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ABU President Mr Ryoichi Ueda addresses PBI Conference in Seoul, Korea

The event, hosted by KBS, Korea’s key public service media provider, is a forum to discuss a range of issues such as securing financial resources and attracting young audiences in the age of incessant disruption where the highest priority appears to fall on sustainability.

Since 2007, when KBS hosted its first PBI conference, there have been incredible changes to our industry. Public service media across Europe and Asia have displayed creativity and resilience in catching up with the times and accelerating themselves towards digitally enhanced communications. However, the changes in the development of the media industry have been explosive as well.

Mr Ryoichi Ueda, President of the ABU and of NHK Japan addressed the conference audience a the opening. His speech is given below:

Good morning, everyone. His Excellency Mr. Lee Nak-yon, Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea and fellow PBI members, I am truly delighted to have this opportunity to be here in this energetic city of Seoul, and celebrate together the opening of the conference.

First, I’d like to offer my heartfelt thanks to President Yang Sung-dong of KBS and the entire staff for working so hard to organize this wonderful conference.

Our theme this year is “Media’s Next Big Bang – Strategic Initiatives for Connected Platforms.” It is certainly very timely.

The world is quickly changing through digitalization of broadcasting and spread of the internet. Public broadcasters cannot survive in this age of transformation, without taking full advantage of connected platforms.

At NHK, we are currently implementing a 3-year corporate plan to guide us until 2020. Its most significant policy involves our evolution from “public broadcasting” into “public service media.” It requires us to become a key part of the social infrastructure that responds to our viewers’ needs anytime, anywhere.  We will accomplish this by making the most effective use of the internet and new technologies while maintaining broadcasting as our core operation. Later today, I will introduce some of the projects we are undertaking.

The issues that members of PBI face are common to broadcasters here in Asia. At the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union general assembly in Turkmenistan earlier this month, the two key topics discussed were “Thriving in the New Digital Age” and “Making the Future Work for Public Broadcasters.”

We explored how to make full use of connected platforms so that we might stay relevant to our viewers, as younger audiences shift away from television …and more people of all ages turn toward social media. ABU is a diverse organization which includes 279 members from 73 countries and regions. And over the past few years, adapting to digitalization has been one of our central issues.

Over the next 2 days here in Seoul, I look forward to engaging in creative and stimulating discussions with my fellow PBI members. And I sincerely hope that what we share here will help us chart a promising new course for public service media around the world.

I would like to once again thank Mr. Yang Sung-dong, President and CEO of KBS. I wish you all a successful conference!