Ladies and Gentlemen,
1 Good evening. It gives me great pleasure to be here today for the opening of Media Fiesta 2011, the third edition of the festival.
2. Singaporeans have become more sophisticated and savvy in using different forms of media to enrich the way we work, live, learn and play. In the area of “work”, we have become top animators, distinguishing ourselves by working with leading lights such as The Jim Henson Company. In “live”, increasingly, more and more Singaporeans are using location-based mobile applications to search for the nearest bowl of delicious ramen, or where to catch the latest movie, or where to shop, including from online sources. In “learn”, Google and Bing are helpful search engines, video programmes such as “OrCganic” have become online teachers, imparting chemistry lessons to Junior College students in a fun and interesting way. Singapore’s first massive multiplayer online role-playing game, The World of Temasek, is set to take history lessons to new, creative levels by integrating entertainment, education, heritage and culture. And in “play”, our children are enjoying hours of fun playing popular online games such as Huff and Puff.
3. You can certainly find these and more exciting Singapore-made products and services at this year’s Media Fiesta. I encourage you to explore and enjoy the activities we have lined up for you, with your family, friends and loved ones.
Promoting discerning media use among consumers
4. Singapore’s media landscape has evolved significantly. With increased connectivity and the latest gadgets available in the market, Singaporeans now have faster and cheaper access to information, anywhere, at any time, enabling us to integrate media easily into our lives.
5. The new media landscape gives us the freedom to access, create and share information to enrich our lives. However, the Internet itself can be an information minefield. On the World Wide Web, lies and fallacies can masquerade as the truth;and the line between fact and fiction can be blurred. Not surprisingly then, media literacy has become an essential life skill for the new media age. Besides, the use of media is so pervasive and so addictive and we therefore need to be more discerning in employing consuming media.
6. Built around the theme of “Celebrate and Discover Media”, Media Fiesta 2011 provides a platform for Singaporeans to learn more about good media literacy habits such as being able to critically assess information, by analysing, interpreting and verifying messages that one finds in the media, in a discerning way. Good media literacy habits are not difficult to cultivate.
Cultivating good media literacy habits
7. We all love watching TV programmes. On an average, 1 about 7 in 10 Singapore viewers tune in to watch a free-to-air channel during Prime Time, from 7pm to 11 pm, every day. But do you know that there is a Parental Guidance rating on TV? If not, I encourage you to be more aware of and to make use of content ratings to discern what may be appropriate for you, your child and your family.
8. With effect from June this year, MDA will be standardising the rating symbols across films, videos, free-to-air TV and subscription TV to provide greater clarity and ease of use to the public. This means that you will see a set of rating symbols that are easier to identify and use when you watch content on any of these media platforms. Hence, at this year’s Media Fiesta, we are encouraging everyone to vote for their preferred rating symbols. MDA will review the votes and work closely with the industry to roll out the revised rating symbols across the film, video and broadcast platforms in June this year.
9. Following a successful pilot session last year where we opened up a session of “A Day with the Classifiers” to members of the public, we have decided to open up these workshops to more people. At these workshops, you will also learn about the finer points of classification and the issues that determine a rating of a film while watching a movie. Attendees would probably appreciate that while there are guidelines, classification is not a scientific process, and involves lots of good judgement and a strong sensing of what is acceptable by the community-at-large.
10. As part of the Government’s response to the Censorship Review Committee’s recommendations, we will require telcos to promote the use of Internet filters to consumers. Hence, I invite parents to visit the StarHub, SingTel and M1 stations at Media Fiesta, to learn how such Internet filtering tools can make the World Wide Web a safer place for your children. In addition, SingTel and StarHub staff will be present at their booths to guide you on the use of the parental lock systems currently available on their pay-TV services. We are bringing these useful services to the heartlands and aim to reach out to as many consumers as possible. These services are part of the Media Transformer mobile exhibition showcase, which will travel to the Singapore heartlands over four weekends.
Keeping Singaporeans in touch with Emerging Technologies
11. Media Fiesta also exposes Singaporeans to the latest emerging technologies that are transforming the way we use media every day. One highlight of the Media Transformer is the Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (Next Gen NBN), which will offer video streaming speeds of up to 1 Gigabits per second. There is a range of interesting new applications and content running on this network, including tomorrow’s 3D TV technologies.
12. I am pleased to announce that MDA is launching a 3D TV competition today targeted at students from institutes of higher learning. Students are welcome to submit storyboards and ideas on the theme of “Savvy Surfers”. Besides winning prizes, the winning teams will get the chance to learn to shoot in 3D and produce their story idea into actual 3D video clips.
13. Let me conclude by saying that just as Media Fiesta is a celebration of media, it is also a celebration of the efforts of the people, private and public sectors in making this event exciting and accessible to all Singaporeans. On this note, I would like to thank the more than 70 industry and community partners who have joined hands with MDA to help make this year’s Media Fiesta a reality.
14. With this, it now gives me great pleasure to declare Media Fiesta 2011 officially open. Thank you.
1 Source: Kantar Media (previously known as Taylor Nelson-Sofres), data for the period of 2010