors

Jeffrey N. Trimble (Executive Director, US Broadcasting Board of Governors)

Good morning.  I would like to thank Deutsche Welle and all the co-host and sponsoring organizations for this outstanding event devoted to such an important topic. I’d especially like to acknowledge Deutsche Welle Director Erik Bettermann, and to use this opportunity to express again the commitment of U.S. international broadcasting to continue to deepen cooperation with our fellow broadcasters under the umbrella of the so-called DG 5, the Directors’ General 5 – in addition to Deutsche Welle and U.S. international broadcasting, this includes France’s AEF, the BBC, and Radio Netherlands. We greatly value our partnership with you all. In fact, just next week in Nigeria, we are jointly sponsoring a conference with AEF devoted to the subject of journalism and development.

As we speak about human rights, it is especially appropriate to take note of the passing this weekend of Yelena Bonner – a fierce, determined defender of human rights in the Soviet Union and Russia and the entire world throughout her entire, difficult life. Getting to know her, her husband Andrei Sakharov, and reporting their activities to bring change in the Soviet Union was a highlight of my time as a correspondent in Moscow.

Which gets me right to a few brief comments, after which I’ll look forward to discussion.  I’ll make four points about the intersection of journalism, human rights and development. The first two are about the role of journalists; the second two are about ensuring that we can do our jobs and deliver our content.

Journalism is not about supporting the status quo; nor or journalists, by temperament or training, inclined to leave things the way they are.  It is the role of journalists to shine a bright light on the abuse of human rights, wherever these abuses take place. At the same time, journalists must devote substantive coverage to success stories about combating or rectifying abuse – instances and best practices utilized to resolve problems, so that others may learn and take heart from these examples.

The second point is that journalists need to do their homework and really work hard to get into detail to assess programs and other efforts to address human rights abuses. Do programs work? What is their measurable impact? Are public funds being spend wisely and resulting in a satisfactory return? What lessons are to be learned from successes and shortfalls? This isn’t easy work. It requires dogged, unglamorous investigative labor, pouring over documents and accounts of programs and generally performing the “fourth estate” historical oversight function of journalism, holding governments and other organizations accountable for their actions.

To illustrate these points I’d like to share with you briefly some recent efforts by U.S. international broadcasting in the areas of human rights and development.

Read the whole article from DW Global Media Forum

(Source : Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum)