Ini Billie, Uyo
The Akwa Ibom State Government has said plans are underway to digitalise the operations of its media establishment.
Speaking during the 35th anniversary of the Television arm of Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation (AKBC), the Commissioner of Information, Mr Ini
Ememobong, said government was working out modalities to fulfil the promise of rebranding the state-owned station to compete on the digital space.
Ememobong who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Akparawa James Edet, urged the corporation to realign the content architecture of the station in line with the digitisation process.
He challenged members of the AKBC-TV chapel on personal development to prepare ahead for the digitization, saying professionalism would be rendered meaningless without adequate ICT skills to drive it.
Speaking on the theme: “Digitization: Refining Journalism Practice in AKBC-TV in a Global Setting” Prof Uwem Akpan, Head of Department, Department of Broadcasting, Faculty of Communication and Media Studies, University of Uyo, said digitization would be easier with adequate work tools, conducive environment, efficiently trained and committed workforce willing to adopt the concept of multitasking in the discharge of their duties.
Prof Akpan wondered why the state government would spend huge sums of money to patronize private stations outside the state for its publicity, rather than reposition the state-owned broadcast establishments for government patronage, and called for a change.
He advocated for the provision of technical infrastructure in government broadcast establishments saying without it, digitization would be a mirage.
While speaking, AKBC-TV Chapel Chairman, Mrs Uduak Ekong said the theme for the anniversary lecture, “Digitisation: Refining Journalism Practice in AKBC-TV in a Global Setting” was chosen to prepare journalists within AKBC Television for the digitization process.
Ekong mentioned that the planned inclusion of AKBC in the DSTV bouquet would mean that the quality of reportage and output will be overhauled.
She however lamented that though the corporation has the needed expertise, it is in dire need of working tools and a newsroom environment that is conducive for smart work.
She said as such, they have started acquiring professional laptops and other professional gadgets for the demands of digitisation, and appealed for individual and corporate support.
“Today, we have brought together a mixed grill of the past and present to talk about digitisation and what we need to do as professionals to remain relevant in a world that has moved from analogue to digital at great speed, mindful of the fact that Nigeria is yet to join other nations of the world in the Digital Switch Over (DSO).
“Aside from providing better picture and sound quality, the switchover to digital broadcasting offers clear advantages for both consumers and operators.
“These advantages stem from the fact that it is possible to process and compress digital data in a more efficient manner than was the case for analogue signals,” she stated.