Asian and European Media cooperation at #Media2020 Conference Beijing | radioinfo

Asian and European Media cooperation at #Media2020 Conference Beijing

Thursday 28 April, 2016

The European and Asian media markets have some common features but many differences. 

The final session of the Media 2020 Conference held in Beijing brought together media experts from around the globe to talk about how Asian and European media companies can help each other.


Giacomo Ghisani, Acting Director General of Radio Vaticana, began the discussion by outlining 3 key areas that are very different between Asia and Europe.

  1. Geographical dimensions.  Asia is much more vast than Europe.  Ghisani says that “this has an impact on not only content, but technology”
  2. Demographic divide.  Asia has much more “youth dynamism”
  3. Technological growth.  Asia is probably stronger in this area.


Steve Ahern, Managing Director of Ahern Media and Training Australia used a sporting analogy to sum up his thoughts on the Media 2020 conference.

“In Australia we love our sport.  Football, cricket, and most other sports.  We know players compete hard to win the game, that is good for the fans, but after the match each club works together for the benefit of the whole sport.  In media, we can compete but we also have to act together for the greater good of broadcasting.”

Ahern identified four themes that ran through the conference:

  1. Digital
  2. Competition and collaboration
  3. New audience consumption habits (“We always have to go back to the audience to ask what they want and need”)
  4. Song Festivals. 

“Live event radio and TV broadcasts bring audience…and they are good for your media,” said Ahern.


“Three words that come to my mind about the conference…global, local and connected,” began Jean Philip de Tender, Media Department, European Broadcasting Union.

“Global means setting global standards in technology.  Local is about creativity…we need to nurture local talent as much as possible.  And connected is all about sharing experiences and good practices,” continued Tender.

Throughout the conference, there was a real sense that Europe and Asia are working together for the benefit of the industry.  Both continents have a lot to share, and organisations such as the ABU (Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union) and the EBU (European Broadcasting Union), are making it easier for broadcasters to cooperate.


“One thing we do need to do when talking about change, is involving the whole society in an open and transparent way,” said Alessandra Paradisi, Vice Director of International Relations for RAI Italy.

Paradisi talked about key areas the ABU and EBU are focusing on, including:

  • Ensuring radio remains relevant for “Generation What”.  Collaboration has begun among 12 broadcasters in the EBU
  • Eurovision Song Content, ensuring it remains strong and expanding it to Asia
  • Big City Series, which is being developed by the EBU, ABU and stations in Latin America.  This is an international collection of stories about living conditions in big cities.
  • Promoting and safe guarding cultural heritage.


Shanthi Bhaghirathan, Group Director of MBC and the Capital Maharaja Organisation in Sri Lanka, said collaboration is not just about providing better content.

“…It’s also about better technology and a more efficient way of working.  It’s very costly to expand and move into new areas, but when you can go into collaborations you are bringing people together to help,”

“Collaborations are the way…you know the audience better and gives your better content.  It’s a good way of going forward.”


“What can be done to improve cooperation is the wrong question,” continued Giacomo Mazzone, Head of Members and International Relations for the EBU.

“The problem is global and local, and how to connect both.”

Mazzone said that in the next 20 years, the world’s borders would be re-defined not by geography by digital access.  The role the media will play will be crucial to determining which we the world goes.

“We need to keep open the dialogue between culture, the religion and the countries,” said Mazzone.


The final word came from Oyundari Tsagaan, General Director of the Mongolian National Broadcaster.

“When we (Asia and Europe) work together, we have to remember we have different mindsets,” said Tsagaan.

“It’s great to see there is a common feature between Asia and Europe.  If we see our viewers and listeners as people, which have interest and hearts and mind and not see them as consumers, then we have a bright future.”



(Reporting: Barry Keohane)

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