Changes at an organisational level are essential to making technological advancements within the regions media houses, according to Mohammed AlSharqawi A new science that calls for greater harmony between broadcast engineering and information technology has increasingly emerged in our industry. The introduction of many computerised broadcast systems such as vision mixers, video routers, […]
Changes at an organisational level are essential to making technological advancements within the regions media houses, according to Mohammed AlSharqawi
A new science that calls for greater harmony between broadcast engineering and information technology has increasingly emerged in our industry. The introduction of many computerised broadcast systems such as vision mixers, video routers, multi-viewers, talkback systems as well as IPTV and RF solutions have made an understanding of IT an integral part of the modern broadcast makeup.
In the Middle East, there has been a limited understanding of this role.
No doubt, this region is relatively new in terms of broadcast and a pioneer such as Aljazeera Network Channel itself has only been in existence for the last 14 years. It is perhaps, one of the better examples of establishing technology specialisation in the region.
Based on several extensive interviews and surveys that were conducted with key engineers within broadcast and satellite for my thesis, I discovered that several factors have hampered the regions efforts to move forward and most of them exist at an organisational level.
For instance, there is very limited understanding of the importance of attending relevant exhibitions and conferences. Training and work-related seminars are almost minimal and there are limited associations such as Society of Broadcast Engineers in the USA to guide the industry forward.
On an organisational level, structures are based on weak standards; daily tasks leave no time for strategic planning; the scarcity of specialised engineers force many satellite channels to bring engineers from all over the world; creative workers are restricted in favour of followers; vertical promotional opportunities are almost nil; employees are constantly harassed and promotions for employees are not based on international best practices. In order for the Middle East to keep up with technological advancements, the following factors should be given greater consideration.
Qualified personnel should be selected to lead technology departments and divisions.
There should be greater focus on enhancing administrative, managerial, and technological awareness through intensive training and visits to comparable departments in other channels throughout the world as it helps to expand the mind and enirch their experiences.
Openness to the world through attending exhibitions, conferences, lectures, and enrolling at engineering universities since that keeps the engineers, technicians, and other relevant workers connected and abreast of the latest advances in the world. Exhibitions also provide an ideal platform for acquiring technical knowledge and arriving at proper resolutions towards facilitating and developing their jobs and making the operators jobs easier.
Knowledge transfer to local engineers from hired international
skill force is crucial.
Motivating qualified personnel and encouraging them to provide initiatives, without regard to financial costs, in order to create creative and active generation is another must.
Programmes on broadcast engineering, electronic and electrical engineering, computer engineering, and IT by means of adding basic classes from those fields (for example, by adding classes in networks, software development, and maintenance to engineering majors or adding classes in communication, electronics, and electrical ones to information technology majors). I also recommend the creation of a specialised major in engineering and technology of broadcast (this major will be the proper balance of courses in all engineering and computer schools), which will be a major field of study in the near future if it is given its deserved attention.
Creation of a team (permanent group or any other form of administrative group as may fit the company/country) that is tasked with supervising what had been stated above; researching ways towards correcting problems that are pointed out as a result of this work and developing mechanisms to implement them; working on creating and applying plans for the future; and training in order to guarantee the continuity of those teams.
Dr. Mohammed AlSharqawi is the Broadcast IT unit supervisor at Al Aljazeera Network.