Innovation for public engagement and trust

Mark Cummins is Content Manager for SBS Australia, and shared with Radiodays Asia 2019 ways that SBS are increasing public engagement and building trust. “SBS is one of the most trusted organisations in Australia…and (a survey) confirmed that radio is one of the most trusted mediums”, says Cummins. “However media is in the top five industries for negative trust scores”. In attempting to build trust, the SBS asked itself what are they doing well, what can they improve, where are they at risk, how can they reduce risk, and how can they foster more trust in and within SBS? “We came up with the SBS trust initiative, where every touch point with all stakeholders either maintains or builds on trust.  We include trust across all operations and interactions”, continues Cummins. This includes practical initiatives, regular tracking and reporting, code of practices review, simplified credentials check tool for content makers, audiences customer service tool, cyber security and privacy training, and internal communications review which helps amplify transparency. Haida Baba Zain is Manager for Traxx FM and RTM Malaysia, and talks about the role of public broadcasting. “Public broadcasting is still a viable source of information, news and entertainment in Malaysia and radio is still an effective medium in reaching Malaysians, “ says Zain. RTM has used an innovative approach to engage audiences and build trust in the medium. “We are using visual radio…as it brings the audience closer to the story.  It also allows us to reclaim an important listening environment”, continues Zain. “Community Radio is everything we are hearing about at this conference.  It is something that holds communities together, this is what community radio does”, begins Archana Kapoor (Radio Mewat and Radio Festival India). Community radio in India is also suffering the impact of fake news and disinformation.  But it is combatting this by bringing communities together. “One of the strengths is that listeners are our content producers…they are the ones who are contributing.  It is one of the most powerful tools for engaging with communities”, says Kapoor. Community radio in India and the variety of programmes is a real catalyst for social change, because it allows people to talk freely without being judge, and in some cases without being identified. “Community radio is powerful.  Especially during an election…India is good at playing two games – elections and cricket.  Community radio helped bring people out of their homes and out to vote” Community radio in India is using its power of engaging with local communities to held build public engagement and help build trust.

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