Public Service Broadcasting: An Asia-Pacific Approach
TheAsia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development and the FriedrichEbert-Stiftung are committed to supporting the admirable version of broadcasting development, i.e. helping governments and civil societies to set up broadcasting as a means of comprehensive local, national and international information, as a mirror of the country's culture and social reality and as an instrument to entertain the audiences with programs they are familiar with. Broadcasting needs to be organised according to those goals.The answer is Public Service Broadcasting
At their first conference, the Ministers of Information and Broadcasting from various countries in the Asia-Pacific region as well as heads of radio and television organisations, policy makers, scholars, and representatives of international organisations stated in the preamble to the Bangkok Declaration in May 2003 (among other things):
"Mindful of the crucial role played by public service broadcasting in increasing the awareness of the people, promoting freedom of expression, ensuring free flow of information and ideas, maintaining diversity in the broadcasting sector and empowering the communities, public service broadcasting should provide programming that serves public interest and facilitates people's participation in development programmes for the societies."
Thus, the Bangkok Declaration and its Recommendations signed by Ministers of Information and Broadcasting from various countries in the Asia-Pacific region provides a sound basis for the development on an Asian approach to Public Service Broadcasting in line with the provisions of UNESCO to serve to the democratic, social and cultural needs of each society and to preserve media pluralism.
In light of globalisation, new IC technologies and the ever-growing commodities of private media, the broadcasting landscape in the developing societies is still undergoing dramatic change. Caught between the state-controlled model, where ruling political elites dominate broadcasting to strengthen their grasp on power, and the commercial systems, where the logic of profit and advertising revenues produce shallow entertainment, the only way to protect and to promote the public interest is through the enhancement of PSB.
Hence the concept of PSB is more relevant than ever before and AIBD, its members and its partners still have a long way ahead in nurturing and strengthening PSB institutions and practices to safeguard the integrity, needs and interests of the public. This publication aims to promote PSB as a public good that provides free access to information, supports democracy and reflects the diversity of audience interests in the respective Asian countries—a process that has been already mandated by the Ministers of Information and Broadcasting.
Dr. Paul Pasch
Representative to Malaysia