Relationship between media independence and advertising technology explored

2 May 2007

The increasing sophistication of advertising technology highlights the need for media independence. Media independence requires the financial self-sufficiency of the printed or electronic media that, in turn dictates the necessity for a balance between profit motive and editorial independence.

These and other questions connected with the economic and ethical aspects of advertising activity of mass-media were discussed during two seminars that took place within the International Programme for the Development of Communications (IPDC) supported by UNESCO Almaty from 12-14 February and from 26-29 March 2007. The nongovernmental organization Internews-Kazakhstan is the organizer of these seminars.

The trainings were regional in character. Thirty-four managers and employees of TV and radio station advertising divisions from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan participated.

The quantitative growth of independent media outlets in most of Central Asia is not yet supported by qualitative development of advertising technologies. Participants in the seminars compared their own cases to that of leading Russian mass media as presented by Internews-Russia trainer Tatyana Merkulova.

Merkulova's own experience as sales manager in a number of leading Russian regional broadcasting companies has helped her to develop concrete, productive mechanisms to increase the efficiency of advertising management and marketing in Central Asia. The training included dynamic business games that highlighted for participants the typical problems associated with development of advertising.

According to seminar participants, one of the most significant results of the training was that for the first time advertising employees of Central Asian media outlets gained necessary knowledge at at the same time received a unique opportunity to exchange experiences with one another.

"It was an excellent chance to understand not only universal, but also regional processes in the development of advertising management and marketing ", Paul Zlenko, chief of advertising service for radio " Dart " (Bishkek) commented. "Our only remaining desire is to find a way to continue this project and to have a follow-up training in about a year." Organizers are confident that the results of these seminars will be reflected positively in the activity of independent mass media in region.
IPDC; Media Development;

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