Programming, News and Production

The key principles that guide the existence of Public Service Broadcasting determine the programme policy. Programme content and production techniques should pursue issues of public interest in creative ways that inform, educate, and entertain.Audience should be treated as citizens.

Programme Policy
1. Public Service Broadcasting should reach all citizens through their diverse programmes.

2. The programme policy demands adaptation to the changing broadcasting environment by becoming more responsive to their audiences' needs. It is crucial to conduct audience surveys and hold dialogues with various stakeholders to know what they want to see and hear and how content can be improved.

3. Programmes need to present a range of topics and issues and varied opinions to reflect diversity

4.Programmes must aim for quality content and format. Producing these programmes requires creativity, integrity, and distinctiveness.

5. The programme policy calls for strategic partnerships and collaboration to enhance content, format, and technology.

6. The programme policy encourages the audience to participate in the creation of programmes, which are interesting and relevant.

7. The programme policy mandates public service broadcasters to produce programmes that reflect different cultures, traditional customs and religions in order to promote understanding, tolerance, and peaceful co­existence. It discourages the use of language, terminology or tone that exacerbates differences between peoples.

8. It should promote gender equality.

9. The programme policy should allocate space and visibility to groups who have been traditionally under-represented and depicted insensitively in the media.'

10. The programme policy recognises the need for guidelines in handling disaster, crises, conflicts and national emergencies including war.

11. Public Service Broadcasting should support programmes on socio-economic development.

Editorial Policy
1. Public service broadcasters should adhere to established journalistic principles on impartiality, accuracy, balance and fairness.

2. The editorial policy should ensure credibility of its information, news and public affairs programmes Credibility is more than the application of the principles of accuracy, fairness and integrity. It requires that the organisation and its journalists do not engage in activities that generate a perception of bias or pressure from any group.

3. To maintain the organisation's credibility, journalists are encouraged to desist from being identified in anyway with partisan statements or actions that give rise to bias or such perception.

4. It is not enough for public service broadcasters to be editorially independent. PSBs should also be responsible for the content and format, held accountable for its impact on various stakeholders.

5. PSBs could play an important part in the live coverage of parliamentary proceedings.

6. Independent mechanisms should ensure that all political parties should have access to, and fair coverage in the public broadcasting media during elections2,3

Content/News and Production
1.  Public service broadcasters should develop contents that cater to different groups of society.

2. Broadcasters should provide special attention to giving space and visibility to groups who have been traditionally underrepresented and depicted insensitively in the media.4

3. Public Service Broadcasting should provide various materials that seek a balance between programmes of wide appeal and specialized programmes that serve the needs of various groups.

4. To enhance its impact, PSBs should pursue creative risk taking in producing content and format.This may involve not only improving on its past successes, but also providing new and fresh programmes.

5. Programmes and their format should surprise and delight PSB's audiences.They should be innovative, and offer new ideas, adding to the audiences' experiences of the world, of entertainment, of culture and of the creative act.

6. Public service broadcasters should be encouraged to outsource production as may be appropriate, guided by the criteria drawn up by the PSB.

7. Programming content should ensure that it is not unduly offensive to any one community or culture; that it is free to air and unrestricted in terms of access and that there is programming for all groups including children's programming.

8. In the context of globalisation and increasing presence of a monoculture, broadcasters have a special responsibility to actively promote and foster through their programmes a multicultural pluralistic society with free flow of information, public discussion, and a debate of issues5

9. PSBs should utilise popular entertainment genres such as soaps, realty TV shows, music, art forms and comedies to promote education messages on population, health, literacy, etc.

10 Public service broadcasters should produce entertaining educational programmes directed towards children. Their participation should be encouraged in the critical phases of production.

Approaches
1. Public service broadcasters should regularly upgrade the production, content, and presentation of television news and current affairs programmes through the provision of new technology and the exposure of staff to modern and alternative production techniques and values6

2. PSB organisations should produce quality programmes useful for all sections of the society.

3. Public Service Broadcasting should encourage longer, in-depth programming which should focus on public interest, using traditional and modern formats, which could be directed at niche audiences.

4. Interviewing techniques in news reporting have to be used in a mature manner, not allowing anybody to get away without counter questions and challenges. The reporter has to win the game by asking questions, which may sometimes be disliked by the interviewee.'

5. Good research is an important component of investigative journalism - which of course, has ethical issues connected with it- and the basis for conducting a good interview.8
The PSB journalist takes a proactive and not a reactive attitude, not waiting for the story, but looking for it.

Technology
PSBs must be encouraged to decentralize their production structure and use modern, but affordable, digital production technology, especially to produce news and information/education oriented programmes such as documentaries.

REFERENCES
Proceedings of the AIBD/FES/NIMC in-country seminar on Public Service Broadcasting. (2002) Dhaka, Bangladesh, on 9-10 December.

2 AMIC (2006). Promoting editorial independence and media pluralism: Public service television in Asia (Issues and Recommendations).

3 Regional seminar on regarding legal, financial, and administrative aspects of Public Service Broadcasting. Proceedings of the regional seminar (2004) Bangkok,Thailand, 29-30 November.
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4 AIBD/FES/NIMC in-country seminar on Public Service Broadcasting. Proceedings Report, (2002) Dhaka, Bangladesh, 9-10 December 9 - 10.

5 AIBD/FES/NIMC in-country seminar on Public Service Broadcasting Proceedings Report, (2002) Dhaka, Bangladesh, 9-10 December.

6 UNESCO seminar on promoting independent and pluralistic Asian media (1992). Declaration of Alma Ata,Alma Ata, Kazakhstan, 5-9 October.

7' 8 Madhu, K. P. (ed.), (2005) Proceedings of the AIBD/FES/UNESCO regional seminar on broadcasting regulation: Protecting public interest, promoting broadcast development. Jakarta, Indonesia