After nearly 50 years as an international wire service, the Rome-based Inter Press Service (IPS) is branching out into WebTV, keeping pace with the latest advances in digital technology.
Leveraging its current resources, the new WebTV will draw on more than 400 journalists in 140 countries, many of them with substantial expertise already in the visual media, according to IPS Director-General Mario Lubetkin.
The IPS network of journalists, mostly from or based in the global South, will bring a new visual dimension to reporting on issues relating primarily to development, rights, energy, food, civil society, gender empowerment, the environment – and the growing emergence of the South on the multicultural world stage.
“IPS WebTV will be much more than a visual cousin of the print product,” Lubetkin said.
The formal announcement, presided over by the President of the U.N. General Assembly Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, took place on the sidelines of the Rio+20 summit of world leaders in Rio de Janeiro.
“I am confident that the IPS WebTV that we are launching today would contribute in a meaningful way towards advancing our continuing efforts for global solidarity and cooperation to a higher and more mutually beneficial level,” Al-Nasser said.
“As a media institution primarily focusing on development issues and providing a perspective of the South, (IPS) is making a major contribution towards presenting a balanced view with diversity of perspectives and highlighting the needs of the most vulnerable in the global agenda.”
Also speaking at the launch were Sérgio Alli, representative of the chief minister of the Secretariat of the Presidency of Brazil, Gilberto Carvalho, Omar Resende Peres, president of the IPS Television Board, Carlos Tiburcio, chair of the IPS Core Group of Donors, and René Castro, minister of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications of Costa Rica.
Alli said “I’m here on behalf of minister Carvalho, who could not attend and instructed me to pass on President Dilma’s [Rousseff] greetings to this IPS initiative”, which “gives a very important support and a global dimension to civil society expression.”
Tiburcio spoke about the potential of IPS WebTV to “reinforce the South-South communication initiative” supported by Brazil since 2009 together with IPS, “to bring balance in the flow of international communication”.
“With the new role of the South, of the emerging countries of the world, the international communication gap has widened, the asymmetry is even more apparent and we need to seek balance”, he said.
Peres, president of the IPS Television Board described the current state of media, determined by technology changes and Internet, and insisted that “the most important value of journalism cannot be bought, cannot be reinvented, and I’m talking about credibility,” he said. It was because of this “non negotiable press value, credibility, that I took the decision as a Brazilian citizen to invest IPS TV and form this new company.”
The pilot phase of IPS Web TV will be launched in early 2013 with daily broadcasts through the web originating from its studios in Rome.
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