Local radio needs to innovate and streamline operations
Domestic radio stations have to seek ways to make their operations more efficient while adapting to competition from new media.
These issues were tabled for discussion at a meeting of Lao National Radio (LNR) held yesterday to review the past year's performance concerning programme content, personnel development, signal coverage, and reliability for audiences.
Currently, LNR has six broadcasting stations producing more than 150 programmes with more than 100 hours of airtime daily, on both AM and FM.
According to the meeting report, LNR administrators recognised that even though gradual improvement has been made regarding news and programme content, they have yet to meet the information consumption requirements of modern audiences who want to receive in depth analysis.
LNR, as an information and entertainment service provider generated around 3 billion kip from business operations and contributed about 150 million to the government annually.
Despite this, it was a constant challenge for programme producers to make content appealing while providing useful information to audiences.
In his address at the meeting, Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Mr Savankhone Razmountry stressed for entertainment programme producers to also offer useful knowledge to audiences.
For Khabkhi Potphai (Safe Driving), which has proved popular among audiences, the deputy minister suggested that other subjects also be offered through the programme.
Mr Savankhone said he wanted administrators to consider whether low public interest airtimes should be maintained, while taking advantage of high-rating programmes to educate youngsters. Attention should also be paid to outsourced programme content.
Mr Savankhone highlighted the need for surveys to gauge audience opinions and asked whether previous surveys had been effective and how was the data used.
Administrators from other media outlets such as newspapers and national television were also invited to the meeting to exchange their ideas.
On the existence of new media, in which the audience can also be producers and distributors, the deputy minister called on media administrators to identify both positive and negative effects occurring from using social media.
Speaking at the meeting, LNR Director General Mr Phosy Keomanivong said despite broadcasting signals from medium and short waves being able to reach remote areas interruptions still often occurred.
To address this, he said the FM signal would be expanded by LNR for reliable coverage to all areas of the country.
By Somxay Sengdara
(Latest Update February 17, 2017)