Sunday, August 28, 2011

New Farsi language radio station to launch in Dubai

The Arabian Radio Network is launching a new Farsi language radio station in September. The new station will, it is understood, offer music and talk radio programming in Farsi to a regional audience. It is believed that the Dubai Media City-based broadcaster plans to launch the radio station on or around the 18 September. The new station will be called Radio Shoma and, as well as the traditional over-the-air broadcast, the new entity will also be streamed online.

The addition of a new station takes ARN’s current broadcast offering up to eight, including Dubai 92, Hit 96.7 and Al Khaleejia. Its stations already cater to Hindi, Malayalam, Arabic and English-speaking listeners, and the new station will bring a new audience dynamic of Persian speakers.

ARN is headquartered in Dubai and is part of the UAE’s government-owned Arab Media Group. ARN and events agency Done are all that’s left of the group following the decamping of its other media channels, including newspaper Al Bayan, to Dubai Media Inc in late 2009 as part of a major restructuring of the emirate’s government-owned media.

(Source: campaignme.com via Media Network Weblog)

President orders Sudanese journalists freed

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on Saturday ordered the release of all Sudanese journalists, saying Khartoum respects responsible freedom of expression. Witnesses said the decision to free about six journalists in detention came after he attended an annual function by journalists linked to the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. ”In honour of this occasion and to journalists, I order the release of all detained journalists,” Bashir said at the end of the function in Khartoum. “We call for freedom and responsibility,” he added.

Authorities accuse the journalists, most of whom are employed by the Netherlands-registered Radio Dabanga, of working for rebels in Darfur and for the International Criminal Court, which is seeking the arrest of Bashir on charges of war crimes and genocide. Bashir rejects the charges.

Some 13 staff at Dabanga and pro-democracy group HAND were arrested last year, along with another prominent Darfuri journalist known as Jaafar al-Sadki, who works for the independent al-Sahafa paper. Radio Dabanga broadcasts into the country on shortwave and is not licensed to operate in Sudan.

Sudan has been known to tightly control radio and television stations, especially in Darfur, where a revolt has claimed thousands of lives. Khartoum had refused to allow UN radio station Miraya to broadcast in the north of the country.

(Source: Reuters via Media Network Weblog)

EBU day 2011

Location: Brussels
Continent: Europe

This event is organized in Brussels on October 12th by Michael Mullane, EBU.
 
There will be a live radio show to be produced in the European Parliament as a showcase for the best of digital radio, including DMB/DAB(+), RadioDNS, DRM and IP.

The live show will air on the morning of 12th October from the European Parliament open studios. The programme of perhaps 2 hours will feature a series of interviews (with MEPs, EU officials and  stakeholders) on the subject of digital radio and may include some live music.
 
(Source : DRM Consortium)

AIBD / ABU / ASBU Regional Workshop on Convergent Journalism

The Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD), the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) and the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU) as part of its Media Partnership have undertaken a joint regional workshop for the first time.

It was proposed that the AIBD organize a regional workshop on Convergent Journalism for AIBD, ABU and ASBU members in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The workshop was held from 11-15 July 2011 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and was conducted by Dr John Cokley PhD, of the School of Journalism & Communication, The University of Queensland, Australia.

The workshop aimed to provide the participants with a “competitive advantage” in the emerging world of convergent journalism.

The list of 12 participants were from a range of countries and regions across the AIBD, ABU and ASBU memberships: one each from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Jordan, Macau, Nepal, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and two from Saudi Arabia. Two of the 12 were women. The participants’ job roles ranged through reporters, producers, news directors, to news controller.

More Photo

(Source : Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development)

Malta (Temporarily) Shuts Off Analog Radio

Malta is getting a temporary analog radio shut off on Saturday, 27 August.

L’Awtorità tax-Xandir, the broadcasting authority for the Mediterranean nation of Malta, is switching off all analog radio broadcasts originating from the GħargħurTransmitting Tower, the main broadcast-origination site for the archipelago.

The work must be conducted during daylight hours and all analog radio broadcasts from the facility have to be switched off from 05:00 to 15:00, although analog radio could be switched on earlier if the work is completed ahead of schedule.

In October 2008, Malta became the first country in Europe to rollout a national DAB+ network. Forty-seven services, including several DAB-only channels, operate on the network.

According to the April-June 2011 quarterly audience survey conducted by l’Awtorità tax-Xandir, 7.9% of Maltese radio listeners have a digital radio system and tune to DAB+ broadcasts, although that does not include digital radio listening that takes place through television or Internet platforms.

In case of weather delays, the analog shutoff and tower work will be done on 3 September.

(Source : Radio World via World DMB)

RNW World pop contest 2011: The Points and the scoreboard

Time for the results of the points awarded to the 28 songs in this, the second just-for-fun World Pop Contest

Many of you took the time to send us your points for your personal top 10 favourites from the contest. We have put your points together to come up with the scores from a total of 27 national juries.

The Points
Each country will award a total of 110 points. Normally as 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 20 points. In a very few cases - where there has been an exact tie of points within a national jury - the points may differ, but they will ALWAYS total 110.

We'll be presenting those scores here over the coming weeks, with 4 or 5 countries voting in batches. The animated (moving) scoreboards are presented below [non-moving images are at the bottom of this page]. 

How to watch the animated scoreboard
The scoreboards are presented as PowerPoint show. You do not need PowerPoint to view the animated scoreboard, but you will need a PowerPoint viewer - which you may already have on your computer. You can download a Free and Legal viewer here.

Click the download button, then install the viewer.
Then click on the link(s) below to download the Scoreboard(s) to your computer. Save it, then use the PowerPoint viewer to open it. You may prefer to simply open it straight from the webpage, which should work provided you already have a PowerPoint viewer installed. Many computers will already have a PowerPoint viewer installed.
Click to start the show, then keep clicking. Once the name of the country voting has sunk to the bottom of the screen, click 1 x to get the points 2 to 18, then click again to see who has got the maximum 20 points.
 
The Animated Scoreboards:
SCOREBOARD - I with the points from Bangladesh, Canada, Lebanon and Russia

SCOREBOARD - II with the points from France, Algeria, Switzerland and Turkey
SCOREBOARD - III coming soon...

(Source : Radio Netherlands Worldwide)

DIRECTV launches hurricane information channel

DIRECTV has launched a dedicated 24/7 “Hurricane Irene Information” channel that will provide live broadcasts from local stations in markets affected by the hurricane to DIRECTV viewers nationwide.

The DIRECTV-produced information channel began broadcasting at midnight EDT/9 pm PDT last night and airs on three separate viewer channels: 259, 325 and 349. DIRECTV plans to provide continuous coverage throughout the weekend or until the storm has diminished in strength.

DIRECTV will simulcast local news and information coverage from various stations in affected markets as the storm moves up the East Coast. DIRECTV will also provide graphical information to inform its customer base about potential evacuations, closures, event cancellations and any additional critical information as needed. Storm preparation information will be delivered in graphical form from the American Red Cross, as well as coverage from the agency’s special disaster preparedness and relief interview with American Red Cross President Gail McGovern, along with information from other emergency organizations.

As DIRECTV tracks the storm it will manually switch to a local station in the affected market. The information channel will broadcast coverage from the following markets:
  • Greenville/New Bern, NC
  • New York
  • Norfolk, Va
  • Richmond, Va
  • Roanoke, Va
  • Washington, DC
(Source: DIRECTV via Media Network Weblog)

Kenya: KBC launches 24-hour vernacular station

The Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) has launched its first 24-hour Kalenjin vernacular station. Kitwek 98.0 FM joins the large KBC family at a time when media in the country is diversifying. Information Minister Samuel Poghisio officially launched the station in Eldoret town .

Mr Poghisio said the radio station will boost various projects like farming, livestock development, business and advertising activities in the region which is rich while the youth’s talents will be honed and utilized to the maximum by this medium. The minister further said that the new constitution promotes freedom of expression including in mother tongue, and refuted allegations that the vernacular local radio station would encourage disunity among all Kenyans.

(Source: Kenya Broadcasting Corporation via Media Network Weblog)

Winners of RTI int'l painting competition

First prize winner (Goh Wern Sze, Malaysia) 

Second prize winner (Valerie Villon, France)

Third prize winner (Robisankar Bosu, India)

The three will each receive a 7-day, 6-night food and accommodation package upon arriving in Taiwan in early October. 

‧One first place prize: US$1,000 and 7-days, 6-nights of food and accommodation
‧One second place prize: US$500 award and 7-days, 6-nights of food and accommodation
‧One third place prize: US$300 award and 7-days, 6-nights of food and accommodation

(Source : Radio Taiwan International)

Friday, August 26, 2011

European Broadcasting Union launches new Europe-wide broadcast industry research

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), working with Futuresource Consulting, today announced the launch of new research into the key business challenges and future opportunities for European broadcasters in an evolving market.

This is the first study of its kind within the broadcast industry and will shed light on the shifting broadcast marketplace, consolidation, cost pressures and potential new revenue streams for the industry, as well as how buying behaviours may be changing on account of financial pressures. The results will be analysed within the context of the wider broadcast environment to ensure a thorough and long-term understanding of the marketplace.

“This is a clear demonstration of our commitment to providing our membership with the insight they need,” says Lieven Vermaele, Director, EBU Technology & Development. “In light of the many changes in broadcast technology and channels over recent years, this study will provide the foundations for new growth. From broadcast purchase decisions with major strategic implications, to identifying operational issues and solutions, our aim is to allow our Members to take effective and timely action in anticipation of industry change," concludes Mr Vermaele.

“There is no doubt that the broadcast industry is evolving in a number of key areas,” says Andrew Snoad, Director of Custom Solutions, Futuresource Consulting. “From an infrastructure perspective, the move from traditional broadcast equipment towards IT solutions continues to impact. Content delivery is also facing challenges. In recent years, the number of channels has skyrocketed. Traditional viewing may be challenged by a whole host of new platforms such as smartphone, PC and tablet. However, there are many opportunities for broadcasters to exploit additional revenue streams, and this is a driving force behind the research study.”

The basic concept for the study is that EBU Member broadcasters respond to requests for company-specific information, which remains confidential, and in return are given the aggregated (average) information. The EBU has called this ‘Project Fair Exchange’ for its Members.

The study will be conducted by Futuresource Consulting with public and commercial broadcasters across Europe and the findings will be delivered towards the end of 2011.

(Source : European Broadcasting Union)

BBC North recruitment to end next month

The BBC’s external recruitment drive for opportunities at their new northern base at MediaCityUK is to close in just over two weeks’ time.

As teams from departments including Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio Manchester move into the new facilities, we’re told around three quarters of the total vacancies at the Salford site have been filled.

In a message to candidates on the BBC Recruitment website, the corporation announced: “We have been delighted with the positive response to our new home at Salford Quays and we have had an unprecedented volume of applicants for the job opportunities that have arisen from the move. We are now at the stage where we’ve filled around 75% of vacancies and are into our last phase of recruitment. This means that we no longer need to seek new applications for the majority of our roles as we have a high number of candidates already.”

The ‘BBC North Job Opportunities’ general vacancy will close at 11.59pm on Sunday 11th September 2011. Those people who have already applied and gone through the online assessment process will continue to be considered for relevant positions as they become available.

We’re also told that there are only around 200 vacancies left to fill between now and March 2012 across all BBC departments that are moving into the MediaCityUK site.

As well as 5 Live and BBC Radio Manchester, staff already based at BBC Manchester are moving to Salford – including teams from BBC Network radio such as 6 Music’s Radcliffe and Maconie show and religious and current affairs programme makers from Radio 4. Departments including Sport, Childrens and Future Media & Technology are also heading North. Find out more here.

(Source : Radio Today, UK)

BBC Research & Development demonstrates implementation of DVB-T2-Lite at IBC 2011

On the DVB stand at IBC 2011, BBC Research & Development will conduct its first public demonstration of DVB-T2-Lite, the new T2 profile set to transform audience's experience of watching programmes on the move. 

The latest version of the DVB-T2 specification, the technology standard that enabled High Definition on Freeview, introduces DVB-T2-Lite as a new profile which will allow cost reduced receiver implementations for applications such as mobile broadcasting. The profile can be mixed with conventional T2 signals in a single multiplex, to allow separate optimisation of the individual components and also to reuse the existing broadcast transmitter infrastructure. This means that in the future the T2-Lite component could provide audiences with a reliable live "broadcast" TV or radio experience on their handheld devices. Using this new profile live broadcasts can be delivered to multiple audience members without major investment in the already existing infrastructure. 

BBC Research & Development started transmissions of DVB-T2-Lite from the roof of BBC R&D's South Lab on 7 July. For these transmissions BBC R&D have developed their own T2-lite modulator and demodulator. These devices have been used intensively to validate the new standard. BBC R&D would be interested to license this technology to other parties.

Notes to Editors

BBC Research & Development
The role of BBC R&D is to provide world-class leading edge technical research and innovation expertise to the BBC, to enable the corporation to create and deliver innovative high quality content and services, as cost-effectively as possible to the licence fee paying public. The world class engineers in R&D also advise the BBC on what is coming in the future – what it needs to be involved in and influence, what are the likely winning and losing technologies and what the BBC needs to lead, follow or ignore. The department has always followed a philosophy of collaboration and openness; it works regularly with other broadcasters, standards bodies and technology partners.

About DVB Project
The Digital Video Broadcasting Project (DVB) is an industry-led, world wide consortium of over 230 broadcasters, manufacturers, network operators, software developers and regulatory bodies committed to designing open technical standards for the global delivery of digital television and data services. Services using DVB standards are available on every continent with more than 600 million DVB receivers deployed.

(Source : BBC Press Release)

New stories from BBC Northern Ireland

BBC Northern Ireland launches a new season of programmes this autumn, with a broad range of stories that reflect life in the region and issues of interest and importance to local audiences. 

Ailsa Orr, BBC Northern Ireland's Head of Programmes, said: "This autumn we are offering our audiences a wide range of new factual programmes, original new series and returning entertainment and comedy output. We believe these programmes reflect the people, their real life stories, the history and humour, the issues and themes which are relevant to Northern Ireland. 

"Some of the highlights include Slim Chance: Fix My Family, a new six-part reality series following the trials and tribulations of a group of families as they undergo a gruelling but potentially life-changing experiment to lose weight and overhaul their lifestyles. BBC One Northern Ireland will also broadcast a number of single films reflecting on and telling the stories of significant events in our recent history; some of which had impact beyond Northern Ireland. 

"At The Crossroads meets four of the mothers and daughters who were caught up in the events of the Holy Cross protest 10 years after it shocked the world. Bombs Bullets And Business As Usual tells the story of the world's most bombed hotel, the Europa in Belfast, with testimonies from journalists like Anne Robinson and John Sergeant who 'all but lived' there during the Troubles.

"Film-maker Alison Millar goes to the Shankill Road to explore the lives and times of The Men Who Won't Stop Marching. For four months she joined the men of the marching bands and in particular spent time with Jordan, an 11-year-old aspiring drummer from one of the families on the estate. 

"Bloody Sunday: The Long Wait tells the emotional inside story of the events that led up to the findings of the Saville Report, the multi-million pound inquiry into Bloody Sunday which concluded on June 15, 2010; and Hume is the latest in a series of BBC Northern Ireland documentaries describing the careers of key political figures in Northern Ireland, with exclusive access to John Hume. 

"Later in the autumn we are also delighted to announce the return of Sketchy, starring stand-up comedian and actor Diarmuid Corr and The David Meade Project, where the incredible mentalist unleashes more tricks on the unsuspecting public. Out Of The Blue is a new eight-part series taking a look at contemporaneous arts in Northern Ireland challenging the conventional view of what an arts series should be, with presenters Graham Little and Joanne Salley and a team of five reporters travelling all over Northern Ireland to uncover the stories of the people who ensure our leisure time is as enjoyable and varied as it can be. 

"Across the rest of our output BBC Northern Ireland continues in our commitment to Irish Language and Ulster-Scots programming with several new series for autumn, while sports fans can look forward to some great local action. The new season also sees the return of the multi-award-winning Spotlight and Spotlight Special

"We hope this wide variety of programmes will offer something for everyone, concluding a great year of television on BBC Northern Ireland."

(Source : BBC Press Release)

The BBC at the Edinburgh International Television Festival 2011

This year's Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival will feature sessions with the Controllers of BBC One, Two, Three and Four. Full details of all BBC related announcements, including links to blogs, press releases and showreels will appear on this page over the duration of the event.

The shortened url for this page is bbc.in/BBCedTV.

You can follow the Festival on Twitter using the #MGEITF hashtag.

(Source : BBC Press Release)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ibiza uncovered… on BBC Radio 4

Radio 4 is to air a special programme on an unlikely topic – the influence of the island of Ibiza on British youth culture.

The documentary, produced by radio indie Made in Manchester, will air this weekend and features an appearance from Radio 1 DJ Pete Tong.

Ibiza: Britain’s Balearic Soul is hosted by criminologist and sociologist Dr Kate O’Brien who looks at the attitude to nightlife and entertainment from the White Isle which was first adopted in Britain during the late 80s.

Executive Producer Ashley Byrne says: “It’s crazy to think it’s two decades ago that the link with Ibiza kicked off in a really big way. By the mid-90s, millions of ordinary young people spent their weekends ‘dancing on drugs’ and, as alcohol sales dropped and customers fell away, the licensed leisure industry replaced so-called spit ‘n’ sawdust pubs with more modern bars while bottled beers and alcopops became the new drinks of choice.”

During the documentary Dr Kate O’Brien meets those at the heart of these changes. Internationally celebrated DJ Paul Oakenfield shares with Kate his first experience in Ibiza and how he tried to recreate the island’s bohemian, hedonistic party scene, while Radio 1′s Pete Tong explains how he pushed the station into being part of this unrelenting youth movement.

Ashley adds: “With Radio 1 broadcasting live from the world’s house music clubs, dance music culture moved into the mainstream and has stayed there ever since.”

Ibiza: Britain’s Balearic Soul airs on Radio 4 on Saturday 27 August at 10.30am.

(Source : Radio Today, UK)

Dutch Music Monday: 22 August

This week on RNW's Dutch Music Monday Top 10 (week beginning 22 August 2011), Als je naar me lacht (When you smile at me) by Jamie Saunders hits the chart at number nine, while Jennifer Ewbank's A line in a song starts at number 6.

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9. Als je naar me lacht (When you smile at me) – Jamie Saunders
The British/Dutch Saunders family is rapidly becoming something of a musical dynasty, as Jamie Saunders is the third brother in a row to launch a successful solo career. His older brothers Ben and Dean both won this year’s finals of The Voice of Holland and Popstars, respectively, which they both followed with successful English-language singles. Jamie takes the Dutch-language career path, with his first hit on RNW’s Music Monday Top Ten as a result.

6. A line in a song – Jennifer Ewbank
Another breakthrough artist from the phenomenally successful The Voice of Holland television talent hunt is Jennifer Ewbank. Although she wasn’t a big hit on the programme – she got the boot during the early rounds – she has managed to establish herself as a solo artist. She hasn’t taken the easy route, though. While her brother John is one of the most successful composers and producers in the Netherlands (with over 15 Number Ones to his credit), Jennifer opted to work with unknown producers and writers.

Click here to listen to this week’s Music Monday Top 10 on Grooveshark!

1 (1) No mercy – Racoon (12 wks)
2 (2) Cry (Just a little) – Bingo Players (11 wks)
3 (3) I’m a cliché – Anouk (8 wks)
4 (5) Fool for you – Krystl (3 wks)
5 (6) Koko – Sander van Doorn (8 wks)
6 (-) A line in a song – Jennifer Ewbank (1 wk)
7 (4) Wish I could – Miss Montreal (5 wks)
8 (-) Get Spanish – Jeugd van Tegenwoordig (11 wks)
9 (-) Als je naar me lacht – Jamie Saunders (1 wk)
10 (7) Let me rule the world – B-Yentl (3 wks)

Click here to listen to this week’s Music Monday Top 10 on Grooveshark!

(Source : Radio Netherlands Worldwide)

Bush Radio urgently needs financial support

Bush Radio, a community station based in the Western Cape for the last 20 years, is facing closure unless it can find urgently needed funds to support its business. It is not only a radio station but provides broadcast training to individuals, radio stations and media institutions in Africa, with a special focus on Southern Africa.

From campaigning against the apartheid government for a free and independent broadcasting authority, to being present on Cape Town’s Grand Parade when Nelson Mandela addressed the nation as a free man, it has played an indelible part in the shaping of the history of the new South Africa.

Over the past three years, this pioneering radio station and training centre has been hit hard by the current economic climate, recently resulting in it having to re-evaluate its operations in order to remain sustainable and influential in this fast-changing and exciting environment. It is trying to raise R300,000 (US$43,000) to pay rent, transmission and other running costs and needs concrete proposals by 31 August 2011.

Its legacy of assisting and being supported by communities all around the Cape is extensively documented on its website www.bushradio.co.za.
(Source : Media Network Weblog)

Norfolk community radio station to close

Norfolk’s Wayland Radio is to cease broadcasting at the end of this week – exactly two years to the day since it launched.

Bosses at the community station have told Radio Today the decision was taken because of a lack of money in the bank and the increasing difficulty to get grants because of the public sector cuts.

The station – covering places including Watton and Swaffham had previously received funding through organisations such as Breckland Council. It had run five RSL broadcasts over a period of three years prior to being awarded a full-time community radio licence by Ofcom.

As with the majority of community radio licences, only 50 percent of its funding is permitted to come from advertising and sponsorship.

Station Manager Dave Hatherly told RadioToday.co.uk: “Over the last few months we have found it impossible to get revenue grants to support our project, a sign of the times. With annual fees to pay and no money in the bank, we financially cannot continue.”

Dave says the team set out to provide a quality service to the area, to challenge the established radio stations and show that local radio can be provided in a different way. He’s told us the audience haven’t really grasped the idea that they’re not “commercial” and run by a talented team of volunteers – itself a measure of the station’s success.

He added:”The reality is that we live in a bankrupt world and radio is a luxury. We’ve not ruled out having another go in three years or so, when the world may be a different place, but at the moment the world can’t afford community grants. I think we will be the first of many community stations to close as community radio is something that is unaffordable in this current financial climate.”

(Source : Radio Today, UK)

£1.4m initiative announced by Scottish Government to aid TV and digital media development

The Scottish Government has announced a £1.4m funding package for training and developing in television and digital media.

Announced this morning by culture secretary Fiona Hyslop, the Creative Edge partnership will run over three years, through partners Channel 4, Creative Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and TRC Media with the aim of strengthening the talent pool in Scotland.

"Television and digital media support 42,000 jobs in Scotland and make a valuable contribution to the success of our world-leading creative industries. The Scottish Government is committed to supporting Scotland's creative economy by working closely with the sector as well as relevant public sector agencies to ensure the appropriate support is in place,” said Hyslop.

"I am particularly pleased to see a major broadcaster such as Channel 4 working together with TRC and public sector organisations on this initiative. Partnership working of this kind is vital to promote the creative industries sector as a whole. By nurturing Scottish talent and offering opportunities for international collaboration, the Creative Edge partnership will enhance this dynamic sector while reinforcing Scotland's global reputation for creative excellence."

The Creative Edge project will have six main strands, including creative breakfasts offering insight guest speakers, field trips to the US and Canada to meet broadcasters and potential production partners, a leadership development scheme, a training scheme to develop new content formats, a programme involving digital talent working alongside creative industry practitioners and a nine month initiative enabling creative leaders to expand their networks and knowledge, visiting companies such as Pixar, Facebook and Ideo.

There are six main strands in the Creative Edge project, some aimed at emerging digital talent and others designed for established industry leaders:

Linda McPherson, director of creative industries for Scottish Enterprise commented: "The creative industry sector is already a major contributor to Scotland's economy. However with technology changing the way TV content is produced, delivered and viewed, there are many opportunities for business growth and collaboration across different sectors, opening up new avenues of revenue and new markets. We want to ensure our companies are equipped to take advantage of these opportunities and that's what Creative Edge will provide."

Earlier today it was announced that the BBC was to move production of its drama serial Waterloo Road, produced by Shed Productions, to Glasgow resulting in the creation of 230 new jobs in Scotland.

(Source : The Drum, UK)

New breakfast show at BBC Radio Suffolk

Former presenter Terry Baxter is returning to BBC Radio Suffolk after a decade to take over as host of the breakfast show from next month.

Current breakfast presenter Mark Murphy moves to mid-mornings, replacing James Hazell who’ll be part of the station’s weekend line-up.

Born and raised in Ipswich, Terry was previously a presenter and football match commentator at BBC Radio Suffolk. He left the station in 2001 to become Director of Communications at Ipswich Town Football Club.

Terry says: “I feel incredibly privileged to have been asked to present BBC Radio Suffolk’s breakfast programme and to follow in the footsteps of both Chris Opperman and Mark Murphy. Both have set the bar high for us to try to follow, but I know that the team and I are ready to rise to that challenge.”

Mark Murphy – who has been at the stations since launch in 1990 – will move to the 9am-12.30pm from 5 September, after 11 years on breakfast.

Managing Editor Peter Cook told RadioToday.co.uk: “Terry’s an accomplished broadcaster with a big personality, an in-depth knowledge of Suffolk and a great sense of fun. I’d like to thank Mark for all that he’s done on the Breakfast Show over the past 11 years, the fantastic profile he’s created for both himself and the radio station, his award winning track-record and his ability to connect with our audience. I think those are all qualities which he’ll take to the mid-morning show where I’ve no doubt he’ll be a big hit.”

(Source : Radio Today, UK)

Six community stations in found ‘in breach’

Six community radio stations have had breaches recorded against their licences – for going off air, failing to supply recordings of output or not sending an annual report to Ofcom.

Boundary Sound in Newark has received two notices of being ‘In Breach’ – one for closing down in June and indicating that it may return to the air but giving no fixed date, and the other for failing to provide an annual report.

In all, three stations were found in breach of the terms of their community radio licence for not sending in an annual report, despite repeated requests from Ofcom. Boundary Sound (Newark), TMCR (Thorne and Moorends in South Yorkshire) and Voice of Africa Radio (East London) have all been put on notice that their present contravention of their licences is being considered for the imposition of a statutory sanction by Ofcom. Seven further stations failed to supply their annual reports on time, but have now submitted them to Ofcom so the regulator considers those cases to be resolved.

Boundary Sound also receives a breach after going off the air on 23 June after two and a half years. The station wrote to Ofcom in early July to confirm that they were no longer providing their radio service, adding that the bailiffs had gone in to remove goods and equipment from the station so they weren’t able to continue broadcasts. The licensee said it was hoping to get an investment of money into Boundary Sound CIC or ‘try and persuade Ofcom to enable the transfer of the licence to a new company’, but gave Ofcom no indication of the timescales for that happening. The regulator also concluded that given the removal of equipment by bailiffs it was unlikely that off-air commitments such as training were still being provided. A formal breach of the station’s licence was therefore recorded for failing to meet the licence conditions.

Radio Sandwell in West Bromwich also finds itself in breach of its community radio licence, after admitting to transmitting pre-recorded programmes for a total of 7 weeks following a studio move and technical problems. Ofcom engineers had noticed that a laptop at the transmitter site was providing on-air programmes when the station’s licence requires at least 10-hours of live programmes per day. This happened at the end of March and it later transpired that the station had been broadcasting pre-recorded output between mid-February and mid-April. Ofcom says it was misled in initial correspondence with the station about the length of time that live programming hadn’t been being broadcast. The regulator has formally notified the licensee that they are considering the imposition of a statutory sanction because of the breach’s seriousness. In its summary of the breach, Ofcom also reminds community stations that it wrote to them in March this year to make it clear that licensees should contact them if they are experiencing or expect disruption to their broadcast service because of technical issues, building works or studio moves.

Angel Radio on the Isle of Wight has received a breach for a similar reason – after going off air but not notifying Ofcom. The regulator was alerted to an article in the local press where the station was appealing for funds to help replace the studio to transmitter link which had broken down. The station had said in the article that it would take three weeks for live programmes to resume and pre-recorded programmes would be broadcast in the meantime. When contacted by Ofcom, the station said that they had been off air completely between 17th and 20th July following a lightning strike and had subsequently connected a laptop at the transmitter to resume output, albeit not live, for a further six days. Ofcom have recorded a breach against the licence, adding: “Although we sympathise with the station that it suffered a technical failure and understand that this was outside the Licensee’s control, it remains the case that the station did not get in touch with Ofcom directly to inform us of what was happening.”

And the group behind Leeds Community Radio may have ruined their chances of getting a full time community radio licence, after failing to provide recordings of output to Ofcom from their RSL in April and May. Following a complaint, the regulator asked for a recording of output broadcast on 3rd May. At the third time of asking, the station supplied a recording but it didn’t contain the programme referred to by the complainant. Despite a further request, the audio recording in question wasn’t supplied. In response the licensee said that station’s manager had been away, hence the delay in responding. Ofcom concluded that the station had failed in its duty to provide requested recordings and so found it to be in breach of its Restricted Service Licence. They added: “We intend to monitor closely the compliance with licence conditions of this Licensee going forward, should he or individuals formally associated with this RSL licence, apply for a licence to broadcast in the future.”

You can read the full rulings on each breach of licence in this week’s Ofcom Broadcast Bulletin.

 (Source : Radio Today, UK)

Broadcast Systems Engineer, Celador Radio

Celador Radio are looking for a Broadcast Systems Engineer to undertake duties for operational, maintenance and support activities on a wide range of broadcast and IT equipment.

You will have experience of supporting automated multichannel playout facilities, have a flexible attitude and be able to work under pressure.

The successful engineer will be responsible for supporting all aspects of the technology in various radio stations owned by Celador Radio.

The core duties will involve broadcast IT, office IT and engineering. As well as being part of the Celador Radio out of hours support rota providing 24hr cover for broadcast systems.

The successful candidate is required to have a thorough understanding of broadcast technology, preferably with a degree level or equivalent qualification in a relevant IT or engineering discipline.

A prior understanding of MPLS implementation, VoIP, and RCS Master Control would also be beneficial.

We have offices in London, Southampton, Bristol, Newbury and Andover. Travel will be required.

To apply:
To apply please send your CV with a covering letter stating your salary expectations to dovery@celador.co.uk, or by post to Dan Overy, Group Technical Manager, Celador Radio, Roman Landing, Kingsway, Southampton, SO14 1BN. No agencies please.

Closes: Monday 19 September
(Source : Radio Today, UK)

BBC Worldwide to make Top Gear specials available via Facebook®

Top Gear fans can now access their favourite specials via Facebook® using an exclusively developed VOD (video on demand) app from BBC Worldwide with three of the show’s most iconic episodes now becoming available to rent using Facebook credits. 

Launching with the Polar Special today, the specials will be staggered throughout the coming weeks and available for users in Europe, USA, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Once rented, episodes will be available to view for 48 hours. Facebook credits provide a familiar and consistent payment experience, and a trusted space to store payment information. Credits can be purchased within an app, or through the payments tab within the users account settings. 

BBC Worldwide runs both the Top Gear Facebook fan page, which has over 8.8 million fans and The Stig fan page which has over 5 million fans. Combined they have more fans than inhabitants of Manhattan, which is the final destination of the US Road Trip – the second episode set to air online. It is the 25th largest TV show on Facebook, and the biggest British TV show on Facebook.

Adam Waddell, Managing Director of Top Gear commented that "Top Gear has amassed a huge following on Facebook with almost 14 million friends following the brand itself and The Stig. We're always looking at ways of adding value for the core fans of the show so it’s entirely appropriate that we should be one of the first TV shows to make its premium content available via Facebook."

Top Gear is one of BBC Worldwide's flagship brands sold in 198 territories worldwide. To watch your favourite special, you can 'like' the official Top Gear Facebook page at www.facebook.com/topgear and use your credits to watch the Polar Special.

NOTES TO EDITORS
Episodes

22th August – Polar Special
28th August – US Road Trip
4th September – Vietnam Road Trip
Facebook® is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc.

(Source : BBC Worldwide Press Release)

2011 Rugby League Challenge Cup Final live across the BBC

The BBC will bring live coverage of the 2011 Challenge Cup Final on TV, HD, radio, online and red button, as Leeds Rhinos take on Wigan Warriors at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 27 August. 

Both teams have had a long wait for this prized piece of silverware in what is Rugby League's oldest and most prestigious knockout competition, with Wigan not having won the cup since 2002 and Leeds not since 1999.
Clare Balding presents the TV coverage with Jonathan Davies, Brian Noble and Justin Morgan, with match commentary from Dave Woods and John Kear. The pitch-side reporting team are Tanya Arnold and Damien Johnson, with Robbie Hunter-Paul

Coverage is live on BBC One and BBC One HD, 2.15-5.10pm, and the match will also be live streamed on BBC Sport online and on the BBC Red Button

In addition, the TV team bring red button viewers a pre-match warm up programme from 1.30-2.15pm. This 45-minute preview will feature predictions, the latest news and features with both Wigan and Leeds. 

As well as streaming the Challenge Cup Final live, BBC Sport online will offer live text commentary, reports, reaction and a blog. Plus there will be highlights available 24 hours after final whistle. 

BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra will feature live commentary of the match from David Oates and Stuart Pyke at Wembley, 2.15-4.15pm, with Ian Millward as summariser. 

Fridays night's 5 Live Sport includes a Challenge Cup preview (7-9.30pm) and 5 Live Weekend Breakfast (6-9am) on Saturday 27 August will have special guests and all the Challenge Cup build-up.

Notes to Editors

Saturday on BBC Four
8-9pm
Eddie Waring: Mr Rugby League (rpt)
Another chance to see this moving documentary first aired in 2010. Eddie Waring introduced millions of TV viewers to rugby league, but within his own northern heartland he was both loved and loathed. For some he was loveable Uncle Eddie, to others an embarrassing northern caricature who appeared on light entertainment shows and failed to take the game seriously. 

Waring painted a picture of "the north" that caused problems on his home patch. Were people laughing with him, or at him, at the game of rugby league and the wider north? He was also more than a hired voice, he was an expert and an entrepreneur - a fixer and a visionary who entered dangerous territory as he attempted to take the game to new levels. This is the story of his controversial role in the history of rugby league.

Rugby League Four Nations 2011
The BBC will broadcast two live matches from The Four Nations tournament in October and November.
Saturday October 29 – England v Wales
Saturday November 5 – England v Australia
In addition, BBC will show network highlights of each game every Sunday during the tournament. 

(Source : BBC Press Release)

BBC and V&A announce major new year-long partnership, Handmade In Britain

The BBC and V&A today announce Handmade In Britain, a year-long season of programming that will be the most wide-ranging and ambitious exploration of decorative arts ever to be undertaken on British television. 

Ceramics, metalwork, stained glass, textiles and woodwork are some of the most beautiful and treasured objects with pride of place in British palaces, churches, stately houses and family homes. Handmade In Britain brings these fascinating, functional and often forgotten works of art to the fore in a major new season of programming which will explore the history of British artistry and craftsmanship.

Furthering the BBC's commitment to building partnerships with the arts sector that go beyond broadcast, from sharing expertise to widening public engagement in UK arts, from Autumn 2011 to Autumn 2012, Handmade In Britain will present three, three-part series and a selection of individual hour-long films, focusing on a wide variety of art and design disciplines: ceramics, wood, metalwork, textiles, stained glass and paper. 

The programmes will follow the development of each of these media, unveiling stories about the objects that tell us about the social, political and cultural climate of Britain at the time in which they were made. They will also reveal why, throughout the nation's history, makers have created objects that are beautiful as well as functional. 

BBC Four Controller Richard Klein said: "BBC Four is the home of in-depth, expert led content and the channel for arts and culture. Handmade In Britain will provide a new perspective and a deeper understanding of the decorative arts. Our partnership with the V&A will celebrate these often overlooked treasures of British culture, giving viewers access to one of the world's finest art and design collections."

Damien Whitmore, V&A Director of Public Affairs and Programming, said: "This is an exciting opportunity to bring the V&A's collections and the stories behind them to a national audience. We are delighted to be collaborating with the BBC on this important partnership."

Handmade In Britain will draw on the collections and expertise of the V&A, one of the world's greatest museums of art and design. V&A objects will be used to tell particular stories, highlight ground-breaking technical innovations and illustrate how the story of artistic development in Britain is one of multiculturalism and globalisation. Contributors to the programmes will include V&A curators as well as collectors such as David Attenborough and contemporary practitioners including Grayson Perry and Edmund de Waal.

The series begins this autumn with a three-part series on ceramics and two single 60-minute programmes on stained glass and Chinese porcelain (1).

To complement the Handmade In Britain season, the V&A will host a series of events and will create online content and an in-gallery mobile experience. Using smart phones, visitors to the Museum will be able to locate and learn more about key objects featured in the programmes that are on display in the V&A's permanent galleries.

Notes to Editors

The V&A is also a partner in the BBC and Public Catalogue Foundation initiative Your Paintings. Contributing art works to help create a complete online catalogue of the nation's oil painting collection.

The V&A is the world's leading museum of art and design with collections unrivalled in their scope and diversity. It was established to make works of art available to all and to inspire British designers and manufacturers. Today, the V&A's collections, which span over 2000 years of human creativity in virtually every medium and from many parts of the world, continue to intrigue, inspire and inform.

BBC Four is the gold card channel for arts, music and culture. It is not just committed to arts coverage but actively celebrates arts, producing content with a broad appeal. From seasons such as Focus On Sculpture to one off programmes like the Beauty Of Books.

(1) The craze for imported Chinese porcelain contributed to an unprecedented demand for high-quality ceramics in Britain, played a significant role in the rise of the British ceramics industry in the 18th century and to the success of makers and entrepreneurs such as Wedgwood. This episode provides an important historical context to the story of the development on ceramics in Britain. 

(Source : BBC Press Release)

ABU Engineering Excellence Awards get good response

The ABU has received over a dozen nominations from members and industry players in 11 countries for this year's ABU Engineering Excellence Awards. 

The Broadcast Engineering Excellence Award recognises outstanding contributions to broadcast engineering and related disciplines. This award is sponsored by Professional Solutions Asia Pacific Company (Hong Kong) (Sony) for the  fifth year running.

The Engineering Industry Excellence Award is given for the most outstanding engineering contribution made by an individual in the broadcasting industry in the region. 

Nominations were received from Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, China, India, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Vietnam.

The winners will be chosen by two panels of judges and the results will be announced at the ABU Technical Committee meeting in New Delhi on 3 November.  The awards will be presented on ABU Prizes night on 7 November during the ABU General Assembly in the Indian capital. 

(Source : Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Radio New Zealand International (RNZI) Vacancy - Journalist

Journalist - Radio New Zealand International, Wellington

Job was posted at 2:32 pm on 15 August 2011

Award winning Radio New Zealand International broadcasts in digital and analogue short wave to radio stations and individual listeners across the region. Seventeen Pacific radio stations broadcast our material each day. Our daily current affairs programme Dateline Pacific is widely listened to across the region and is also broadcast by the BBC Pacific Service. The World Radio Network (WRN) - an international broadcaster operating out of London - also broadcasts RNZI material throughout the US, Europe, Africa and Asia.

We have a great opportunity for a talented and experienced journalist to work the afternoon shift in our small, dedicated and multi-skilled team in Wellington to produce stories and features about the Pacific, for the Pacific. You will also be required to read news bulletins and present our flagship daily current affairs programme from time to time.

If you have a proven track record as a journalist then we’re keen to hear from you. You will have a strong interest and understanding of the Pacific region and current affairs; you will be committed to the highest standards of journalism, have a keen news sense, and thrive in the world of radio. You will have a strong broadcast quality voice.

Applications close 5 pm Friday 9 September 2011

Please note: A complete application includes your covering letter, CV and a completed Radio New Zealand application form.

Radio New Zealand warmly welcomes applicants who will help us reflect New Zealand’s cultural and ethnic diversity. 

For a position description and application form please contact Human Resources by e-mail on hr@radionz.co.nz

(Source : Radio New Zealand International)

Rampisham transmitter site to close by Christmas

Members of the Media & Entertainment union at the Rampisham shortwave transmitter site in Dorset run by Babcock Engineering were shocked to learn of plans to close the facility by Christmas with the loss of 19 jobs. Staff across the UK had been expecting bad news after the decision by BBC World Service in January this year to sharply reduce the number of hours of shortwave broadcasting and to end it altogether by 2014.

Despite this advance warning, the announcement still came as a shock to staff. The company also plans to close three posts at the Woofferton site in Shropshire with four at Orfordness in Suffolk also at risk of closure.
An initial meeting between BECTU representatives and management took place on Wednesday; the consultation period is due to end on 19 September.

BRCTU Assistant general secretary Luke Crawley said: “The loss of 19 jobs at Rampisham and seven elsewhere in the network will come as a terrible blow to our members. We have already pressed the management to do everything they can to minimise the impact including offering redeployment and retraining where appropriate. Transmission members will note with regret that this announcement will also end seventy years of shortwave broadcasting from Rampisham.”

BECTU has strongly criticised the coalition government for pushing through a 16 per cent cut in the grant provided to the World Service from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). This was considerably higher than the 10 per cent cut in the FCO budget for other areas. It was this disproportionate reduction which lead the BBC to decide to reduce shortwave broadcasts immediately and end them by 2014.

BECTU’s campaign against the unfair settlement included giving evidence to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee in Parliament. The highly critical report which followed led to some funds being restored to the World Service. However the representations did not persuade the BBC to change its mind about ending shortwave transmission despite the fact that, according to BECTU, listeners to shortwave make up half of the World Service audience.

(Source: BECTU via Media Network Weblog)

Russia loses contact with $265 million satellite

Russia said it had lost track of a newly-launched, multi-million-dollar telecommunications satellite on Thursday, the latest in a series of setbacks that have dogged its space industry. The $265-million Express AM-4 satellite, described by its makers as the most powerful satellite ever built in Europe, launched late on Wednesday aboard a Proton-M rocket from the Russian-leased launchpad in Kazakhstan.

The Russian space agency said the first stages of the launch went smoothly but communication with the satellite was lost due to a failure of the Briz-M upper stage. It said experts were working to re-establish contact with the craft, built by Astrium, a unit of European aerospace group EADS, to provide digital TV, Internet and telecoms services for Russia over the next 15 years.

The spacecraft was fully insured for 7.5 billion roubles ($264.5 million) with Russian Ingosstrakh insurance company. Judging by early efforts, officials have a roughly 75 percent chance of linking back to the satellite and manoeuvring it into the correct orbit, space industry expert Igor Lissov told Reuters. Its loss would be a “nightmare” for Russia’s industry, he said, delaying key commercial projects by three to four years and embarrassing Moscow at a time when it hopes to showcase its technology at this week’s MAKS airshow outside the capital.

(Source: Reuters via Media Network Weblog)

Channel Africa's Journalist on a Mercy Mission

“Devastating, unbearable, the worst case of human suffering”, these are the words by Jenine Coetzer, one of Channel Africa’s journalists who for nine days got to experience and witness firsthand what the Somali nation is going through. 

Jenine formed part of the 32 member team that comprised of medical specialists, dieticians an expert on hydrology and 12 members of the media, under the banner of the South African humanitarian organization – GIFT OF THE GIVERS. The team was to deliver some 41 tons of emergency food relief and medicines to camps for the drought-displaced around the capital Mogadishu.

“The encounter was humbling”, said Jenine as she described her experience. “I witnessed people who were severely malnourished and dehydrated, people who have gone for ages without seeing a doctor”. “The experience made me realize just how blessed I was to have food and water in abundance, health and a roof over my head. “It is funny how we often complain over small things instead of counting our blessings”.

“Somalis are wonderful people, friendly and they laugh easily despite their horrible situation”, she said and paused as if to reflect. “It was amazing just how much a touch meant to them, they were receptive to people who cared for them”.

She reserved her last words to encourage the world to forget about politics and yield to the humanitarian crisis in Somalia. “Realize that it was not by their own doing that they are in the situation they find themselves, they are victims of natural and political misfortunes”.

(Source: Channel Africa)

31 want Wales and SW community licences

More than 30 groups have put in applications to Ofcom for the first area being looked at under round three of community radio licensing.

They include nine organisations wanting licences in Devon and Conrnwall and six applications for the whole of Wales.

The closing date for applications for Wales and South West England was last month. Groups with an interested in providing community radio for North Devon, however, still have another month to apply as the deadline for that area has been extended to 21 September following the decision to renew the commercial radio licence owned by Heart and provide the station on DAB in North Devon. As part of the DAB multiplex extension consultation there was demand shown for an alternative local radio service so the regulator decided to allow such groups to have more time to put together plans for a community radio station.

Ofcom hasn’t indicated the timescale for announcing which groups from Wales and the South West have been successful in their applications, although it could be before the end of the year. By December 2011 Ofcom is expected to open applications for round three of community radio in Scotland.

Applicants to Ofcom for community radio licences for South West England under round 3 of licensing:
Access FM (Bridgwater, Somerset)
Air (Weymouth and Portland, Dorset)
Apple FM (Taunton, Somerset)
Blandford Garrison FM (Blandford Camp, Blandford Forum, Dorset)
Bay FM Radio (Exmouth, Devon)
Bradley Stoke Radio (Bradley Stoke, South Gloucestershire)
CHBN (Truro, Cornwall)
Ethnic Minority Radio FM (EMR FM), (Swindon, Wiltshire)
Fantasy Radio (Devizes, Wiltshire)
FromeFM (Frome, Somerset)
GLOSS FM (Thornbury, S. Gloucestershire)
Newquay Sound (Newquay, Cornwall)
Penwith Radio (Penwith, Cornwall)
Plymouth Community Radio (Plymouth, Devon)
Pulse Radio (Cheddar, Somerset)
Q-mmunity Radio (Crediton, Devon)
Radio Sherborne (Sherborne, Dorset)
Radio Winchcombe (Winchcombe, Gloucestershire)
Redruth Radio (Redruth, Cornwall)
Riviera FM (Torbay, Devon)
The Beach (Christchurch, Dorset)
The Hub (central South Cornwall)
Tone FM (Taunton, Somerset)
Totnes FM (Totnes, Devon)
WCR (Warminster, Wiltshire)

Applicants to Ofcom for community radio licences for Wales under round 3 of licensing:
Community Radio Wales FM (St Asaph and Denbigh, North Wales)
Glan Clwyd AM (Abergele and St Asaph, North Wales)
Harlech FM (Harlech, Gwynedd)
MonFM (Isle of Anglesey)
Radio Beca (Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and north Pembrokeshire)
Radio FAM (Prestatyn, North Wales)

(Source : Radio Today, UK)

Liam Neeson and Helena Bonham Carter join cast of BBC Two's Life's Too Short

Liam Neeson and Helena Bonham Carter join the cast of BBC Two's Life's Too Short.

Life's Too Short is a fake documentary from the creators of The Office and Extras, made by BBC Two/HBO for transmission in autumn this year. 

Written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the seven-part sitcom follows the life and times of showbiz dwarf Warwick Davis. With his career on the slide, a massive tax bill caused by his useless accountant, and a wife who's divorcing him, Warwick has no choice but to open his doors to a film crew 24/7. Maybe living his life like an open wound will get him back on top... 

Starring Warwick Davis, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the cast includes Johnny Depp, Sting, Liam Neeson, Helena Bonham Carter, Steve Carell, Cat Deeley, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Les Dennis, Keith Chegwin and Shaun Williamson

(Source : BBC Press Release)

Wikipedia founder leads line-up of prominent thinkers tackling subject of "change" at BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival 2011

Wikipedia founder and internet entrepreneur Jimmy Wales comes to Gateshead this November as the keynote speaker at BBC Radio 3's festival of ideas, the Free Thinking Festival, where high-profile figures from politics, literature, science and the arts will be debating the ideas shaping the modern world.

This year the theme is Change: exploring the mania for change sweeping the globe. Speakers on the theme of Change include the Foreign Secretary Rt Hon William Hague MP, Germaine Greer, Skins writer Jack Thorne, the Rev Canon Dr Giles Fraser, historian Linda Colley, designer and architect Charles Jencks and psychotherapist Susie Orbach

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, who has created one of the most referenced sources of knowledge on the planet, will be giving his vision on how the internet will continue to radically alter the world. 

Now in its sixth year, Free Thinking takes place at The Sage Gateshead from 4-6 November and is a platform for today's innovative thinkers, who examine the world of ideas through talks, interviews, debates, original drama, essays and performance. All events are free and the festival is produced and broadcast by Radio 3. 

Events are hosted by Radio 3's presenters including Anne McElvoy, Ian McMillan, Philip Dodd, Matthew Sweet, Tom Service and Rana Mitter

Roger Wright, Controller of BBC Radio 3, said: "Free Thinking has become a vital part of Radio 3's distinctive festival output. As ever, the wide-ranging events will be led by some of today's leading thinkers. I am delighted that we are continuing our collaboration with The Sage Gateshead and offering audiences in the North East a chance to attend free events as well as giving our broadcast audience the opportunity to hear them on Radio 3." 

Anthony Sargent, General Director of The Sage Gateshead, said: "All our collaborations with Radio 3 have been enjoyable and rewarding, but we're particularly happy to host Free Thinking for another year, emphasising as it does The Sage Gateshead's broader role as a national cultural centre beyond the confines of our acclaimed music programmes." 

Highlights:
  • Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon William Hague MP, will be discussing the dramatic political changes taking place throughout the globe, and Britain's role in this transforming world order.
  • Skins and This Is England 86 writer Jack Thorne is creating a cutting-edge new drama especially for the Festival, which will be performed and broadcast live on Radio 3 from the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art on Sunday 6 November.
  • Leading thinker Germaine Greer will question the idea of freedom, arguing that the pursuit of freedom has caused havoc throughout the world and calling for a new version of liberation.
  • Academic Julian Savulescu will be arguing the case for human enhancement – why new technologies such as genetic manipulation and selection should be embraced, and why drugs should be legal in sport.
  • Rev Canon Dr Giles Fraser, Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral and regular contributor to BBC Radio 4's Thought For The Day, is this year's Thinker-in-Residence. Following on from screen-writer Frank Cottrell Boyce last year, Giles Fraser will put his stamp on several events at the Festival.
  • Susie Orbach, Britain's most high-profile psychotherapist, will challenge society's obsession with personal change and physical perfection.
  • Visionary architect and designer Charles Jencks will discuss his new work, Northumberlandia, the world's largest sculpture of a human form, currently being created near Cramlington.
  • The winners of Radio 3's New Generation Thinkers Scheme – the search to find the brightest new academic voices with a talent for broadcasting – will join in debates, discussing their research and taking part in Speed Dating with a New Generation Thinker, where the public will have the chance to meet them face to face and test them on their ideas.
Radio 3's programmes Music Matters, Words and Music, Between the Ears, The Verb, Night Waves and The Essay will all be recorded in front of the live audience at the festival. 

Read More from BBC Press Release
(Source : BBC Press Release)

Asiavision's membership expands to Myanmar

Forever Group, a television and radio operator in Myanmar, is to join Asiavision, the ABU's daily news exchange, on 1 September. 

Its admission brings Asiavision's membership to 23, the highest since its launch in January 1984.

It's the first time Asiavision has had a member in Myanmar and means the news exchange's reach now extends to 20 countries. Members exchange news every day by satellite and file transfer. 

Established in 1995, Forever Group runs 22 digital TV channels across the country. Two are free-to-air channels operated in partnership with Myanmar Radio and Television, and the others are pay-TV.

It also operates two radio stations, Mandalay FM and Pyinsawadi FM. 

Meanwhile, India's national TV broadcaster, Doordarshan, has won the Asiavision Monthly Award for July for its coverage of three blasts that ripped through crowded areas of Mumbai on 13 July.

The explosions killed more than 20 people and injured more than 150.

(Source : Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union)