Greater diversity, better quality, improved programme formats and audience engagement among positives highlighted by the committees in latest report.
IMDA’s Programme Advisory Committees (PAC) have issued a report consolidating their observations and feedback on content standards and the quality of broadcast content in Singapore’s four official languages, particularly local Public Service Broadcast (PSB) productions. The committees comprise members of the public across various age groups, ethnicities, occupations, areas of interest and specialisation.
This report contains PAC observations for the period of August 2014 to March 2016.
Snapshot of Key Observations/ Feedback
1. Greater diversity and improvements in production quality in dramas, infotainment programmes
The PAC observed that there were improvements in storytelling standards, cinematography and editing techniques for the dramas produced during the period in review. In addition, the committees observed that there was a wider range of themes and genres in the dramas they reviewed, including themes such as active aging and, courtroom issues and genres such as psychological thrillers, which were not attempted as much previously. Long-form dramas such as 118 (Channel 8) and Tanglin (Channel 5) were also a welcome addition as they provided platforms to present topical issues in a light-hearted manner.
While feedback on dramas produced during the period in review was largely positive, the PACs felt that some producers could imbue more depth and balance into their stories.
2. PSB programmes with more innovative programming formats and better audience engagement
The period in review saw MDA supporting more than 20 programmes from MediaCorp and StarHub under its PSB Contestable Funds Scheme (PCFS). The PACs commended these programmes for their originality and for injecting diversity into the PSB landscape. Some PCFS-supported programmes were also developed into transmedia content like comic books and these efforts paved the way for better audience engagement.
3. In-programme advertising should be clearly distinguishable, prevalence of health supplement advertisements on minority radio stations an area of concern
The PAC also reviewed public feedback relating to broadcast programmes that were brought to MDA’s attention. For example, some members of the public had highlighted that some advertising segments on Channel 5 and 8 were inserted just before a programme’s end credits. These segments featured the programme’s characters promoting products on the same sets as if they were part of the programme. While the PACs did not have objections to the use of a programme’s artistes or sets for advertorials, they felt that such advertising segments should be clearly distinguishable from the rest of the programme.
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