Media talent needed in technical fields, not just creative: Iswaran

Singapore needs to develop more media talent not just in the creative lines, but in the technical fields as well, said Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran yesterday.

"To bring an idea to fruition, you need technology capabilities, and you need people who are well versed in the technical aspects of production. And it has to be done at a world-class level in order for the content to be distributable to the global audience.

"So I think that's an important area where government and industry can work together with our institutions of higher learning to create more of such world-class talent that can learn from the best from around the world in order to participate in this sector," Mr Iswaran said.

This boost to the talent base is necessary to underpin development of the media sector in South-east Asia, a region recognised by international industry leaders as primed for growth.

Mr Iswaran was speaking to reporters following the inaugural Media International Advisory Council (IAC) that he chaired at Marina Bay Sands yesterday afternoon.

The panel gathered some of the region's top media industry leaders to discuss media industry trends.

Held as part of the ongoing Singapore Media Festival, the IAC will be convened annually to further collaboration among players and increase the vibrancy of the industry in South-east Asia.

The council comprises 11 members who have been appointed by the Infocomm Media Development Authority for two years.

They include Mr Bill Holmes, chief business development officer at Netflix; Dr Gong Yu, founder and chief executive officer of iQiyi; and Mr Uday Shankar, president of The Walt Disney Co (Asia-Pacific).

Mr Iswaran said the council would be able to furnish the Government with its assessment of trends and issues from a macro perspective, which would help to shape policies and the development of programmes.

  • 11

  • Number of members in the Media International Advisory Council.


He noted that there are different regulations and jurisdictions in place across the Asean region in the media value chain.

"This is an area where I think the industry seeks to have greater dialogue with governments in order to see where they can get at least greater clarity and, if possible, greater harmonisation so that the industry can approach the region as one large market in order to serve the needs of the region."

The Singapore Media Festival, which started on Nov 21 and runs until Sunday, is one of Asia's leading media events.

It brings together professionals in the film, television and digital media industries.

The event includes the Asian Academy Creative Awards, Asia TV Forum & Market and ScreenSingapore, Singapore Comic Con and Singapore International Film Festival.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 03, 2019, with the headline 'Media talent needed in technical fields, not just creative: Iswaran'. Print Edition | Subscribe