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RTM to restructure, go digital in three years

KUALA TERENGGANU, 22 Sept 1008: Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) is to undergo a restructuring over the next three years, with the emphasis on going digital and adding more regional and provincial news and issues on the RTM1 and RTM2 television channels.

Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said total digital broadcasting would be achieved two years earlier than the five-year target.

He also said that television viewers of today were more inclined to know what was happening in their vicinity than issues of a national nature.

"The trend has changed. Regional news is well received. What happens to a boy in the backyard is, sometimes, more important than stock market news," he told reporters after attending a breaking-of-fast reception with staff of the Information Department here last night.

"The people of Sarawak want news on Sarawak; those in Sabah want news on their state. It is the same with the other states," he said, adding that it would not be impossible to have simultaneous channels carrying provincial news with digital broadcasting.

Ahmad Shabery said it was necessary for RTM, which was 34 years old, to undergo a shift to maintain its relevance and not fall behind local private television channels as well as government television channels of other countries.

The minister called on RTM staff, especially those working in the states, to upgrade their expertise and be ready to produce more provincial news.

He said RTM staff would be retrained and utilised to bring about the change and streamline the existing system to compete with other disseminators of information such as internet blogs.

"I am giving personal attention to this change and I understand that the RTM administration is fostering a change of mindset in the staff," he said.

Ahmad Shabery also praised BernamaTV for its presentation of news which he said was well received by all quarters, including opposition political parties.

Although the news content of RTM1 and RTM2 was not exactly similar to that of BernamaTV, this was a challenge which RTM should take up, he said. – Bernama

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