BBC World: Armenian Public TV Needs More Educational Programming

YEREVAN (ArmRadio)–Defining clear editorial lines, improving mechanisms to measure audience needs, ceasing aggressive commercial policies and strengthening current affairs programming are some of the recommendations for Armenian public television in a report by the BBC World Service Trust presented Friday in Yerevan.

The report, which was commissioned by the OSCE Office in Yerevan with the aim of supporting further development of Armenia’s public service broadcaster (PTV), is the result of a five-day needs assessment conducted by the BBC World Service Trust in July.

“Public television should raise its ambitions in providing programming of a broadly educational nature that would serve the interests of different groups of the community. It should end the practice of airing programs made by the government,” said Michael Randall, Projects Manager for Europe and CIS at the BBC World Service Trust.

“We believe there is vast potential for making PTV a leader in its field and establish a blueprint for public service broadcasting which could be replicated in countries across the region. However, we also acknowledge that PTV’s ability to strengthen its public service ethos relies heavily on political will and change in attitude at the government level.”

The report recommended a long-term consultancy program, whereby consultants will work with producers to support the development of new programs and with senior managers to reorganize working methods. The BBC experts also emphasized the importance of identifying clear objectives and measurable outcomes, with local civil society organizations monitoring the impact of the training program, based upon agreed performance indicators.

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