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Aibd-unesco-fes seminar on public service broadcasting in the central asian republics



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AIBD-UNESCO-FES SEMINAR ON PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING IN THE CENTRAL ASIAN REPUBLICS

February 3-4,2003

Almaty, Kazakhstan

Recommendations

Public Service Broadcasting (PSB) could render an important contribution to the development of democracy in the Central Asia. PSB is defined as being for the benefit of society, financed by society and controlled by society.

PSB is a means to build an informed civil society. It represents pluralism, uniting various groups in society in a dialogue that forms public opinion. PSB recognizes the importance of national identity and culture. It creates impartial programmes. It represents the interests of all groups and layers in society including national minorities.

Control of PSB is exercised through a council for broadcasting, whose members represent the interests of civil society. Legislation in the field of PSB provides long-term guarantees of access to broadcasting media for civil society.  These guarantees are independent of changes in government. Modern technologies such as the Internet can provide strong assistance for PSB, particularly by providing channels for audience feedback.

The seminar participants considered PSB as a necessary, powerful and effective means to support the educational and cultural potential of the people and to provide objective information for the population of the Central Asian region.

Basic estimates show that PSB is the most effective and cost effective means to provide information, education and entertainment. Financing is a major psychological barrier to the acceptance of the overall concept of PSB.

In connection with the above, the participants of the seminar proposed:

  1. The idea and concept of public service broadcasting should be encouraged, publicized and popularized among the people and authorities.

  2. Broadcasting organizations, authorities and civil societies are requested to pay adequate attention to the creation and development of public service broadcasting

  3. Public service broadcasters are encouraged to

  • Provide a forum for public dialogue, knowledge sharing and deeper understanding

  • Develop pluralistic programme structure of interest to all groups of society

  • Reflect different cultures, traditional customs and religions to promote understanding, tolerance and peace

  • Maintain credibility of information, programs, news, protect social and national values

  • Broadcast impartial and independent news and current affairs programmes

  • Provide a forum for on-going national and international dialogue among civilizations with the intention of creating a closer linkage among nations.

  • Develop a system of performance indicators and quality standards for optimal performance

  1. Public service broadcasters are supposed to maintain accountability, achieve transparency in the overall activities, to maintain on-going feedback from the public through research, monitoring and interactive dialogue with the public

  2. The authorities may be requested to create a favorable legal, economic, administrative and financial climate for different system of broadcasting.

  3. It is recommended to establish a broadcasting council. The law pertaining to the council should guarantee its independence from government interference. The law should also guarantee the principle of editorial independence. 

  4. In order to avoid an undue politicization of PSB, the parties and government authorities should have minority representation in the Broadcasting council.

  5. The appointment of members of the council should be made on basis of their professional skills and representing different groups of civil societies, not on the basis of their political positions/affiliations.

  6. The management of public service broadcasting should move towards international standards.

  7. An independent organ should be established to deal with complaints of violations in broadcasting issues.



^

Group two – financial and administrative issues of PSB.


Recommendations, Almaty, Kazakhstan the PSB seminar, 3-4 February 2003.


Preamble: The members of the working group indorse the list of the recommendations from the PSB in Bishkeke, 2002, the copy attached, and based on this recommendation. Based on this recommendations made in Bishkek with amendments and additions from 2-nd working group and making the accent on the financial and administrative aspects.

    1. The parliament is requested to establish the working group for the PSB in order to create the legal framework to introduce PSB in to the media law.

    2. “Khabar” Agency form it’s own working group for the PBS in order to collect all the necessary information and it’s own recommendations for the changes in the Media Law in order to assist the parliament. The group should consist of the media professionals, independent journalists, financial experts, legal experts, representatives of public mass media organizations. In order to have the specialists with the international experience the intergovernmental organizations in the mass media field (Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development, UNESCO) should be invited to participate in the working groups.

    3. The simultaneous working groups of parliament and Khabar defined the time frame for the preparation of working plan, proposals to the government in terms of structure, legal framework, financial and legal structure.

    4. Both working groups during 9 month have to work out the plan in relation of all aspects of PBS.




  • Expected results: detailed proposals in relation of legal, administrative and financial structure of the PSB.


The working group suggests adding the items from 15 to 20 from the recommendations made during the Bishkek recommendations made during the Bishkek



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