The 9th edition of the biennial conference of Africa broadcasters, Africast will focus on issues relating to content.
The event is billed to provide a networking environment for providers, distributors and marketers of broadcast content and equipment targeting the emerging African market with the practitioners, policy makers, advisers, administrators and end-users.
Africast 2012 with the theme ‘Content Rules!’will also provide an atmosphere of deep examination, reflection and discussion of broadcast issues by high profile key speakers with real expertise in the area of broadcast content in a digital environment.
Explaining the rationale for choosing the theme, director general of National Broadcasting Commission, Mr Yomi Bolarinwa in an interview said that in the broadcast industry, content is key.
“If you look at it a thousand times you will come up with content. If you want to democratize it, content is key because you did not buy a television set just because it is good-looking, you bought TV set because of what you are going to watch which is content.”
Bolarinwa expressed worry that today’s content is short of quality so it has become(s) imperative to invite stakeholders in the sector to proffer solution to the problem.
“Today you get all manner of content that are unwholesome. You get dancing, and imagine the kind of dance.”
He stressed that broadcasting which should be cultural medium, is for example not delivering the right education for the Nigerian children about their culture.
“Do you like the way women are being portrayed on musicals and some of our local content where everything end up in one Babalawo or one mosque or one Alfa,” he asked. “Is that our way of life; is that what we are portraying? Content is the king. You know the driving force behind transition is that we now have opportunity to have more channels. What kinds of content should we provide? Are we prepared for these challenges?”
The director general added that today, broadcasters due to convergence can operate on several platforms but may not have been made ready for this.
He said broadcasters must be prepared for this because there are relevant content and there are irrelevant content.
Africast 2012 is expected to also provide a market environment for manufacturers, distributors and marketers of digital broadcast equipment targeting the emerging digitized African market. It will also provide the unique opportunity of Master Classes to smoothen Africa’s transition from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting by training its army of producers, directors, engineers and camera persons on production in a digital environment.
On Nigeria’s readiness to migrate to digital platform, the NBC DG stated that government policy is required, expressing optimism that the white paper on transition from analogue to digital broadcasting will be approved before the end of April so that adequate infrastructure will be put in place to catalyze the process.