Radio Mozambique at the World Conference

A FIAT/IFTA Travel Grant 2023 Blog!

Radio Mozambique at the World Conference

By Rogério Guambe (Radio Mozambique)

Recently, Radio Mozambique participated in the World Audiovisual Archive Conference, which took place in the Swiss city of Locarno from the 17th to the 20th of October, involving more than 280 delegates from more than 45 countries around the world. Africa was represented by Kenya and Mozambique as guests, not full members.

In the event, we had a great opportunity to follow intense and interesting papers on projects developed by member countries within the scope of the association’s mission under the motto Blame it on the Algorithm.

Some Remarks

There are, overall, some common concerns in the process due to the deficient/slow provision of the scanning equipment by manufacturers.

Furthermore, there is a glaring lack of replacement parts in cases of breakdown. Given the urgency of preserving the material, it is necessary to find immediate solutions, which may include:

  1. creating non-profit organizations aiming to look for funding to support the digitalization;
  2. encouraging Industry to produce more equipment and make it available in the market at affordable prices;
  3. persuading manufacturers to produce parts in quantity and quality.

The fast and wide digitization of collections should be at the centre of FIAT/IFTA’s concerns, which must find strategies to expand the process as soon as possible. One of them could be creating digitalization centres, in which the material is transported to countries in need, creating digitalization centres, or even doing it on an in-house basis in countries that are facing difficulties in finding their own solutions.

In Africa, the process is still very late, but INA – National Audiovisual Institute (of France) –  has been a strategic partner in boosting the digitalization process in some African countries. Regarding the vast and rich heritage of its collections, Radio Mozambique is also struggling to find resources to achieve this goal.

In the migration process, there must be a quality control strategy to avoid poor migration or serious failures that could result in a new process. As this investment is very expensive, it is important to ensure that there is always a supervisor checking the quality of the transcription. Transcribing with on-time supervision has multiple advantages, including quality and money saving in new transcriptions, in addition to avoiding waste of time.

Countries that have not yet started digitalization should seek the experience of those who have already taken important steps in order to avoid the same mistakes. For example, in the digitization process in German, there was a problem that consisted of the fact that the technicians only realized the failures in the transcriptions two years later when they wanted to start using the collections. They realized that 40% of the material had been poorly transcribed.

The unification between public radio and TV has been considered as one of the solutions for some constraints in the migration process. One of the advantages of this option lies in saving operational costs and a better deal of media convergence. Moreover, in the context of digitalization, it is easier to manage a single digital archive and take profit from extraordinary gains in the joint exploitation and sale of content.

Archives are extremely important for broadcasting. For instance, the BBC archive is the main content provider for broadcasting on the channel.

About the Organisation

FIAT/IFTA was founded in 1977, and, at the time, more than 250 members joined the organisation to promote cooperation amongst radio and television archives, multimedia and audiovisual archives and libraries, and all those engaged in the preservation and exploitation of moving image and recorded sound materials and associated documentation. To fulfil the objectives, there are four thematic commissions to address all the issues related to audiovisual content and to promote the study of specific topics: (1) media studies; (2) media management; (3) preservation and migration ; (4) value, use and copyright.

The mission of FIAT/IFTA is:

  • TO PROVIDE a forum for the exchange of knowledge and experience between its members;
  • TO PROMOTE the study of any topic relevant to the development and valorisation of audiovisual archives;
  • TO ESTABLISH international standards on key issues regarding all aspects of audiovisual media management.

During the last few years, FIAT/IFTA managed to gather more than 150 additional members from over 40 countries, mainly from Europe, the Americas and Asia.

To be a full member of FIAT/IFTA, an organisation is intended to be an archives service of the broadcasting corporation (TV and/or radio), television production company maintaining archives, or organisation authorised by broadcasting organisations or national governments to maintain archives of television and radio programs. Film archives and sports federations have also joined the network over the past years. The cost for annual membership is 850 €.

The next FIAT/IFTA World Conference will take place in October 2024 in Bucharest, Romania.


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