Mr. Mayank Agrawal, President of the General Conference,
Distinguished delegates and participants,
It is my pleasure to share some thoughts about “Rebuilding the future of the broadcasting industry in a post-pandemic era.”
There are two aspects to this theme: broadcasters as good corporate citizens and broadcasters in service to their audience.
On the first point, I am pleased to note the commitment of the membership of AIBD to the principles of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Sustainable Development Goals, through the establishment of a sustainability committee to examine ideas for improving the environmental performance of broadcast companies.
Indeed, more and more enterprises have recognized that pursuing a sustainable way of conducting business is good business.
This includes many of the areas that have been proposed for examination by the sustainability committee, such as sustainable productions and supply chains, improving the environmental and energy performance of offices and facilities, and even how staff travel and commute to work.
These are all important actions that you can take to contribute to sustainability and to lead by example in the stories that you report.
On that second point, the broadcasting industry remains an indispensable player in the dissemination of facts and information. Even if the last several years have seen a tremendous proliferation of different outlets and platforms by which viewers and listeners consume their news.
While this development presents an opportunity to reimagine business models, one principle must not change: reporting on the major issues of our time accurately and objectively.
As we begin to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, we don’t have to look back very far to see how the variance in information sowed confusion and doubt into truly revolutionary scientific methods, resulting in many cases of preventable deaths or serious illness.
We also see how the climate change emergency has been similarly “diminished” by those who refute the evidence, even as we experience the worsening of natural disasters, particularly here in the Asia-Pacific region.
Geopolitical conflicts and tensions also use distorted information to try to form an advantage or to seek public sympathy.
I implore you to keep in mind that business and profits cannot come at the expense of a properly informed citizenry.
There is indeed much “noise” these days from a multitude of media platforms that it is often difficult to sort fact from fiction.
Yet I remain confident that as you debate the future of broadcasting, the core mission will remain that of service to the global citizenry.
And once again, I commend the industry for its commitment to sustainability. We at ESCAP have many good practices from around the region from private enterprises, and we would be pleased to work with AIBD and share those experiences.
I wish you all fruitful deliberations, and I thank you.