Calls for more in-country training workshops and sustainability concerns dominated discussions among AIBD members who participated in the 43rd Annual Gathering/16th AIBD General Conference in Maldives.
Close to 50 full and affiliate memberrepresentatives from16 countries attended the conference on 22 August 2017 to examine the Institute’s annual performance and future direction.
Discussions focused on the need for additional in-country workshops in member states, among them, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Maldives, the Philippines,Sri Lanka and Thailand. Training topics being requested cover mobile journalism, election reporting, media management, community radio, citizen journalism, archiving, documentary production, and training of trainers. Some members also requested the AIBD secretariat to look into offering online courses as a way to reach out to more members and reduce cost of training.
AIBD Director Mr Chang Jin presented the Institute’s annual performance. They implemented 36 training activities that benefited 840 broadcasters mostly from Asia Pacific and Africa from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017. These workshops covered a variety of topics to includeTV camera editing/lighting/production, digitization, production of children/youth programmes, radio production, disaster risk reduction, new media and social media.
Fifty percent (50%) of the activities were in-country, while 47% were regional and 3% were sub-regional. A majority of the participants were self funded, about 84%, while 7% were partly funded, and 9% fully-funded.
Dr Javad Mottaghi, ABU Secretary General, said they are willing to coordinate with and help AIBD in pushing joint activities to meet members’ needs in some areas including election reporting, training of trainers and development of online courses.
The Korea Information Society Development Institute (KISDI) has offered to open more applications for AIBD members who wish to participate in future training workshops on content, being organised by the Korea Radio Promotions Agency or RAPA.
The Consortium for Educational Content in India said they are willing to assistAIBD to produce educational programmes and use infographics.
Mr Chang agreed with members to pursue additional funds for training and said the Institute would review the list of activities lined up in the future to respond to members’ needs. While he acknowledges the importance of online courses, he said they would also continue with face-to-face training sessions to enhance capacity building. He will coordinate with the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) for its offer to help AIBD develop online courses.
Members also engaged in extensive discussions on sustainability issues, examining the status of member states’ subscription payments and AIBD’s annual budget.
Chang Jin raised concerns over the decrease in international programme support and delay in the payment of subscription arrears. He appealed to members to pay up early so that the Institute will have the necessary funds to carry out its operations.
On the membership campaign, Chang Jin highlighted the entry of five new affiliate members. He also reported that three affiliates were suspended while the membership of two others was terminated.
Mr Ham Sam Ath, Deputy Director General for International Relations, Ministry of Information, Cambodia, said private broadcast companies in his country are interested to become members, an opportunity the Institute should tap soonest.
On the AIBD budget, Dato’ of Radio Television Malaysia requested the AIBD secretariat to provide more details on its income and expenditure, saying that “it is better for members to know where money goes and to ensure funds are equitably spread out”.
Dr Abbas Naseri Taheri, President of AIBD General Conference and Advisor to IRIB President and Director General, Iran, had a similar request, seeking as well for detailed plans on how to raise funds and control costs.
“We need to sustain this organisation. It is our duty to discuss and explore ways to make the organisation efficient and find more money for its training activities”, Mr Ibrahim Khaleel, Managing Director of Public Service Media, Maldives, said.
Some members also sought early distribution of the annual performance and financial reports, at least a month before the GC, to ensure they come prepared during the meeting to engage in high level discussions and recommend measures to deal withvarious concerns.
Mr Chang Jin said the Secretariat will provide soonest a more detailed financial report andwill move on withfuture strategy.
Other issues that members took up were the need to work out a more detailed strategic plan or roadmap 2020, and review of overhaul election procedures for members of the Executive Board.
The Director’sannual report also discussed the 14th Asia Media Summit (AMS) held in June 2017 in Qingdao, China. Reflecting on the highlight of AIBD’s work focused on development, Chang Jin said the summit was a success in helping broadcasters understand and address the many demands of development in the region.
“By doing so we are connecting ourselves in an all-round way with the societies and the world, so that to reliven, if necessary, the broadcasting and media industry,” he said.
The AMS was complemented by the AIBD Annual Media Report (AAMR), a study on the role of broadcasting media in communication for development, based on 22 members’ response to a 17-page survey.
Chang Jin also reported on AIBD’s international partnerships to include United Nations agencies and more than 20 organizations across the globe.