By JOSHUA ARLO from THE NATIONAL
CABINET has endorsed a K12 million submission last Feb 22 to ensure that the State-owned and run television gets off the ground as planned later this year.
The state television is set to air on Sept 16 and so far impressive progress has been made to make this a reality with a licence issued next month for links. The national television service station will be located at the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) headquarters at Five Mile in Port Moresby.
Chief Secretary to Government, Isaac Lupari last week was briefed and taken on a tour of the premises where he was impressed with the progress and urged all parties involved to continue to work together to make this a reality. “Television will be a platform where the Government’s national objectives would be achieved. “We, as bureaucrats, have to ensure this happens,” Mr Lupari said in a statement.
He said Government has given its full backing to ensure the project gets off the ground by putting up the funds for it. Mr Lupari urged the television team, led by NBC managing director Joseph Ealedona and special technical adviser Noel Mobiha, to redouble their efforts now that funds have been made available.
Mr Ealedona said following the setting up of a technical television committee, finer details of the project proper are being looked at now.
Pangtel managing director, Charles Punaha also gave an undertaking that a licence will be issued next month “for the links”.
(You can also read my comments on this TV station here).
Also while we’re at it, cable TV operator Hitron has mentioned something about a Digital TV service coming up on March 31st. Might give them call and see what that’s all about.
Update 28/03/08 from GAVAMANI SIVARAI
TV Can Educate and Inform: PM
Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare says the power of the media cannot be underestimated, and ‘the time is right’ to consider introducing television in PNG.
We already have the National Broadcasting Corporation with provincial radio stations around the country. “The time has come for government to consider television as another medium for visual broadcasting first in Port Moresby then everywhere else throughout the country”. Sir Michael said. He said the National Television Service will be a commercial station that will focus on educating and informing Papua New Guineans in more detail developments taking place around the country.
At present, there is no quota of local content that the government demands from existing media organisations. “We believe our PNG audience wants to have more information about our own country, not just what is happening in Port Moresby and overseas” he said.
The Prime Minister made these comments when announcing Cabinets recent endorsement of K12 million as initial seed funding for the establishment of the National Television Service for PNG.
He said the only content producing institution was the National Film Institute, mandated under Section 21 of the National Cultural Commission Act 1994. “The NFI is basically responsible for the generation and promotion of local content and growing the television and film industry in PNG”, he said. He said the NFI, in partnership with NBC, will be tasked with local content production. The NBC has also commenced discussions with various Government and line agencies to address local content. “By having a television service that demands local content, we are also enabling opportunities for our young people to explore areas such as film making, acting and other assiciated industries to develop” he said.
A Task Force comprising NBC, Department of Communication and Information, Department of Treasury, department of National Planning and Monitoring, Telikom and PANGTEL is overseeing the initial phase of the project.