Meeting the Minister

At this point my blog may be starting to look like a TVM newscast: bunch of people sitting around in a meeting. But our most important meeting covered so much ground that we didn’t have time to take a picture. Minister Mohamed Nasheed took time out from his consultations with the British experts who are helping to craft the country’s constitutional and legal makeover. We spent nearly two hours going over his ambitious agenda for the broadcast media. He is a lawyer and the country’s former Attorney General, but has experience as a TV presenter. He has even translated a Newslab book into a Dhiveli manual for journalists in the Maldives. Eventually he wants to combine the TV and radio news operations, and split the TV operation into two channels, one for entertainment and sports programming and another channel that is all news. Think about an all news channel for just 300,000 people. Everyone really will get at least 15 minutes of fame! He acknowledged that there has been a long-standing war between TV and radio and responded to our initial findings that everyone seems to like the idea of change — in the future. Nasheed said the future is here because private broadcasters and independent newspapers are putting out sensational scoops while the government outlets hang back waiting for a press release. He informed us that, as far as he’s concerned WE are running both sides of the news operation for the next two months! He has scheduled a meeting tomorrow to announce this, so fasten your seat belt. Tomorrow will be a bumpy ride.