The head of Colombia’s public broadcaster said there is far more that the country’s public media can do to improve, but things are changing for the better.
Flag of Columbia outside RTVC headquarters. Image: Julián Ortega Martínez/Creative Commons

In an interview with the Colombian newspaper El Heraldo, the head of National Radio and Television of Colombia (RTVC), John Jairo Ocampo, discussed the current status of public media in Colombia.

Ocampo, a journalist and social communicator who has been the head of RTVC for 14 months, affirmed that public media in Colombia has been stagnating behind private channels, and “still has a long way to reinvent itself.”

However, it has recently been very creative and innovative. RTVC, for example, which has been going on for 12 years with four different programs between TV and Radio, has been offering more material, with documentaries and large series. Such innovation has recently won one of their programs, Signal Colombia, an award.

Plus, in order to respond to the current digital demands, made especially by younger people, RTVC has launched a new free digital platform called ‘RTVC play’, which offers music, documentaries, podcasts, magazines and content for children.

Yet despite recent reports highlighting the difficulties faced by public broadcasters across the continent – from government incursions against EBC in Brazil and political bias in Peru to defamation laws in Bolivia – the success of RTVC in producing more engaging and representative content demonstrates a much needed step in the right direction for public media in Columbia, and across Latin America.

In fact, a recent deal signed between the public broadcasters of Chile, Uruguay, Peru, Mexico, Paraguay, Costa Rica and Colombia has laid the groundwork for a transnational exchange of informative journalism, children’s programming and other content as well as a proposal to create a fund for joint productions. It is hoped that this will further improve the range and quality of content available to public media outlets across the continent.