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DBS 2014 – New technologies bring profound transformation, Deputy Minister says

The advent of new communication technology has brought a profound transformation in the way people communicate, the tenth ABU Digital Broadcasting Symposium has been told. 

In his opening address, Malaysia’s Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia, Dato’ Jailani Johari, said new technologies such as interactive TV and IPTV offered vast opportunities for public participation and engagement. 

“Media use is expanded further and the time has come to examine the root and route of the communications and multimedia,” he told delegates to DBS 2014 at the Hotel Istana in Kuala Lumpur. “The best place to start looking is the paradox of transformation.”

He said Malaysia, like many other nations in the region, was very keen on the digital transformation of the broadcasting industry and had taken up the digital challenge. 

“Our priority is to position the broadcasting industry in this country at the forefront of development and innovation in content, and we have made significant progress towards achieving this objective,” he said. “To encourage and promote development of local content, the government is providing incentives to help nurture local entrepreneurs and producing products catering to the international markets.

Dato Jailani said that, to stay relevant, it was important for traditional media to persistently evolve and embrace the advent of new broadcasting technologies while remaining strong in upholding the ethics of public broadcasting such as providing accurate news, respecting individual privacy, treating replies generously and listening to both sides.

Earlier, at the start of the symposium, Dato’ Yasmin binte Tan Sri M Yusuff, one of Malaysia’s best-known broadcasters, spoke in praise of radio.

“It’s free, it’s personal and it’s always there,” she said, though she warned that radio still needed to challenge itself to give people something they would not get from anyone else.

“Radio is still the biggest mood enhancer for people,” she said, calling it a “lifestyle support system”.

Dato Yusuff added that the rise of new technology had been predicted to spell the end of traditional media, but despite all the gadgets, the simple thing of listening to radio made people happy.

She said radio was still the most profitable mode of media; it was still free. 

“It’s not dying,” she concluded. “It’s evolving.”