K12mil earmarked to launch State TV

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).

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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.

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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.

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34 thoughts on “K12mil earmarked to launch State TV

  1. Hi Emmanuel

    Just two points which I would like to make, great that the gov is going into TV but will they allow a balance on what they show.? Especially when exposure on corruption practises by the government is brought to light. We hope that the reason why the gov is pushing for this is not only a one sided coin.
    Not to mention also the poor state of provincial radios which the gov has not done much and and now launching into TV, most of them a off air almost all year around. Seems like they are making leaps without address the current problems of provincial radios.

  2. Hi Emmanuel

    Congrats on creating this forum for PNG ICT followers to comment on. Some impressive and commendable opinions expressed on the TV Project. Here is an invite for a workshop/public forum to serve as a venue to public feedback and information dissemination.

    +++++++++++++

    National Television Service

    I would be more than willing to attend a discussion with the public particularly the youth or the Young Generation to chat on Television. No agenda – just talk as it is important that the Project Team gets to hear what you as possible viewers would want to see when the Service is operational.

    Drop me an email for us to chat on this and if there are sufficient numbers we may organise a room at UPNG to chat even more.

    Also if the interest is there we can get NBC to brief us on what is happening over there, how the two services will operate and the go forward strategy. Tune in to 90.7MHz – there has been some change in programming and there is more to come.

    Your views is important to the Television Project and to the future of this country.

    Regards

    Mobiha

  3. Hi Noel,

    Thank you very very much for contributing to this blog. It’s not everyday that we get a comment from the government side of ICT so your idea for a forum is definitely worth looking into. I know allot of people who would be interested in such an event so let me look into it and I’ll get back to you about how we can move forward with it.

    What if Telikom sponsored it?

  4. Hi Emmanuel & viewers on the blog

    I will speak to a couple of sponsors to see if some business houses including Telikom are interested in sponsoring such an event. Let me know (offline – hope you still remember my number) what the cost is going to be like.

    In the meantime I am looking forward to hearing from viewers.

    Mobiha

  5. Thank you Noel for taking time to place your comments on this blog, it’s refreshing that people of your caliber are taking time off to listen to the wishes of the younger generations.

    Well basically, people are fed up of hearing about rape, murder, arm robberies and tribal fighting. For example, when I pull-up our daily online papers and the first story I read is of a mother being raped, that is just very depressing and sickening. It simply affects my productivity for the rest of the day, just imagine that happening to the whole nation the same day, we have a case of “regional scale daily depression”. The current media organization have concentrated on those bad stories for far too long, stories of corruption, rape, torture etc., they don’t realize that more they do this, the deeper the nation falls into depression with a feeling of hopeless. For so long past media organization have entertained that. I would like to see the government media be positively full of energy be vibrant and optimistic giving a lot of hope for our people, make PNGeans feel empowered and capable of venturing into the boundaries of impossibilities. The nation needs empowerment and I think you guys are doing a great job of huge significance that will impact many lives according to the vision of the TV station. I am absolutely excited about it I hope the TV station helps bring back the positivity and optimism of the future back in to the lives of our people.

    There are many success stories out that that need attention, even if its of a story of a single person overcoming the perilous journey of being disable to becoming a successful athlete, those a positive story. I know the government have made available grassroots funds through NDB for villagers, those are the kind of news that needs to be mention. I know that this is the one of the key vision of the government TV, which is absolutely marvelous.

    Well there is one thing I know, getting the youths, either be from the streets, villages, high schools and university directly involved in the TV Program’s is absolutely a plus. For instance a programing featuring inter-university debates, for example between Unitech and UPNG on some issues. Of course this has many people of interest watching for various reasons. Just to see their sons or daughter and friends on TV, people will tune in. One of the programs I can recall NBC broadcast when their reporters actually go into the villages and interview the locals during special occasions and events. I think that was one of the true spirits of NBC radio back in the times of late Rev. Bedero Noga, it maybe an idea worth adopting for the new government TV.

    Well another one I know would be a hot feature is to Have a Oprah Winfrey kind of show on the program, invite people to have live debates on hot relevant issues that are making headways. A “bring it on in your face” type of show, raw emotions, that keep people talking about it and spreading the idea, information and intellectually enrich people even days or weeks after the show has aired. It can be a venue for debates by MPs that would like to clarify issues or gain public support of an issue. An MP can make a challenge, for example during parliament debate to continue the debate on the program. Public opinion can sway votes in parliament and what better place to gather public support than having live oprah winfrey kind of shows. In cooperating these shows with live polling as Emanual has demonstrated on Ice Discovery. Allowing the public to visibly and directly influence an outcome is a very powerful tool. Another one is making heros or stars out of simple people that work a simple governmental 8am to 4.06pm job. Creating many and wide variety of role models that our young population can identify with and grow up with is a powerful positive stap for the psychology of our young nation. Basically, empowering people and getting them directly into the frame of PNG’s development.

    Well apart from the obvious information dissemination channel of our government, I think those a some of the issues I can brainstorm up, I could continue on and on but I hope I made some sense from this long note, my sincere apologies for that.

    Regards
    VB

  6. VB I cannot agree with you more on your comments on reporting in this country. I guess in relative terms this falls more in the type of Govt Policies that we have, the execution of those policies and the regulation and monitoring that comes with it. It is a whole heap of processes that really need some oiling by the relevant bodies of the Govt machinery. When nothing happens the marketing of a medium takes over from reporting thus fruit of which is evident today. Tougher legislation brings more confusion then good. But that is the issue I guess is for Govt and thanks for raising your comments on the depression issue.

    On the late Rev. Bedero Noga he is one of our founders of radio broadcasting and yet there is little recorded history of this great man. There is some much we need to do in archival and information storage to preserve our history – and this will be one of the goals of National Television Service is to preserve our identity.

    The NDB is focus on providing services to the rural communities. It is early days but we have been in contact with NDB to see if we can form a partnership to provide broadcast content into the rural areas of our country. In forming partnerships with entities like NDB, cost which the obstacle to development can be addressed. This is on the radar at the moment and hopefully we will get more entities (govt and private) to participate so that we can roll out affordable services to our rural populace.

    Your paragraph on programmes raises a very important component of television. This is the Content. It can be appropriate or it can be not. This is where the concern of the Govt is. Observations of content in developing economies indicate an uneven (asymmetric – offshore content more than locally produced). To go to air there has to be a content supply to match the broadcast time. For a year of 24 hours broadcast we need 24×365 = 8760 hours of content. And believe me it is not cheap and possible to generate that many hours in one year in PNG. We just do not have the resources (funding being paramount) to produce large volumes of content in the initial phase. Content that is generated can be local and real time using live studio broadcast and live outside broadcast. There is also content that comprises factual information, news and entertainment which can be developed or acquired most often at a cost. I can go on but to summarise on launch you will not be viewing a lot of hours like EMTV but this will grow as we develop content producing industry going forward together. There is of course some content already developed and the National Film Institute (NFI) is assisting with the audit on that. The NTS in partnership with the NBC, NFI and Content Partners will be promoting the development of local content in PNG.

    Identification of talent has commenced and we are targeting youth. Over 100 applications have been lodged with the Task Force Team. We hope to conclude the short list of people under 30 years of age to be available for an organisational structure to be established upon some strategic advice. The selected people may be considered for a period of offshore attachments.

    In terms of News it is important to point out that editorial independence is crucial to ensuring credibility of a news medium. The Government has pledged editorial independence for the Service which is the same as what is happening now with NBC.

    I guess I may have gone a bit too long on this so I will park it for now.

    Thanks VB for a very fruitful contribution.

    Regards

    Mobiha

  7. Thank you Noel for your note. May I put few more additional thoughts that just popped up while reading your very informative reply.

    While reading your note, I was drawing an analogy to the music industry in PNG. In former times, you could not record your music anywhere else apart from CHM or Pacific Gold Studios. Only these two studious had the capacity to create quality sounds. However, now with the proliferation of some very creative and readily available computer software with advance audio technology, anyone, anywhere can create a highly professional sound track, one of the groups is like Hausboi studios in Lae, group of young PNGeans with computers and along with some sound mixing devices that have really produced some excellent entertainment. This kind of advancement has now compelled CHM to focus more on getting these individual groups/studios to affiliate with them so they can keep afloat. CHM is becoming more of a marketing and distribution point then a venue for recording. Well I think that this is the idea that government TV should adopt, and that is to harness the creativity of the people; the question is how to do that? One TV station that is doing exactly that is known as Current TV, it is viewed in 51 million households in UK and US alone. Current TV pioneered the interactive view created content (VC2). I have watched it many times and must say the contents are riveting, authentic and compelling.

    In this modern era, armed with a simple digital camera and some tweaking of scenes using some free ware downloaded from the Internet or that of windows moviemaker, anyone can create a magnificent documentary or commentary. Overlay this with some narration and a sound track in the background; a professional product can be easily created. This would possible cut the cost of developing contents and most likely makeup for the hours. If government TV can strongly advocate this I believe the hours of 8760 hrs per year can be significantly accounted for by local contents. For instance we have 700 different cultures that would mean we have 700 opportunities to document 700 different styles of wedding ceremonies. Like you mention, it is expensive for government TV to do that, so putting a notice out for a people and strongly advocating view created content (VC2) for them to produce a 30 min documentary of a wedding ceremony, the rituals involved, preparations, the symbolic gestures etc., I think may be a good alternative. If we do that, 700 x 0.5hrs = 350hrs. Apart from marriage ceremonies, there are food ceremonies, conflict resolution ceremonies, planting rituals, bigman rituals, education celebrations, deaths, beach holiday events, jungle hiking, hunting, creating a new garden etc etc and the list goes on. Something similar to what NBC formerly did by going into the villages to report on any events, songs etc. But the difference is, instead of NBC going in, individual people or group of people can go in and do it armed with a digital motion camera. The young generations are quite creative now with producing some very fancy holiday clips with their own families. While I was in Perth, my friend showed a beautiful 1hr documentary of his wedding in Vanuatu, I was very impressed, it was as good as or even better than some of the content produced on EmTV, and it was worthwhile and educational to watch with the different traditional steps he had to go through. I think many viewers would rather prefer watching a peace ceremony ritual in Enga to watching some overseas sitcom, even if that is not the case it would surely by a very competitive choice they have to make. If government TV could promote viewer created content (VC2), I can see our govt TV also becoming PNG’s very own Discovery Channel or National Geography, it would serve as an information source for tourist, researchers, education of our school kids, and also a source of archive to store our rich culture, tradition and rituals. Well, just a very optimistic calculation is that if we were to document 7 other events for the whole of the 700 different cultures, that would be 7 x 350 hrs = 2450hrs. All that the government TV should do is strongly encourage and entice PNGeans to pick up a camera and make a documentary with government TV paying lets say roughly K200 per documentary. 2450 hrs means 4900 30mins documentaries in a year, which would work out to government spending K1m on VC2, and if they would like to make the spending to K2m on VC2 that would mean K400 per documentary and I am pretty sure that young very creative PNGeans will jump at the chance. Even university students, for example, a 30 minute documentary of life on campus etc..I am sure they will get very creative. You will definitely receive some documentary from me and 15 other friends I know who are into making digital motion documentary on every trip or holiday they we go on if this happens. Well to maintain quality and standard, I am sure the government TV would have a team of technical computer graphics and animation specialist complimenting them with audio and video specialist who will review and comment on the video documentaries for any changes and improvements before airing.

    Well those few of my other thoughts. I really hope that the government TV is a success. You can check VC2 model Current TV pioneered on http://current.com/s/about.htm.

    Regards,
    VB

  8. Thanks Noel and thanks VB for mentioning http://current.com/, it’s been a dream of mine to one day run an operation like that because it would be relatively cheap to run and also for me it brings together all my interests in media from web to film.

    Current TV first gets users to create the content, then the content is filtered through a voting process on their website. The winners are then distributed on their cable TV channels like Hitron etc.

    I can see several sponsors (or Government. TV, (I’ll call it GTV)) here giving out camera’s for free or at discounted prices to whoever applies and is approved. Their content can then go on a GTV website to be voted on either via the website and/or SMS. Monthly winners then have their content aired on GTV.

    Of course you could have several categories that content can be produced for thus broadening the content genres. You could maybe even have awards at the end of each year to praise the winners for most popular films for each of the categories.

    I would suggest that you first stick to short films and docos that go for no longer than 30 mins. That will allow for producers to produce content faster and it is only when you have such quantity that out of that unique talent will emerge.

    The key as always is to make the producers accountable to their audiences through viewer participation or else we will fall into the trap of being like CHM or EMTV where we complain about content but content or the same style of music clips without anything to drive creativity.

    Things like the TropFest in Australia are great examples of test grounds for film talent and having had first hand experience in participating in it I know that all these things are not complicated or really technical issues to get creativity started. All it takes is an accessible and user friendly platform for creative individuals to cheaply and quickly launch their ideas and stories.

    GTV, can be just that type of platform.

  9. Television has a captive audience. Against the other mediums, it has a greater influence on its viewer’s intellectual capacity because it is both audio and visual. Harnessing that to provoke positive thought is powerful. And so like my fellow contributors to this forum, I am keen to see the Government Television station launched.

    Without doubt, programs and the content of the shows are vital. This is what makes or breaks respective TV stations. Wonderful ideas have been brought forward by VB, Noel Mobiha and Emmanuel and I hope many more will come forward through this forum.

    A key consideration I would like the TV station management to hold high in its business plan is its management of facilities.

    Our Government TV station will become the face of our Country.

    Fickle as it may sound, any organization’s work ethics are quickly distorted just by the appearance of its people and their surrounds. Those who think, “Never judge a book by its cover,” are deluding themselves. We are a proud people – proud of our rich, cultural heritage – and we should present ourselves that way.

    The Government TV station must get out there, listen to its people and be its voice – being customer focused and becoming a mechanism for positive change.

    Though Government owned, this station must be prepared to build partnerships, foster relations, collaborate ideas both with the business, the community and of course the Government.

    Let’s work proactively to set about the ripple effects of positive change..and how profound one shining countenance can have on another.

  10. I worked at EMTV for a few years (I’m no longer in PNG), and have worked for numerous broadcasters in Australia and the UK. And I have always found competition amongst broadcasters to be a good thing, not just for the viewer, but also for those that work in the industry. I have no doubt a 2nd TV station in PNG would be a positive advance for PNG media.

    But I think a key issue that needs to be considered is coverage. There are apparently 4 “phases” of the coverage roll-out (according to this article on Islands Business that is well worth a look.

    They say “The first phase will make it possible for Port Moresby viewers to watch NTS, second phase will be the provinces (19), the third phase will be for rural people and the fourth phase will be the region.”

    EMTV has worked hard for many years to achieve the coverage they now have, using very expensive satellite technology to broadcast to remote ground stations for re-broadcasting in local areas, again with very expensive hardware. I am curious how NTS plan to expand out to areas beyond Port Moresby? And I think at some stage they will need to state a timeline to reach at least the 2nd and 3rd phases. Months? Years? And if years, then how many?

    There are countless hurdles to overcome to become a national TV broadcaster in an environment like PNG where the geographical challenges to broadcasting nationally are so extreme. One would hope NTS have a plan for how they intend to overcome them; as until they reach well beyond Port Moresby they will not be a “national” service.

  11. Thank you Beatrice and BJW for joining in. Here are excerpts from the the article from Islands Business magazine:

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    Media: SOMARE’S GIFT TO THE PEOPLE
    New TV service goes to air on independence day

    Harlyne Joku

    NTS (National Television Service) will telecast live giving a choice to Papua New Guineans to watch a new TV service, hence provide competition to PNG’s only commercial TV station, EMTV. EMTV is owned by Fiji-based Yasana Holdings, also owners of Fiji TV.

    NTS will be operated and managed by PNG’s National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) of which PINA (Pacific Islands News Association) president, Joseph Ealedona, is managing director. Ealedona told ISLANDS BUSINESS the PNG government views television as a powerful tool for empowering people to make informed decisions that will improve their quality of life and living standards.

    The first phase will make it possible for Port Moresby viewers to watch NTS, second phase will be the provinces (19), the third phase will be for rural people and the fourth phase will be the region.

    Ealedona said Asia Broadcast Union and Canal France TV will assist NBC, so as Singaporean experts. NBC officers responsible for producing local radio programmes are currently putting together the NTS programmes.

    He added that NTS will be requesting business entities and organisations to support the TV station through commercial public advertisements that will be informative and educational for the PNG audience.

    He stressed the media had an important role to play in ensuring that Papua New Guineans and countries in the region hold on to their cultural morals and positive development.

    “NTS will promote and enhance local production of content industry in PNG and develop and create a core team of specialist in the field of multimedia content production,” Ealedona said.

  12. Also in that Islands Business article were these comments from EMTV and the Media council.

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    “…Meanwhile, the General Manager for EMTV, Glenn Armstrong said the Media Niugini Limited (MNL) which operates EMTV has offered some advice and assistance to the PNG Government in its bid to establish a public service television station in Papua New Guinea.

    The offer of assistance remains open, Armstrong said.
    He added that a television service requires the investment of millions of Kina, expertise in TV content, production, programming, engineering, management and delivery infrastructure in order to serve the people of PNG.

    Armstrong said at this stage there is not enough known about the proposed service and its content and delivery to make a comment or form an opinion.

    The PNG Media Council President, Oseah Philemon, said the introduction of a new television service is indeed an excellent opportunity for Papua New Guinean viewers who have had access to EMTV only.

    Philemon hopes NTS will be a good TV network that will provide excellent local content and operate independently from government control.

    “It must adhere to the NBC charter on independence and covers news events and views without fear or favour.

    “NTS must be able to provide news and views for and against government policies. It must not be used as a tool for government propaganda, Philemon said.

    Philemon added there is a lot of room to develop local programmes and NTS must provide an excellent alternative to EMTV.

    “It must not be a copy of EMTV under a new banner,” he said.
    Philemon also said that television is an expensive network to run and he hopes that it is separately funded.

    “I hope the government television service does not take up the role of NBC because it plays a crucial role in educating majority of Papua New Guineans. NTS must have separate funding from NBC,” Philemon said.

  13. Hi Manu and the rest

    Its realy good to hear your views on Government TV. Noel…. thanks for taking time out to contribute to the discussion.

    I read BV’s comments and I agree 101% on the content and the strategy being used for getting the contents on TV. Armed with a camera… one can do miracles (Manu.. have yu found yours? ).

    Just wanted to point out that…. young people must be creative in thier approached… they must also be taugh basics in media production. Past 5 weeks I have been helping to teach “Social Media” to a group of youths from the streets who are really keen.
    http://yutok.wordpress.com/2008/02/13/youths-in-png-learning-social-media/
    And I note… that they have the desire… but they lack the skills, knowledge and equipments. BV mentioned about giving out digicams… thats a start…. but also teach them basics in media such as podcastings, bloggings etc.
    I also note that some of the students in my group had trouble with computers… while we take this for granted… let us not forget that almost 90% of young people do not know what a computer is and even how to use it. You may have a really outstanding candidate in your interviews.. but when you put him in front of a computer… we will take almost a week to type out a letter.

    So to summarise… I believe with the media industry… we should start with the basics… and when they are able to do podcasting and vodcasting… you’d be amaze of the talents you have under you.

    Rex

  14. Hi All I skipped out for a day and wow the positive comments are mind blowing.

    BV commented earlier on depressive reporting/comments in the print media but this blog is turning out some very positive ideas. VB thanks also for the current.com reference. BV you are correct in stating that creativity and innovation is with the younger generation. It is a statement that I have always believed in. For PNG if invest in the youth we are investing in our nations future. On content yes there is a lot of things one can do and I note with appreciation your input on this crucial matter. Perhaps we can organise an informal forum where we can all share more on content production?

    Beatrice we are in the process of finalising an appointment of one the leading authority in Asia in the film and television industry to provide strategic advice on the forward direction of NTS. The person is highly credible and brings to us over 30 years of film and television experience. A major thrust of the Terms of Reference for the engagement is the production of a Business Plan. That is key to the survival of the Service and B you are correct. It is the crucial for any business to survive.

    Whilst EMTV has offered help to NTS, Mr Armstrong is correct to say that there is no public information to comment on the Service. Whilst the latter is true that does not mean there is a lot happening in the background. One positive thing about having two TV stations is that it offers more job opportunities and provides two broadcast programs at any given time (when both stations are on). We are building NTS from scratch and as we proceed after an official announcement is made, more and more information will be made available to the public through various outlets including the Internet.

    BJW your query on how the broadcast will be made available to viewers in PNG, a technology platform is being investigated which will use the latest in compression and Internet Protocol (IP) to ensure that delivery via satellite is a viable proposition for NTS. We are looking into ways to co-share the satellite space (through compression and IP) with rural developmental partners like Telikom PNG, Rural Development Bank to name a few. More on the Technology Plan will be revealed in the near future.

    On Mr Oseah Philemon’s comments yes the Government will give the NTS editorial independence. No Mr Philemon NTS will not copy EMTV programming but we will embark of setting the content platform that is PNG focused within a couple of years. Initially due to limited content in country the first couple of years will see limited broadcast hours and possibly limited PNG Content. FYI in the initial content audit exercise we conducted there is less than 50 hours available in PNG. The National Film Institute will be tasked with carrying out a full audit on all PNG Content in country and offshore. This exercise may take around 3 months. On that note if there are readers of this blog who have some know of some content or libraries that carry PNG content please do drop me a line.

    Rex I had a look at the URL and thanks it is very informative. I will like to come across and see what you and the team are doing. Would that be possible? podcasting and vodcasting (both subscription based) are delivery techniques that would work well over the mobile phone GSM platform. Hopefully Telikom PNG will implement the solution for content sales within the near future for this to happen.

    In summary I like the idea of promoting low cost content production with a view to building the content industry in PNG. NTS has allocated some funds for content development and shortly a notice on what is happening in this area will be announced shortly.

    We are making progress on securing some high demand programming content to back fill the gaps for entertainment.

    Let me know more on your thoughts on NTS. With your input a puzzle is turning into a picture.

    Mobiha

  15. Noel, just some more questions:

    1. Will the NTS and NBC run as one media company? Yes or No can you give reason why?

    2. What measures will you be taking for archiving of all the content that exists now and in future?

    3. In terms of co-sharing satellite space (through compression and IP) with rural developmental partners like Telikom PNG, Rural Development Bank, etc, will this IP network be available for other development use? For example could the IP network be also used for Internet for educational or health purposes?

    4. Has the Intellectual Office at IPA been consulted in regards to international and local protection of content that will be produced?

  16. 1. The thinking is that NTS will run as a subsidiary of NBC. Reason is that it may turn commercial in the years to come. But this issue is awaiting the Strategic Advice before the final decision is made.

    2. National Film Institute will be given some funding to assist with preserving content of the past on behalf of the National Library and Archives. For NTS the issue of content storage, preservation and archives is discussed currently but that depends very much on the strategic input and the technology available to facilitate that.

    3. Yes that is the intention. When entities co-share resources it reduces cost. However this is subject very much to Telikom input. Having said that early indications has been positive.

    4. This is an activity that recently commenced. All content are copyright. The NBC Content Team is looking into this and will be seeking advice guidance from them.

  17. Thank you all for the very stimulating discussions thus far. I am sure we all have the common wish for a positive impact by GTV (as coined by Emmanuel, more catching I might add!) on our nation.

    I would like to add a few more thoughts.

    Emmanuel has mentioned some very important issue I think GTV must seriously consider. And that is the power of the internet. With GTV roll out done in phases, 1st phase for Port Moresby and then extended to other regions. It might be a good idea to develop an interactive online portal for GTV (www.gtv.com). GTV might be restricted in telecasting nationwide initially due to technicalities, but an online presences I am sure will boast its activities, popularity and vision nationwide. These would allow both non-telecast and telecast viewers to submit contents and participate in discussions for the improvement purposes etc. of GTV. GTV must utilize and take advantage of the boom in social networks and media as Rex has mention to promote its vision, hence increase its market base and thus be competitive in advertising, marketing and be efficient in information dissemination. If we have look at the greatest TV stations across the global, CNN, BBC TV, ABC, Channel 9, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geography, all this TV stations have a very powerful online interactive presence, where viewers can submit stories, videos, discussion, ideas or even comment on VC2 contents before airing. EmTV, absolutely don’t not have any online presence; hence I think it is one of its failures in generating revenue through advertising to support and sustain VC2 initiatives. Recently, the National online newspaper has significantly invested into online advertising, as more and more people become exposed to IT, naturally online will become the first source of information, even during working hours, before anyone needs to sit in front of a telly to watch a documentary with some advertisements. With that, PNG now has a significant global community, GTV going online in its 1st phase to coincidently launching of its broadcast in Pom CT alone, anyone with access, anyway in PNG or the world with internet can be able to watch some selected documentary that are uploaded online (WWW). Making it interactive will be ideal for advertising by business houses, both online GTV or through telecast.

    I think we have the local capabilities to develop such interactive web portals, so given 3 months, online (www) GTV can be comprehensively developed and be ready for the GTV telecast launching in Pom CT.

    Ultimately, I think the long term vision of the NTS must be able to generate its own revenue to expand and be flexible, I pretty sure government funding will sustain it for sometime but a little bit of incentive to keep the workers on their toes might be worthwhile. It might be a long way off but I am sure its one of the visions of NTS.

    Well, those are little bit of my others thoughts, I hope they are relevant to GTV push for innovation and creativity.

    An informal public forum would be a great idea to discuss the whole concept supported by technicalities to achieve the visions, little bit of coffee and biscuits would be a prerequisite.

    Regards,

    V.Badira (VB)

  18. VB

    Again another great input. Your thinking is brings to the fore some of the quiet NTS developments that are in the pipeline. The technicalities to ensure online content availability are more backend related (more bandwidth) but is workable. We are in the process of making an announcement in the near term in relation to content availability mechanisms – the platforms are within what you have raised. The logistics (HR in particular) to realise online broadcasting is one area where we are focusing on. This is one issue that could be discussed in terms of staffing in the public informal forum.

    Another important point you made reference to is the power of online advertising and paying customer access to hard statistics collection correlated with sales. Once there is interactivity on a site, regardless of what medium, marketing targets are realised. This is because online advertising is cheaper. This is good for business on all fronts.

    Yes VB lets meet, talk and bounce some ideas around. Liaise with Manu and all your connections and drop me a line. I will look for coffee and biscuit money and provide a listening ear. It would be appropriate to bring in the MD of NBC if this forum/public (particularly the younger generation) would like to hear about what is happening radio as well.

    For noting the hits for this week so far has gained some 700 hits.

    Noel

  19. Noel, in regard to your mention of hard statistics collection. Pretty much the standard now in website statistics is Google Analytics (http://www.google.com/analytics/). It gives some very detailed information on website usage and for setting targets for what they call conversion rates (i.e. conversions from hits to online sales).

    We run Google Analytics for over 17 websites in PNG including big names such as Digicel PNG, Tourism Promotion Authority, Post PNG and others. If you have some time I can show you the online reports for example for TPA which breaks down information right down to towns and IP addresses etc.

    Hard statistics is absolutely necessary to show if visitors are interacting with your website the way you want them to. I’ll give you an example. When we were talking to Air Nuigini about re-vamping their website, the marketing people there had the impression that most of the tourists who were looking for PNG destinations online would be from Japan and Europe. They were quite shocked when I showed them the TPA statistics that the Biggest hits for the TPA site actually came from Australia, US, Japan and Germany respectively.

    So if and when you get GTV’s website setup, make sure that your people look into using Google Analytics.

  20. Manu again thanks for your feedback. Very much appreciated..

    We have yet to sort out the administrative issue on a website for NTS.

    Please let me know whether you are still keen on the informal forum and if so when can we meet. I need some lead time to sort out the logistics. Drop me an email or give me a call.

    Mobiha

  21. Here’s a commentary from the Editor of the National:

    ——————————————————————–

    Restore the NBC first

    IT is difficult not to agree with the thinking of a correspondent to The National, published in yesterday’s edition. The subject was the proposed national television network.

    This newspaper has previously expressed some concern about the nature of that project. Briefly, we’ve pointed out the necessity for the “state television station”, as Government sources continue to refer to it, to operate under the existing Broadcasting Act. That legislation at least guarantees theoretical independence of content and administration to the National Broadcasting Corporation. Any attempt to establish a television station that is committed only to disseminating the viewpoint of the government of the day should be the subject of trenchant and sustained opposition by the Media Council. Far too many examples of “state television” scattered throughout the world’s dictatorships and imitation democracies already exist; PNG must not give away its birthright of unfettered broadcasting.

    One of the major issues raised by our correspondent concerned the state of the NBC. We all recognise that the Corporation now has a much more energetic and far-sighted management than it has had for many years and for that we are grateful. Even the Corporation board, long a resting place for non-entities, is playing its part in the rejuvenation of what was once a unique PNG network. But recovery cannot be rapid; while the present budget for the NBC has begun the process of viewing the national broadcaster’s legitimate needs somewhat more realistically, it still falls dramatically short of the funding that could and should be made available to the organisation. It is an extraordinary fact that no government since independence has made any real effort to make use of the NBC within the parameters allowed by the Act. Previous initiatives that opened the window on government policies and projects were created by gifted NBC staff producers and not at the behest of any government. The NBC had a fully-fledged training arm; each provincial station in the then fully-operational network of 17 or more stations was visited for at least a fortnight each year.

    One of the functions of those training teams was to teach a representative from each of the provincial government departments how to present a half hour radio programme each week, literally bringing the department to the people. Some stations broadcast these in a number of vernacular languages and there were many more operational radios in villages. Contact between the provincial governments and the people in even the most remote corners of each province were smoothly maintained. The flow of information was two ways; as people met station personnel in the field or visiting their villages, they detailed their concerns.
    These in turn formed the basis for government patrols throughout the provinces.

    Today’s available technology means that the costs of radio that can reach every person in PNG – and many beyond our borders – have fallen dramatically.
    We agree with our correspondent – get radio up and running as a first class medium once again, because it is the only true means of reaching every one of our people at the lowest possible costs. Television is a wonderful medium when it is used properly. But to be effective, whether to broadcast development policies and news or entertainment, television receivers need to be widely distributed throughout the nation.

    A recent check showed that even 14-inch bargain television receivers cost at least K400. There are few service networks in urban areas, and none outside in our provinces; spare parts are already a major hassle and an expensive item for set owners. A local television network with a commitment to PNG-generated programming may be a major asset – but the costs of such programming are high indeed. And quality PNG television producers, cameramen and women, interviewers, programmers and marketing staff cannot be produced overnight.

    Some of the fully qualified and widely experienced radio staff of the NBC remain on strength and the broadcaster has a very good chance of restoring the exceptional radio network of old – and carrying it forward into the new and innovative broadcasting age of this century. For our money, restore quality independent radio for our people before investing millions of our kina in “State television.”

  22. I trully agree with this editorial in the national, the radio is a far better medium of reaching our rural population than TV. I can’t pin a figure but the ratio of radios to television sets per household would be more in favour of the radios. I know in most rural household in the village there exist a transistor radio which is now lying idle because the 28 stations which broadcast on the short wave band do not have funding to air their programs. Apart from kundu FM in Morobe and Reno in Rabaul most of the others assets and facilities are falling into disrepair. How about that money for television being pumped into radio stations. Let’s not forget that only a minority of us have access to television and internet. However the stark reality is that most of our population are still living in the rural areas and our concern is how do we filter this services down to those people in this modern era. The television is great but will it reach the rural household? It would be better if the radios are properly funded and functional all year around before the idea of a television is even contemplated.

  23. Good point msmel, my initial reactions were the same. I do feel that radio should be first. As I pointed out in another post in this blog, the major government radio stations like BBC and Australia’s ABC all grew their media arms out of a start in radio.

    However from what Noel is saying and from my understating it appears that the GTV will be coming under NBC as their subsidiary. Financially this means that money will have to go through NBC.

    On the administration and technology level a radio station and TV station can use the same infrastructure. The same infrastructure can be used to broadcast both TV and radio signals. In addition the same NBC buildings around the country can be used for journalists, content producers and advertisers to have a central point in a province to send in reports, stories and advertising. (Actually advertising here will be an exciting development, because if we have all the NBC buildings around the country networked, then imagine the possibility for a small lobster supplier in Daru to advertise via radio to the rest of the country).

    The same news that NBC reporters gather for radio can also be used for TV and the website. So it’s really not an extra cost in terms of labour. TV (and the web) just adds on a different medium for the dissemination of the content.

    So in my mind I do think that radio is priority, however I do know that with today’s technologies synergies can be found to have both TV and radio running at the same time. So I see this whole exercise as really an upgrading of NBC and taking community media to another level through a government initiative. But yes, radio cannot be ignored while TV gets the share of resources. It must be done together.

    We are in exciting times right now, with some key factors which we need to capitalise on now in case we do not have this chance again. They are’ 1. The government has the political will to do this, 2. The government has money to do this, 3. The technologies are available to do it cheaper than in the past, 4. We have universities churning out journalists and we have a huge number of creative people throughout PNG with no cheap media platforms to express themselves.

    In terms of access yes it’s true that the minority have access to TV and the internet, but this minority all have kids and relatives and I believe that they probably will have the financial power to help spread access to a TV. I already have wantoks asking me to buy them mobile phones. So guess what, your next Christmas present to your relatives will be a TV from BNBM hardware or Brian Bell. We have to make a start somewhere.

  24. Interesting editorial commentary, but I strongly support the setting up the TV station. ICT is proliferating, we no longer living in a stone age, more people are have access to TVs and as they say, picture tells a thousand stories. It is a challenge and a vision for the governments, both present and future, to bring “the picture” to every community in PNG. We are on a brink of an ICT revolution and my only hope is that PNG gov’t in moving forward support local expertise and utilizes the capacities creativity and skills off out home grown personnel, whether in be in IT or others. My only suggestion is, just as our forebears didn’t really heavily on foreign expertise to develop our basic service infrastructures, I suggest that we don’t rely heavily on overseas contractors. No matter how much experience they have, they will never have the passion, the will and the drive to develop PNG like only true patriotic Papua New Guineans will have.

    Having said that, the manner of information dissemination is very important, what the audience take home after the information is presented, through which ever media, is imperative for effective communication between the government and the people of the nation. To present information via radio, one has to understand the level of comprehension of the villagers, which goes to the heart of literate level, type of audience and the manner in which radio announcer presents the information. However we may ague the scenarios, putting a picture and a flow chart for instance of how to apply for a loan in NDB, is easier for the average villager to comprehend, even if the TV coverage is not in that area, the materials produced for the city broadcast can be easily used and displayed on a laptop when a government officer visits the out stations. The materials that are produced are vital and are absolutely useful anywhere and anytime. Speeches a lone is very hard to comprehend especially for villages, let’s not go backward but forward. However, let’s fix up our NBC, more information dissemination networks out there, synergy is largest.

    Regards,
    VB

  25. It is definite..i heard from corridors of Waigani that K12 m for the rehabilitation of radio stations would be advanced to the National Television Project. Wewak woud be the place launching spot.

  26. Hopefully we will get the NTV launched before the World Cup, since NBC MD J Eleadona was reported saying sometime ago in one of the daily that the televise rights for the World Cup has been obtained from Mai TV from Fiji. If that is done, it will be great so we can see the PNG Kumuls live on the tele sets.

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