16 February 2006
UNESCO in collaboration with the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA) launches a handbook for Guidelines for Broadcasting Regulators in New Delhi today, on the eve of CBA General Conference.The handbook is authored Eve Salomon, an international media consultant with particular experience in broadcasting and press regulation.
Amidst the fast-changing broadcast media landscape, the present book examines many “balancing acts” which stake-holders both in government and private sector have to undertake to establish and maintain an effective and credible broadcast regulation mechanism. For example, it requires a balancing act to determine which aspects of broadcasting can be regulated to protect citizens rights but at the same time not to provide an opportunity for “powers that be” to curtail freedom. One needs to strike a balance between the independence of the regulator and the government’s own purpose to pursue public policy objectives; and as determining where the balance lies between the potentially conflicting rights of the broadcaster, society, and the individual.
Another important contribution of this book is the discussion on new or emerging issues such as jurisdiction issues for cable and telecommunication as carriers of broadcast programmes, issues on spectrum management, broadcasting-related intellectual property rights and the role of the government in the digital switchover.
Of special interest to UNESCO is the discussion on licensing community radio stations. UNESCO has always encouraged for allocating frequencies for community radios which serve the needs of marginalized groups.
Policymakers, particularly legislators on the lookout for a model regulatory framework and mechanism will find the appended law outline most useful and adaptable because of its comprehensiveness despite its outline format. Meanwhile, a substantial section provides country experiences in terms of model regulatory objects.
For its comprehensive coverage and in-depth analysis, "Guidelines for Broadcasting Regulation" is indeed a useful reference for broadcast policymakers, regulators, broadcast media practitioners as well as for those who study broadcast media.
UNESCO and CBA have frequently been asked for guidance as new regulatory organizations are set up. It is to meet this demand that this book has been written. The hope is that it will help new and existing regulators see clearly what are the essential ways in which public service broadcasting can be preserved and strengthened, within the context of a varied and commercially viable industry.
Eve Salomon: Guidelines for Broadcasting Regulation. - Paris: UNESCO and CBA, 2006