Cambodia Highlights Significant Role of AIBD in Digital Era

AKP Phnom Penh, October 14, 2020 —

H.E. Has Sam Ath, Under Secretary of State for Information of Cambodia and Chair of the Executive Board (EXBO) of the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) has emphasised the significant role of AIBD in bringing together all members in this digital era.

“Embracing digital technologies is not an easy task. There are many countries, in our region, that do not have the resources, capacity and know-how to do it. But, there are also many countries in our region that are way advanced and world class. There is a hug disparity and therefore a need for countries to come together and help each other,” he said in his opening remarks at the AIBD’s Extraordinary Executive Board Meeting held on Oct. 14 afternoon via videoconference.

As a regional intergovernmental body, he underlined, AIBD plays a pivotal role to bring members together, collaborate, provide platform to share knowledge and resources. It is a very important institution, especially during a time like this.

The EXBO Chair also laid stress on the key role of media, especially the mainstream media this COVID-19 crisis. “[…] With so much of fake news circulating on social media, people started resorting to mainstream media for credible information. For public service broadcasters, it was not just about disseminating credible, timely and accurate information, but also about educating and entertaining the people. It was a voice of reassurance during difficult times. There is no doubt that the public service media have done commendable job in a crisis like this and the trend must continue,” he said.

“However, we also must not forget that there are lot of small independent media agencies, whose sustainability solely depended on advertisement revenues, are facing difficulties to carry out their duties and responsibilities. It is the responsibility of governments and stakeholders to help them, so that there is diversity and pluralism in the media industry. Only then the principles of democracy can be strengthened,” he added.

The EXBO is composed of ten member countries, including Maldives, Bhutan, Iran, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, Fiji, and the chair Cambodia. Today’s meeting agreed that the Asian Media Summit (AMS) 2021 was delayed to 2022 as the COVID-19 situation has not yet improved while the 46th AIBD General Conference scheduled for 2020 was postponed to 2021 in Luang Prabang, Laos.

By C. Nika