Dated: 23 February 2006
Dr Lee Boon Yang, Minister for the Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA) announced the formation of the National Internet Advisory Committee (NIAC) - Community Advisory Committee (CAC) at the annual dinner for MICA committees on 21 February 2006.
The NIAC -CAC brings together the Parents Advisory Group for the internet (PAGi), Cyber Wellness Task Force (CWTF) and the Public Education Sub-Committee (PESC) under one committee.
The committee will advise the Media Development Authority (MDA) on ways to cultivate greater media appreciation amongst the public as well as promote positive use of new media such as High-Definition TV.
Specifically, the NIAC–CAC will provide feedback, input and champion projects that will help the MDA achieve its community objective of cultivating a media literate population –particularly in the light of emerging new media technologies. Its responsibilities include:
a. Advising the MDA on innovative and engaging media literacy outreach &media convergence initiatives for Singaporeans;
b. Reviewing the effectiveness of the MDA's media literacy outreach programmes and recommending strategies for greater engagement of the community;and
c. Facilitating and catalysing partnerships with organisations in the people, public and private sectors.
“With Singapore fast becoming a global media city, and with increasing choice of content from anywhere in the world, via all kinds of means from the mass media to the Internet, Singaporeans will need to become more media-savvy, more appreciative of good media content and become equally adept at using the media whether for work, education or play,” said Dr Christopher Chia, Chief Executive Officer, Media Development Authority.
Mr Michael Yap, Chairman of the NIAC-CAC added, “Technological changes and convergence are rapidly changing the ways we communicate, entertain and access information. It is no longer about fast adoption of these technologies but also about how society as a whole embraces these new tools and be able to use them effectively in their lives. Thus, the NIAC-CAC will seek to equip Singaporeans to help them capitalise on the opportunities that media convergence and the internet have created.”
The committee will comprise members from PAGi, CWTF and PESC as well as members of the public. The appointment of the members will take place in March 2006.
PAGI (Parents Advisory Group for the Internet)
The Parents Advisory Group for the Internet (PAGi) was established in 1999 with the aim of educating and reaching out to parents, teachers and concerned guardians on internet safety issues.
Under the leadership of its chairman, Mrs Carmee Lee, over the past 6 years, PAGi has reached out to more than 90,000 children, youth, parents and volunteers.
As a result of PAGi’s relentless effort in creating awareness of Internet safety, many other organizations in the people and private sectors were inspired by your enthusiasm and had realized the needs to help their constituents. Touch Community Services is a good example, as they have reached out to more than 100 schools and 100,000 students with their cyber wellness road shows and workshops to instil the values of being a responsible cyber citizen;Fei Yue Family Service is actively promoting Internet safety through e-counselling services to youth &parents on how to deal with online chatting, blogging &games-addiction;the Recording Industry Association of Singapore (RIAS) offers guidance to parents on challenges such as peer to peer downloads, file sharing security and legal risks - giving practical advice on what is needed to help ensure families enjoy online music safely and legally.
In 2005, PAGi organised a month-long of programmes targeted at youth and volunteers. In collaboration with Promiseworks, a youth volunteer organisation, a comic strip contest on “Cyber Wellness” for the youth was organised at Urban Infest, a youth event supported by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS), National Youth Council (NYC) and the Heartware Network.
PAGi also worked in partnership with 30 other countries in support of Insafe –the European Internet Safety network in celebration of Safer Internet Day.
Cyber Wellness Task Force
The Cyber Wellness Task Force (CWTF) was formed by the National Internet Advisory Committee (NIAC) in December 2002 to examine the issues and concerns relating to the Internet’s influence on the young. The CWTF’s charter was to develop a body of cyber wellness values, ethics and best practices and to look into strategies to promote cyber wellness.
The Cyber Wellness initiative envisions the younger generation of Singaporeans who embrace the Internet in their daily lives and reap its benefits not just to help themselves but also for the betterment of others. To successfully achieve this, the Cyber Wellness vision aims to imbibe the following values into our youth:
·Astuteness;·Respect and Responsibility;·Beyond the Internet –Balance;and
·Using the Internet in a positive and inspiring way
These values are designed to inculcate social responsibility among new media users, particularly the youth, and to empower their lives by acquiring knowledge through the Internet. The values are also intended to assist youths in overcoming the challenges and dangers lurking in cyberspace, and integrating the Internet into their lives in a balanced manner.
CWTF adopted a many-helping-hands approach supporting organizations such as Touch Community services, Fei Yue community services, National Youth Council, Institute of Mental Health, IMYC, RIAS, IIAS, MOE, MCYS, NLB etc in its outreach.
Public Education Subcommittee (PESC)
The Public Education Sub-Committee (PESC) terms of reference was to educate the public &raise awareness of Internet usage amongst niche groups such as elderly and the disabled.
Over the past 2 years, PESC worked with the National Council of Social Services to promote assistive technology to the disabled. In partnership with Channel News Asia (CNA), a 3-part series featuring the disabled and their use of Assistive Technology (AT) to access the Internet was produced.