Digitalisation: Broadcasters strategise on compliance

WITH the compulsory switch to digital broadcasting around the corner, the Southwest zone of the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON), has urged its members to sharpen their new technologies and computer skills.
The charge, which dominated talks at the Southwest zone meeting of the organisation, hosted by Lagos state Television (LTV8), in Agidingbi, Lagos, became imperative for broadcasters to remain relevant in the new broadcasting dispensation.
The immediate past Zonal Chairman, Alhaji Ayinde Soaga, said digitisation and re-equipment have been the biggest challenges facing BON members, urging members to face digital age realities which have become the vogue in broadcasting all over the world.
Explaining further, the Executive Secretary of BON, Mr. Segun Olaleye, said the idea of digitisation came up as a result of the emerging trend in technology, adding that when full digitisation commences, many of the stations would be compressed into channels.
According to him, “We need to strategize to become relevant in the broadcasting of the future. When the policy begins, no station will own a transmitter and everybody will have to broadcast through a signal distributor and everyone will be on a single platform. What will be important in that era will be the content you have to sell.”
The BON scribe said the digitisation process will involve all Nigerians buying a sector box and all stations as currently constituted will become a channel on a decoder.
Olaleye said stations would have to specialise and distinguish themselves because of the competition that will follow.
He said: “I keep telling our members that the issue now is no longer competition but cooperation. There are things we can learn together now; the time for competition is still coming; but this is the time to prepare.
“You must imbibe technology; if you are not computer literate you don’t have a business in broadcasting. The technology will keep changing and we must adapt to it and keep abreast of it. That is the television of the future,” Olaleye said.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, tasked media practitioners to be prepared for the directive from the Federal Government to all media organisations to migrate from the analogue way of broadcasting to digital.
Ayorinde, who was represented by his Permanent Secretary, Mr.  Fola Adeyemi, said broadcasters should leverage on the multimedia nature of the television as against the print media to gain public confidence.
His words: “The public will believe you than they will believe your print contemporaries because of the advantage of hearing voices and seeing the faces of those who speak the words that the print media writes. Your power of immediacy also ensures that you reach the mass of the people faster than the print.”

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