Governing body

Membership

1. The Board of Governors serves as the highest decision-making body that will formulate policies to govern the Public Service Broadcasting organisation.

2. It can have between 5 and 9 members with wide experience and expertise in their respective fields of work. They should be inclusive of a range of interests.

3. The Board should be accountable for its decisions.

4. Appointment to the Board will depend on each country's socio-economic and political environment.

5. The selection process should be open and transparent so that citizens can watch and scrutinize the process.

6. Members of the Board may be appointed by the parliament or any elected body. The Members of the Board may be chosen from among the nominees of associations and organisations representing various sectors in the broadcast industry, and they shall serve with a fixed term.

7. Each Board member shall be of proven and unquestionable probity, integrity, honesty and reputation.

8. There should be representation from the district/regional and national levels, as appropriate.

9. Members of the Board shall not represent or advocate any vested interest, political or otherwise. They must declare their interest. A register of interest will be maintained to ensure that there is no conflict during their term of appointment.

10. Appointments shall not be given to those who hold a position in, receive payment from, or have significant financial interests in telecommunications or broadcasting. Also excluded are those convicted of a crime after due process.

11. The CEO could become an ex-officio member of the Board.

Proposed Organisational Chart PSB Model

DiagramDiagram

 

Policy Guidelines

1. Policy must cover ways to balance public interest and competitive zeal.

2. Policy should ensure decentralization, in terms of the organisation, content, and local control over programmes'

3. Policy should provide key players with the resources and manoeuvrability to manage risk, aspirations, and organisational capability.2

4. Policy should cover ways to develop options pertaining to adequate funding and financing of Public Service Broadcasting.

5. A policy of transparency in its activities and transactions should be adopted.

Obligations

The Board:
1.  Sets clear directions in accordance with a charter or other constitutional instrument including, for example, editorial guidelines, management and finance.

2. Crafts the policies and strategies of the public service organisation. It sets the annual objectives for the coming year. It examines the organisation's performance, financial accounts, and senior appointments.

3. Decides on operational plans and basic programming policy, and takes no executive role in the day-to-day operations.

4. Appoints and fixes the salaries of all senior officers and other officials as may be necessary for the management and administration of the PSB.

5. Conducts regular public consultations and surveys.

6. Develops, in consultation with interested stakeholders, a Code covering broadcasting practices and programme content. It will provide guidelines to assess key result areas, indicating the standards it will follow and the procedures it will use to evaluate management performance and accountability.

The Code addresses the following issues, whose violations can be the subject of legitimate complaints3:

  • Accuracy, balance and fairness
  • Privacy, harassment, and subterfuge
  • Protection of children and scheduling
  • Portrayal of sexual conduct and violence and use of strong language
  • Treatment of victims and those in grief
  • Portrayal of criminal and anti-social behaviour
  • Advertising
  • Financial issues such as payment for information and conflicts of interest
  • Discrimination
  • Leaked material and protection of sources

7. Produces an editorial policy in coordination with the Executive Body. That policy serves as a guide in ensuring and raising the ethical and professional standards of its programmes and journalism. It will be published and made accessible to the public to enable them to assess the editorial performance of its programmes.

8. Publishes and distributes an annual report.

9. Ensures that public service broadcasters invest in the development of human resource.

Accountability/Transparency

1. The Board must set clear roles and responsibilities for the Executive Body. It should have clear guidelines on performance expectations, resources and constraints to deal with performance.

2. The Board should provide accountability mechanisms to ensure that citizens can examine and assess the expenditure and efficiency of Public Service Broadcasting.4

3. The Board will submit to the appointing agency a comprehensive financial report, including externally audited accounts, overview of income and expenditure for the previous year, budget for the following year, other information related to policyimplementation and objectives for the next year. It should include information on robust targets, performance measures and accountabilities.' Such information should be widely disseminated through various media, including the Internet.

4. The Board should be subject to all applicable auditing procedures and rules of a government agency or commission on audit as far as government contribution is concerned.

5. An independent auditor should be appointed to ensure transparency of the financial transactions of the public service broadcaster.

REFERENCES

1 In-country Seminar on Legal, Financial &Administrative Aspects of Public Service Broadcasting, (2001) New Delhi, India 12-13 April.

2 Heriot, G., (2006) Planning and budgetary processes. Lecture given at the International Conference on Public Service Broadcasting. Hongkong, 21 June.

3 Ammu Joseph (ed.), (2006) Mediating Dialogue between Continents & Cultures,Asia Media Summit, article by Khan,A.W. Media independence and accountability. Session at the UNESCO,Asia Media Summit 2006. Kuala Lumpur, 29-31 May, Kuala Lumpur

4, 5 AIBD-Prasar Bharati in-country Seminar on legal, financial, and administrative aspects of Public Service Broadcasting. (2001) Proceedings report, New Delhi, 12-13 April