SINGAPORE: The government will pump in S$182 million over the next four years for Public Service Broadcast programmes.
National broadcaster MediaCorp will use the funds to produce more shows which promote national and social objectives.
Around 40 per cent of the money will be set aside for production houses outside MediaCorp, in outsourcing the creation of information programmes.
These outsourced funds will be open to independent production companies with a good track record.
Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim said in Parliament that currently there are a few good, informative programmes on TV such as Channel 8’s Tuesday Report and Channel NewAsia’s Insight.
"Singaporeans can look forward to more of such programmes as we ramp up production in our four official languages — English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil" he said.
"These programmes will cover a wide variety of issues such as our culture and heritage, the environment, and public housing."
"Ask Minister", where Singaporeans can pose questions to a government minister via webchat, is an upcoming programme to look out for on Channel NewsAsia.
"It Figures" is another show which deconstructs the way statistics are used to make sense of Singapore society.
Managing Director of Channel NewsAsia, Debra Soon said: "The content we produce, whether in current affairs or documentaries, on local politics or global affairs, has to be able to attract and retain audiences, in all languages — English, Malay, Chinese, Tamil. And we can only do that if we look at it not just on a broadcast front, but on 360, because 360, which is for online, social media, interactivity, and all these elements will be coming into our productions. We can also only do this if we attract and retain the best in journalism and documentary productions, and we will do this because we will have to pay well to attract this talent."
MediaCorp is beefing up resources across its production units to up content quality with more in—depth research and better script writing.
In 2012, over 2,000 hours of public service programmes were shown across MediaCorp’s seven free—to—air channels, with 4.4 million viewers tuning in.
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