NBC plans to move towards PSB
Posted on 15th June 2011
Elizabeth Smith, Chair, Commonwealth Media Group and Consultant, Transforming Broadcasting
The Namibian Broadcasting Corporation, under its new DG Albertus Aochamub, is pressing ahead with plans for a new kind of Public Service Broadcasting to suit the digital age.
In my visit there from 5-11 June, I found they were hopeful that they will soon be able to launch a second and digital channel. They have already been allocated 5 digital channels and this would be the first to launch. It would be focused on entertainment, but with public service values, and financed by advertising. It is hoped that the income from this would go a long way towards the NBC ambition of trebling their non-state income by 2015, and so end their chronic shortage of funds in recent years.
In due course, the plan is to launch a Parliamentary Channel, to cover the proceedings when Parliament is sitting, and then after that two further channels, advertising-supported but with public service values.
There are obstacles before a full transition from State to Public Service Broadcasting can be achieved. They need a new Broadcasting Act, revised Guidelines and various constitutional measures. But there is a hopeful atmosphere and much effort is being put into achieving the transformation, so this is an organisation to watch with interest.
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