News of the nation: The transformation of national broadcasting

‘Despite a trend towards greater state control, Asia’s national broadcasters are finding ways to be relevant in 21st century Asia’.

On 15 September, the Judith Neilson Institute (JNI) published its ‘News in Asia’ report, bringing together experts and institutions to provide a nuanced account of journalism in Asia. The report covers a comprehensively covers a broad range of topics, from changing news production and consumption to the impact of COVID-19 on the news media landscape and media development.

The Public Media Alliance is proud to have contributed to such an important and timely project. In our chapter we explore the changing role of national broadcasters in Asia with a slide towards greater state control, and how public media is being redefined and normalised as a form of national broadcasting with less editorial independence – a key principle of public media. We also acknowledge how, despite the sometimes-slow transition to multiplatform or digital services, national broadcasters have proven essential during times of crises and emergencies, and how the COVID-19 pandemic has provided an opportunity for national broadcasters to build audience trust.

Written by PMA CEO Sally-Ann Wilson, with case studies and insights from Taranath Dahal, CEO of media rights NGO, Freedom Forum and advocate of public media; Dr. Anis Rahman, Assistant Teaching Professor at the Department of Communication, University of Washington, Seattle; and Masduki, lecturer at the Department of Communications, Universitas Islam, Indonesia and former Programme Director of Radio Republik Indonesia (RRI).

The chapter is freely accessible to all.

About the Judith Neilson Institute

The Judith Neilson Institute supports and celebrates quality journalism and storytelling around the world. Its grants and education programs equip journalists with the resources they need to produce outstanding work. Its events are forums to discuss the issues shaping the world.

The Institute was established in 2018 by Australian philanthropist Judith Neilson. JNI is based in Sydney but works with journalists and media organisations around the world. We are non-partisan and governed by an independent board.