Deepening ASEAN Media Cooperation Within and Beyond
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, was established on 8 August 1967. As a member of ASEAN, Singapore works closely with other member countries to steer ASEAN’s media sector towards digitalisation and facilitate regional media collaborations. A few key ASEAN projects are managed by Singapore, through MDA. These are the ASEAN Media Portal which has since been handed over to the ASEAN Secretariat; the ASEAN NewsMaker Project, an innovative way to expose youths in ASEAN to new media technologies and the ASEAN Digital Broadcasting meetings, forums which demonstrate ASEAN’s commitment to keep up with the global trend towards digital broadcasting. A new project is the ASEAN Computer Game, an online game that aims to foster a sense of regional identity.
ASEAN Digital Broadcasting
The ASEAN Digital Broadcasting (ADB) meetings provide a forum for ASEAN Members to work closely together to set digital television standards, policies and create content in preparation for broadcasters to transition from analogue to digital broadcasting over the next five to 10 years.
It is chaired by Brunei Darussalam. As part of the ADB, specialist working groups on Technology, Policy and Content have been set up.
Amongst the key initiatives that resulted from ADB meetings as endorsed by the 10th ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Information meetings are :
• The Ministers agreed that ASEAN adopts a phased approach towards Analogue Switch-off over a period of time from 2015 to 2020.
• There will be a common set of technical specifications for Standard digital set-top boxes for ASEAN, thereby helping to lower the price of set-top boxes for regional consumers.
• To meet the demand for digital content, the Ministers called for more collaboration among ASEAN Member States to co-produce digital content and promote exchanges of content.
ASEAN NewsMaker Project
The ASEAN NewsMaker Project trains students and teachers from across 10 ASEAN Member States to produce broadcast news-style video clips about life in their country using the NewsMaker software.
Organised by MDA and Singapore software developer EyePower Games, with endorsement from the ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information, the project marks the first initiative to foster cross-cultural understanding among ASEAN youths through digital media.
Since the project launch, trainers from EyePower Games have conducted workshops in Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei and Cambodia. Beyond training, the workshops have brought about the ASEAN NewsMaker student network, which encourages the exchange of knowledge in an interesting and educational manner between participating schools across borders.
Supported and funded by ASEAN, Singapore—through MDA—developed an ASEAN computer game, a single-player PC-based game that takes the player on a mission through 10 ASEAN Member States.
The game aims to foster a sense of regional identity in an entertaining way and is available on the ASEAN Media Portal. Residents in ASEAN can learn more about one another through this interactive game.
ASEAN Snapshots was a 10-part documentary series that brought out the rich tapestry of ASEAN countries and its people. Each episode portrayed a member country’s individual cultural identity. This included colourful festivals, unique ethnic costumes, savoury cuisines and majestic heritage.
The series was produced by MediaCorp News (MCN) in collaboration with national broadcasters in each ASEAN member country. It was broadcast on MediaCorp TV’s Channel NewsAsia on 17 November 2007, in conjunction with the 13th ASEAN Summit in Singapore.