The Programmes Advisory Committee for English Programmes (PACE) released its annual report for the period July 2003 to July 2004 today.
In its report, the Committee noted that viewers now have seven Free-To-Air (FTA) channels to choose from, in addition to the numerous analogue and the recently introduced digital channels offered on cable TV. In seeking market share, FTA broadcasters have scheduled some new and interesting programmes to attract audiences. For the most part, however, broadcasters continue to provide more of the same programming, especially for the entertainment genre, with relationship-based reality shows dominating prime time television. The Committee urged broadcasters to consider scheduling quality programmes instead of focusing on reality programmes at prime time.
The Committee commended the broadcasters' efforts to include a wider range of children's programmes and found local productions such as Blk 523 (Season 2) and Jobs for Junior particularly noteworthy. Blk 523 portrays the cultures and values of the different ethnic groups in Singapore through a well acted drama series while Jobs for Juniors provides children an opportunity to experience their dream job. The Committee is further pleased with the efforts of TV12 Kids' Central to provide advisories for parents and children in order to distinguish programming suitable for older children from those for younger children. It hoped that SPH MediaWorks would follow suit and make the distinction clear to help parents guide their children.
Arts and cultural programmes on Arts Central have continued to impress with a good line-up of programmes over the past year. The Committee commended its efforts to select and schedule a good mix of serious arts programmes for the connoisseur, and more accessible, commercial offerings for those who are less well versed in the arts.
The Committee observed that most info-educational and current affairs programmes were well produced and deserved credit. There has been an overall improvement in the quality and standard of news programmes, particularly in the case of Channel i's news, where complex issues are clearly illustrated with graphics. The Committee also applauded Channel NewsAsia (CNA)'s efforts in consistently producing good and engaging local documentaries from an Asian perspective. The Committee noted that there was an increase in local programming on Channel i, with quality informational series such as Site and Sound and i-Contact and these added variety to informational programmes.
For radio programmes, the Committee is disappointed that the arts radio station Passion 99.5 FM has ceased operations. While looking forward to the new station GROOVES, it has recommended that the other commercial stations add some regular arts content in its programming schedule to cultivate an interest in the arts amongst the masses.
As 2004 has been designated the Year of the Family, the Committee made several programme recommendations exploring various aspects of familial relationships which broadcasters could further explore. Examples include programmes for the elderly, programmes on achieving personal well-being, as well as those which present childrenâ€™s perspectives on issues, etc.
In the area of programme standards, the Committee urged broadcasters to remain mindful of the impact of FTA media on viewers, especially the young, and to exercise their judgment well.
In drawing up the recommendations, the Committee met with specific groups of the television viewing public such as students, to obtain a better idea of their interests and preferences. It also met with broadcasters to better understand their concerns. Moving forward, the Committee will seek cross-committee discussions amongst the various language-based Programmes Advisory Committees for greater synergy and to enable a sharing of ideas. This will help the Committee in its role as one among the many others tasked with shaping the development of the media industry.
Koh June May
Corporate and Marketing Communications
Fax: 6336 4142 ;Website : http://www.mda.gov.sg
About the PACE
The PACE is a 32-member committee which advises the Media Development Authority (MDA) on the range and quality of English TV and Radio programmes and gives suggestions for their improvement. Chaired by Ms Claire Chiang, Executive Director of Banyan Tree Gallery (S) Pte Ltd., the Committee also provides feedback on the Codes of Practice which broadcasters observe.
About the MDA
The Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) was formed on 1 January 2003 to develop Singapore into a vibrant global media city, in effect fostering a creative economy and a connected society. The agency's Media 21 strategy aims to create a vibrant environment for the industry and public, via five key thrusts: to establish Singapore as a media exchange;to export 'Made-by-Singapore' content;to internationalise local media companies;to nurture local media talents;and to develop digital media.