‘Content is King’

It’s all about content: positioning new radio in the ‘Knowledge Society’. That’s the theme for next year’s RadioAsia2014 conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

A joint initiative of AMIC and the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), RadioAsia is the region’s premier annual event highlighting radio broadcasting’s unique role and its contribution to society. The Colombo conference is scheduled for 21st-23rd May, 2014.

In the ‘Knowledge Society’, where the Internet has become a key tool in disseminating informational materials, radio remains an effective, relatively low-cost platform in providing a range of content to diverse audiences. The traditional methods of delivering radio via medium-wave, shortwave and FM are changing as mobile devices and computers increasingly become integrated with the listening environment. However, while new ways of accessing radio are growing, at the end of the day the expression ‘content is king and technology is queen’ remains a truism.

More and more information is now available to people and they are making increased use of it in their daily lives as well as in their businesses. The application of multiple devices to consume content is now quite common. The Internet and mobile phone are enabling technologies that empower people to share experiences and information, while the availability of lifestyle information has made people’s lives richer.  The challenge for radio in the information age is to continue to deliver content with substance, across a range of platforms in an age of convergence.

In the context of the ‘Knowledge Society’, where is radio’s future in the production and provision of content? Can innovative and creative programming techniques enable radio to continue to meet its obligations in the new environment while also catering to its traditional credo ‘to educate, inform and entertain’?

Sri Lanka, where RadioAsia2014 is to be hosted, has an illustrious history in radio broadcasting, being home to one of the oldest radio stations in Asia. Thus, it is fitting that the 10th annual forum for Asian radio broadcasters, RadioAsia2014, should be held in Colombo. It will be co-hosted with the ABU’s prestigious ABU Radio Song Festival. www.radioasia.org

Media and Gender Highlighted at UNESCO Global Forum

The establishment of a Global Alliance on Media and Gender (GAMG) is expected to be one of the key outcomes of a UNESCO international conference to be held in Thailand in December.

According to UNESCO, the GAMG will coordinate the systematic follow-up to one of the critical areas of concern of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BDPA), namely “Women and the Media Diagnosis”.

The GAMG seeks to enable worldwide stock-taking and debate, including discussion on the challenges faced by international, regional and national programmes on gender and media. It will also provide training and encourage the sharing of experiences, while contributing to achieving Millennium Development Goal 3 on “promoting gender equality and empowering women”. Additionally, the output of the Forum will form part of UNESCO’s contribution to the Global Conference on Women, which is to be organized by the UN in 2015.

The Bangkok conference, known as the Global Forum on Media and Gender, will be held from the 2nd-4th December and is expected to draw some 350 delegates from the media, civil society organizations, gender equality advocacy groups, journalism educators and government representatives. AMIC has been invited by UNESCO to take a major speaking role in one of the opening sessions. www.unesco.org

AMIC Farewells Senior Staff Member

AMIC’s Research and Publications Manager, Assoc Prof Rachel Khan, is to leave the Centre at the end of this month.

Rachel joined AMIC in Singapore under a one year contract on secondment from the University of the Philippines in Manila. She will return to her home country to continue her teaching and research activities in the College of Mass Communication at UP-Diliman.

“My one-year at AMIC proved to be one of the lifetime experiences that I will cherish” she said. “For a start, I was able to work with well-respected members of the Asian academe and was also able to be part of the new Media Asia journal with Professor Cherian George at the helm.”

During her time with AMIC, Rachel undertook a range of high-level professional activities, including her editorial responsibilities with Media Asia, AMIC’s quality quarterly. Apart from editing books and journals, she was also the principal organizer of AMIC’s very successful 22nd international conference held in Yogyakarta in July, 2013, an event which attracted a record number of abstract submissions from delegates and contributors. In the field of capacity-building, Rachel represented AMIC in Yangon at a major development forum for Myanmar’s media sector, while her research work has encompassed AMIC’s broad spectrum of activities. 

Rachel Khan (2nd from right) with fellow AMIC staffers (l to r)
Sangeetha Madasamy, Angie Chew, Kranthi Kiran, Martin Hadlow and Ivy Alcantara

“Seeing the panorama of mass communication in Asia from the Singaporean viewpoint was also an eye-opener” she said. “It has enriched me as an academic and has allowed me to meet people from all over the region whom I would otherwise not have a chance to meet.”

AMIC Secretary-General, Martin Hadlow, noted that Rachel’s departure would be a great loss to the organization. “To have had a person of Rachel’s talent, intellect and professional calibre leading our Research and Publications team has been of huge benefit to AMIC” he said. “While we are sad to see Rachel go, we are delighted that she will continue to be linked with AMIC through her on-going role as Associate Editor of Media Asia.”

AMIC Membership Renewals Now Open

Membership renewals from AMIC’s individual and institutional members are now starting to flow into the Centre from throughout the region and beyond.

AMIC membership operates on a calendar year basis, with the 31st December being the date on which renewals are due.

“Already, some earlybird members are sending their 2014 subscriptions” said AMIC Secretary-General, Martin Hadlow. “We very much welcome this on-going commitment to AMIC and its important work in the region.”

AMIC membership provides for a range of benefits and advantages, including discounted rates on AMIC publications, along with access to free on-line journals. It also enables academics and students to attend AMIC conferences and workshops at privileged registration fee rates.

“We very much encourage existing and new members to consider ‘lifetime’ membership of the organization” notes the Secretary-General. He also asked existing members to recruit one colleague as a new member of AMIC. “The arithmetic is simple” he said, “if each member recruits another, we’ll double our membership.”

Details of AMIC membership are available on the web-site at www.amic.org.sg or please download the membership forms for:
Individual Membership
Institutional Membership
 for Asia (Apart from Japan)
Institutional Membership for all other countries

Summit Travels to New Lands

Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea port city of Jeddah takes centre stage next year as host of the Asia Media Summit 2014.

The AMS, an initiative of AMIC’s partner organization, the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD), celebrates its 10th anniversary Summit in Jeddah from 6th-8th May, 2014. This is the first occasion on which the Summit has been held in the Middle East region. Last year, the AMS was hosted in Manado, Indonesia.

The theme chosen for the Jeddah Summit is Media and Diversity: Enriching the Broadcasting Experience. AMIC has been invited to moderate one of the key conference sessions. More details of the AMS at www.aibd.org.my/ams