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Governments urged to help broadcasters go digital

Friday 25 Nov 2011
Governments around the world have been urged to consider providing assistance to broadcasters in their digital transition.

World Electronic Media Forum

The call came in a declaration at the end of the 5th World Electronic Media Forum (WEMF), held in Accra, Ghana, on 16-18 November.

The forum was organised by the world’s broadcasting unions including the ABU and hosted by the African Union of Broadcasters.

“The transition of television to digital is inevitable for all nations, developed and developing, driven forward by the public demand for more channels, the financial opportunity available for governments for released spectrum, and the declining availability of certain analogue TV equipment for production,” the declaration said.

“The transition is, or will be, no simple matter. It calls for extensive planning, digital expertise, and cost with no increase in revenue.

“The governments are urged to consider facilitating the process of digital migration and also providing assistance to the broadcasters in carrying out the digital transition.”

The Director ABU Technology, Sharad Sadhu, moderated a session on the migration to digital radio and television.

Other sessions included the media’s role in creating awareness on climate change, preserving audiovisual archives, plans to revive a news exchange among African broadcasters and the importance for the media of maintaining public trust.

Panelists from ABU broadcasters included Murray Green of ABC-Australia, Toshiyuki Sato of NHK-Japan and Fikriye Berker of TRT-Turkey.

The meeting was the final in a series that began eight years ago. The earlier forums were held in Geneva in 2003, Tunis in 2005, Kuala Lumpur in 2007 and Mexico City in 2009.