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ABU-RAI Days connects Asian and European broadcasters

In Rome this week, broadcasters from Asia and Europe are getting together to swap experiences and explore how broadcasters are transforming to serve their audiences in the new digital environment.

ABU-RAI Days, hosted by Italy’s public broadcaster RAI in collaboration with the ABU, is focusing on digital transformation and whether this is leading to a new age of audience-led evolution.

RAI President Marinella Soldi welcomed participants to the RAI Headquarters in Rome, saying that cultural and technological transformation was facing every broadcaster.

“Public service media needs to be on the forefront on digital transformation. There are no longer any boundaries… we are all undergoing cultural change to innovate and enhance our dialogue with our audiences.”

ABU Secretary General Javad Mottaghi said: “We are facing an audience led revolution. There is a necessity to work together to share the lessons learned from the pandemic. We must think globally and act locally as we transform our organisations.”

Speaking about the massive transformations happening at India’s public broadcaster Prasar Bharati, its former CEO Shashi Vempati outlined the changes happening to fulfil the company’s public mandate while continuing to connect with new audiences on digital platforms.

“This is an audience led revolution, the audience are way ahead of us with their use of technology… we are playing catch up.”

European Broadcasting Union (EBU) Deputy Director General Jean Philip De Tender said this difficult time during COVID had become one of the biggest opportunities in public service media.

“There are common processes and practices needed to make organisational changes. If we had to invent a public service broadcaster today what would it look like… This is a better way to begin the process of change than just trying to make changes to existing structures.

“There is a need to redistribute resources…to redesign our offerings and focus on people…think big!”