Minister urges RTB to keep focussing on quality

|     James Kon     |

RADIO Television Brunei (RTB), Brunei Darussalam’s state broadcaster, should regularly come up with strategies to ensure that the station stays relevant, appealing, liked, favoured and provides fulfilment for viewers and listeners, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Mokti bin Haji Mohd Daud said.

This needs to be applied to each and every radio or television programme it broadcasts and produces.

Speaking during a visit to RTB’s headquarters in the capital yesterday morning, the minister also suggested that the network needs to stay attuned to new developments in broadcasting and production in order to improve its abilities and competencies in the field and prevent getting left behind.

This encompasses all aspects of programme production, including filming techniques, scripts, story flow and other items, Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Mokti added.

He explained that RTB is the “government’s broadcaster and mouthpiece”, acting as the bridge between it and the public, relaying programmes to help create an informed community and the nation’sprogress.

Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Mokti bin Haji Mohd Daud in a group photo with officials from RTB and the PMO. – PHOTOS: JAMES KON
Director of RTB Haji Md Suffian bin Haji Bungsu presents the RTB audience survey book 2016-2017 to Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office
The Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office in a group photo with DJs and staff at the Pilihan FM
The Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office during a tour of one of RTB’s news studios

Elaborating on RTB’s vision of becoming the foremost media organisation contributing to the country’s development, the minister said, “RTB has an important responsibility to uplift the supremacy of leadership of the monarchy and nation, highlight its services to the community, and play a role in raising the supremacy of Islam as the official religion and the Malay Language as the official language of the nation”.

“It also needs to formulate policies and produce programmes, both through radio and television, relating to national development [as part of the Vision 2035 drive].”

Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Mokti, who used to work at RTB from 1983 to 1984, pointed out that a director or producer must possess creativity and wide knowledge, as well as conduct in-depth research to create programmes that are interesting and impactful for the viewers.

“This is because programmes are classed as interesting based on their quality and by how many people watch them, not by how many are made,” he said.

“The sophistication and use of high-quality filming equipment is not essential to produce programmes that capture the hearts of listeners and audiences. Instead, what is required is quality and sophisticated thoughts, in addition to interesting presentation. This involves the selection of materials like the title of the news and programmes, filming and photography techniques, and demonstrating creativity to serve the audience and listeners well.

“Human resource is important in production as well, in areas such as producing, writing scripts and other parts which need proper attention.

“The management of RTB must pay serious attention to this matter to ensure that any investment made to produce radio and television programmes is worth it and achieves RTB’s vision of being the government’s official broadcaster.”

To get ideas on how it can improve its programmes, the minister suggested for the network to achieve this by conducting audience surveys.

He also stated his hope that RTB’s management will give attention to training its workforce and upgrading their professional capacities in broadcast production and engineering to ensure that they are able to create quality programmes for their audience.

Giving advice to television and radio news presenters, the minister said, “Don’t be shy to learn, have a practice of listening to news from international networks to better your knowledge on news placement, the names of countries, and individual names so you don’t mention them wrongly. Do your homework and work hard to practise reading news scripts and train before the start of filming for each production.”

He added that he hopes RTB will continue to work closely with other ministries and departments to identify radio and television programmes that can be produced for the public. This includes religious programmes, and programmes on education, history, economy, society and documentaries, which the minister says “need to be increased”.

Upon arrival at the RTB headquarters, the minister and his delegation were welcomed by RTB Director Haji Md Suffian bin Haji Bungsu and senior officers of the network.

After attending a briefing session, the minister toured the Rampai Pagi programme setup in Studio 1 and viewed Studio 2, the studio galleries and Studio 3. He also tried his hand at being a newsreader.

He took a closer look at the behind-the-scenes operations of the network’s current affairs and news division, such as broadcasting work, editing, and news changes, which are carried out by Hajah Masnah binti Haji Abdul Hamid, the division’s assistant head of editor.

The minister and his delegation, led by Senior Producer at RTB Salmi binti Haji Ibrahim, then proceeded to view the Pilihan FM, National FM, Pelangi FM, Nur Islam and Harmoni FM radio network rooms.

Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Mokti also launched the RTB audience survey book for 2016-2017, a compilation of surveys done by the broadcaster in 2016 and 2017 as part of its annual project.