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Public service broadcasting



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AIBD-Khabar Broadcasting Agency Seminar on:

Legal, Financial and Administrative

Aspects of

PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING

February 3- 4, 2003, Almaty - Kazaghystan


Welcome Remarks by:

Dr. Javad Mottaghi,

Director,

Asia -Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development-AIBD


Mrs. Dariga Nazarbayeva, Chief, Board Directors of the Khabar Agency, Ms. Gulnar Iksanova, Director- General Khabar Broadcasting Agency, Mr. Henrikas Iushciavitshus, Advisor to the Director – General UNESCO, Distinguished speakers from Almaty, Sri Lanka, India, France, and UNESCO, Distinguished participants, ladies and gentleman!

I am pleased to see the initiatives made by Khabar Agency resulted in hosting this in – house seminar on “ Legal, Financial and Administrative Aspects of Public Service broadcasting, “ in the beautiful city of Almaty. I remember vividly my last time visit to Almaty and Bishkek for short time. I was quite impressed by the curiosity and intense desire of broadcasting organizations in Central Asia to consider and embrace Public Service Broadcasting. On the top of it, I am very happy for your tremendous enthusiasm in leading this initiative in this region.


The meeting with Mrs. Gulnar and her colleagues last June here in Almaty, enabled the two organizations to establish a strategic partnership. Implementing 3 joint venture projects on Training of Trainers, Internet Broadcasting and Public Service Broadcasting in Almaty over a short period of 6 months could be a starting point for a long – term cooperation. Khabar Agency is now a member of the AIBD, which allows both organizations to strengthen their professional partnership in such a challenging environment to meet the demands. Khabar Agency has all required capacities to be the center of broadcasting activities in Central Asia and AIBD is prepared to strengthen the existing relationship with a view to build up human resources in broadcasting organizations in this region.


The gracious presence of Mrs. Dariga Nazarbayeva, at this seminar will go a long way in lending credit to our get together and its outcome for which we are grateful to her. Such gathering would be an opportunity for us to converge and discuss the pressing issues we are facing with.


The Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD), as a Unique Inter- governmental organization in the region, is mandated to achieve a vibrant and cohesive electronic media environment in Asia and the Pacific through policy and resource development. - And it is in pursuance of this long-term mandate that the Institute is organizing a series of international conferences on Public Service Broadcasting.


The regional concerted efforts on PSB, started since 1997, when the first International Conference was held in Kuala Lumpur. The Conference focused on the role and Functions of PSB, mainly from the Asia-Pacific Perspective. The 2nd International Conference and Europe-Asia -Pacific Dialogue on PSB, was organized in the Philippines. The 2nd International Conference on PSB was Soul-searching and solution finding deliberation on how to come out with the entire new strategies to deal with the present scenario to protect public interest in broadcasting involving more people’s participation and decision-making. In the second Conference, the value-added element was the Europe-Asia-Pacific Dialogue, which provided the platform for an exchange of views and information on various aspects of the whole spectrum of Public Service Broadcasting; an in-built opportunity for professional broadcasters and policy makers from the Asia –Pacific region to exchange their views with their European counterpart. The Governing Council Meeting of AIBD then thought that, we should concentrate on legal, administrative and financial aspects of PSB. First attempt was the meeting in Singapore in June 2000, followed by several PSB seminars in Colombo, New Delhi, Bangkok, Cambodia, Jakarta, Dhaka, Bishkek and now in Almaty to discuss the idea and concept of PSB.


We are facing a situation in which the inexorable rise of commercialism is threatening to eliminate the Public Service Broadcaster in favor of systems that mobilize larger audiences for markets. The concept of Public Service Broadcasting assumes a significant place in the present scenario of highly commercialized broadcasting and technological proliferation especially in these days of media convergence. Given the popular media’s strong tendency to give priority to stories of glamour and violence, disseminating the public service broadcasting concepts as wide as possible for the good of our audience is a big task we all are committed. Certainly there is not one form of public broadcasting, but many different versions. All of them, however, must be governed by the general principals; made for the public, paid by the public and controlled by the public. While, the word “public”” refers to the entire population of the country or region which the public broadcaster is responsible for serving. Public Service Broadcasters can reflect people’s aspiration and hopes. It promotes peoples participation in its entire core. So, it can be described as the broadcasting for public, by public and of public.


Media and communication industries have experienced dramatic changes during the last few years both in terms of technology and the way of transmission. The advent of satellite and cable TV took away the sprit of social and community values and bred the battleground for commercialism of PSB. The situation is aggravated further by convergence of Television and Internet and paves the way for monopolization of content delivery by a handful of multinationals. It is essential to be prepared for the future and to develop adequate strategies to cope with the changes and to react in a constructive way without further delay. It is highly desirable to re-examine the concept again and devise some strategies to reach our people again. Time has come now to have more humanistic and universal approach and cultural cross ventilation. In this case, the role of broadcasters in bringing the dialogue to the common man in the street and make them understand each other culture, philosophies and way of life in crucial. That will make them to respect each other’s existence and consequently led them for harmonious co-existence. People participation is important in their socio-economic development. Broadcasters can play a major role in increasing the awareness of the people and help them to articulate their needs, engage them in participatory problem solving and improvement of their life. Broadcasting can also act as a catalyst in pursuing people to solve conflict and creating peace for themselves and for nations at large.


Kazakhstan is such a beautiful and hospitable country. Almaty could be a unique place of experimentation and innovation in public media. I hope this meeting will bear enough fruit for thought to chart out the future course of actions regarding Public Service Broadcasting in this sub – region.


Mrs. Nazarbayeva, on behalf of AIBD, I would like to thank you for hosting this seminar in Almaty and thank you for your wonderful hospitality. I would also like to congratulate you for having such an active team in Khabar Agency. I should also place on record my sincere appreciation to the participants and speakers from Almaty, India, Sri Lanka, France and UNESCO for taking time off from their busy schedule to join us in this endeavor that could be again interpreted as a sample of team work in tackling mutual challenges. Last but not least, I should thank UNESCO, ITU and the FES for their continues support and this event in particular.



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