[Q & A] ABU 2012 Seoul…’Beyond the Wave’

-What is ABU?
The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union is a non-profit, non-governmental professional association of broadcasting organizations, formed in 1964 to facilitate the development of broadcasting in the Asia-Pacific region. It currently has about 220 members in 60 countries, with its broadcaster members reaching a potential audience of about 3 billion people. The ABU runs a wide range of activities, including the daily Asiavision satellite TV news exchange, co-production and program exchanges and technical, programming, legal and management consultancy services, as well as international frequency planning and coordination. It negotiates rights for major sports events and organizes coverage for the region.

With a mission to assist all members wherever possible, the ABU provides rights-free content acquisition for developing countries, organizes seminars, workshops and training courses and offers annual ABU Prizes for radio and television programs.

ABU works closely with the regional broadcasting unions in other parts of the world on matters of common concern, and with many other international organizations to exchange information on the latest developments in broadcasting, undertake activities to improve the skills and technologies of its members and encourage harmonization of operating and technical broadcasting standards and systems in the region.

Most of the ABU’s associate members comprise European, African and North American broadcasters, many of whom have operations in Asia, and pay-TV and cable operators in the Asia-Pacific. Its affiliate members include satellite providers, telcos, production companies, equipment vendors and regulators.

-Which Korean broadcasters have joined the ABU?
In South Korea we have a total of 5 members which includes the founding member KBS and other full members such as MBC, SBS, EBS, jTBC. North Korea, KRT has been an additional full member since 1991.

-What is the main theme for the GA?
The ABU 2012 Seoul theme is Beyond the Wave, reflecting the remarkable sea change in media. New forums and special sessions presented in association with the General Assembly will pry into the question of what to expect beyond this digital wave.

-Who will attend the GA?
ABU members currently have over 220 members in 60 countries. Associate members from the EBU, North American broadcasters and IT firms such as Google will be attending this event. The GA sessions will be available for the public to attend by pre-registration.

-Which session will be open for the public?
First of all, on October 11th, the Gender Media Forum will open 8 different sessions on international conversation on gender balance among media professionals and gender awareness in media output in the Asia-Pacific region. Geena Davis, Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress winner from Thelma & Louise and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her role in Commander in Chief will attend the ABU GA to discuss about the gender issues.
On October 17th, the Super Panel Session will bring together IT leader such as Google and broadcast leaders around the world to discuss about “Beyond the Digital Wave”.

The Professional Discussion Session includes specialized conversations about journalism in the Asia-Pacific region. Interesting commentaries will be shared by top experts in the fields.

-What is the ABU Song Festival?
The ABU Song Festival is divided into two events: TV and Radio Song Festival.
The Radio Song Festival aims to showcase and recognize fresh new musical talents from 10 countries that include Singapore, Thailand, Australia and further more. Amateur musicians and composers will seize the opportunity to perform before a global audience.

The TV Song Festival is a non-competitive gala pop music performance of the top artists around Asia-Pacific region. Both Song Festivals will be broadcast over 20 countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

-Is this the first Seoul host for the GA?
This years’ 49th General Assembly will be the 3rd time that KBS will be hosting and the first time as the ABU representative.  In the past, KBS has been the host for the 22nd GA in 1985 and 34th GA in 1997.

-Will the GA be broadcast?
The ABU Awards will be held on October 16th and will be aired through KBS 1TV. Before this event on October 14th the TV Song Festival will be broadcast.


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