ASIA

GatesAir Care Program addresses RF engineering gaps in broadcast industry

GatesAir, a Thomson Broadcast subsidiary dedicated to wireless content delivery, announced the launch of GatesAir Care, an enhanced managed services program that addresses the urgent need for skilled RF resources and services in the global broadcast industry. Available immediately, the GatesAir Care program offers defined service level agreements across three-tiered support plans (Elite, Signature, Standard) that collectively aim to fill widening gaps in engineering skillsets as long time RF engineers approach retirement.The number of services included escalates with each tier, beginning with simple extended warranties, discounted spare parts, and preventative maintenance visits to keep transmitters and associated RF systems in excellent operating condition. Additional services are available with each tier, which can include installation and commissioning, 24/7 remote maintenance and monitoring, and live, onsite technical support for major broadcast events.“Most young engineers coming into the business today possess a strong IT skillset but have limited to no RF expertise,” said Raymond Miklius, Vice President of Technology, GatesAir. “We developed GatesAir Care to alleviate concerns about finding skilled engineers to take care of RF systems and plants as veteran TV and radio engineers reduce hours and ultimately retire.”All three program tiers can also scale to the size of the broadcaster, including dedicated services in smaller markets that are especially light on engineering resources. GatesAir Care will also offer options for crisis team deployment and disaster recovery services in the event of severe weather or other unanticipated events that require immediate attention.Mark Goins, Vice President, Global Sales for GatesAir, adds that the GatesAir Care program ultimately aligns with the broadcast model’s increasing emphasis on operational efficiency. “Changes in the global RF engineering fleet are unfolding at a very swift pace over the past 12-18 months,” said Goins. “The GatesAir Care program will help broadcasters maintain their focus on operational efficiency with the peace of mind that our experienced, dedicated support staff will provide consistent, proactive and responsive service tailored to each customer’s needs.”GatesAir will also offer beginning and advanced RF training courses in alignment with the GatesAir Care program to help younger broadcast engineers strengthen their RF skillsets. More information on all three GatesAir Care tiers, service options and pricing are available at https://www.gatesair.com/services/gatesair-care. […]

ASIA

Digigram releases a new AES67 PCIe sound card

The French audio specialist and equipment manufacturer Digigram has announced the release of a new sound card, ALP-AES67, as part of its acclaimed ALP-X range, which was launched in 2022.While the ALP-X range already covers a large range of audio protocols, ALP-AES67 takes Digigram a step further into the Broadcast, Live Sound and Events applications, where critical audio is at stake.Featuring the signature characteristics of the ALP-X range, ALP-AES67 was developed using Digigram’s sturdy hardware platform for unmatched reliability. ALP-AES67 also brings versatility to professional audio users thanks to its low-profile form factor coupled with a fanless design, accommodating most PCs and servers, especially when space is scarce.The ALP-AES67 PCIe card supports 64 playback channels and 64 recording channels, enabling the deployment of large-scale audio structures. Its compatibility with both Windows and Linux environments provides an unparalleled asset for countless applications, giving large freedom to users who are no longer bound by OS support. Additionally, the card is equipped with two Ethernet ports, ensuring seamless network redundancy, and two Ethernet switch ports for straightforward connectivity to other Dante, AES67, and Ravenna devices.Leveraging decades of expertise in audio over IP, Digigram’s ALP-AES67 stands out as a powerful addition to the ALP-X range, offering enhanced capabilities for critical audio applications. Pristine audio quality, low latency and extreme reliability remain at the core of the whole range, benefiting the ALP-AES67 and other cards alike.“This new addition to the ALP range opens new possibilities for our clients. While ALP-AES67 ensures full compliance with Ravenna and SMPTE ST-2110 audio standards, it delivers the usual Digigram high performance and reliability they trust us with,” states Stéphane Bert, Digigram’s Presales Manager. […]

ASIA

Bernama dominates radio category at MPI Awards 2023

The Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) dominated the radio category at the Malaysia Press Institute (MPI) – Petronas Malaysian Journalism Awards (HKM) 2023 at the Malaysian Journalists Night earlier this month.It won awards in four radio categories: Best Radio Report, Best Radio Documentary, Best Radio Interview and Best Live Radio Broadcast.Bernama Radio’s Nurliyana Farhah Ruslan won the gold for the Best Radio Report category for the report titled “Palestin: Panji Perjjuangan Belum Selesai.”Ahmad Fawzan Azmie Abdul Halil won the bronze in the same category for his report titled “Mek Mulung: Puwitera Wangsa Bangsa.”In the Best Radio Documentary Category Muhamad Azim took bronze with the documentary titled “Menyingkap Kisah Pejuang Kanser.” Raifanabillah Zulkilfi and Natasha Aimee Hasim were awarded the silver award in the Best Radio Interview category for “Membina Pengangkutan Awam Bersana.”In the Best Live Radio category, Wan Nadia Khairani Wan Chik won the gold for live broadcast on “Perkembangan Bedah Siasat Mansa Nahas Elmina” from HTAR, Klang. Ahmad Fawzan Azmie took the silver for “Lintas Langsung Nahas Elmina.”Nurliyana Farah described her win as a recognition of the power to speak out.“I use my trust, duty and responsibility as a journalist to disseminate and expose humanitarian issues and the suffering of the Palestinian people to the public…this is a worthwhile endeavour,” she said. […]

ASIA

Building trust with our audiences: ABU-Rai Days

In a session titled AI Literacy: Our Audiences and Staff at the ABU-Rai Days, a project by the Capital Maharaja Group’s radio network MBC, showcased an example of the positive social impact made when media and society join forces to create change. The United Nations recognised, Gammada Project took journalists back to grass roots in an innovative approach “to solve problems for struggling villagers,” said MBC Networks Sri Lanka, CEO, Chevaan Daniel. “The project was born from our network listening to villagers and reporting on their struggles.”The driving desire was to then use this knowledge gained form visiting villages to influence the priorities of stories reported in news and to make a true difference to improving the villagers’ quality of life and in so doing, build the network’s credibility with rural communities. By partnering with universities and sending their combined teams of News 1st volunteers and undergraduates on listening tours to gather data on village struggles, they identified rural Sri Lanka’s desperate need for infrastructure projects. Daniel said, “In this way action was based on truth and through truth action… Now that the facts were apparent through data analysis we could work with the village to address the problem/s identified.” MBC collected donations for projects so that village citizens could then help work towards implementing the infrastructure project. This was through the Gammadda Saviya Society which worked with villagers to form a community lead committee to implement Gammadda identified projects.In the same session, the panel Moderator, Simona Martorelli, Rai’s Director, International Relations and European Affairs also highlighted other varied approaches used to educate audiences and staff across European and Asian regions.

“Our aim is to help up skill our colleagues to make better journalism through our new AI literacy course at the EBU Academy,” said Justin Kings, one of the speakers in a session titled AI Literacy: Our Audiences and Staff at the ABU-Rai Days.“Collaboration is at the heart of our courses,” said Kings. “We identify best practise use of AI and work in partnership to develop our in house modules.”  His preference is that in some courses, staff with different roles, developers and content leaders attend together for maximum benefit.”Though they are only four months in, staff from EBU broadcasters have attended courses in critical thinking around the ethics of using AI and how to maximise the value of archives by using AI. They are currently working on developing courses around the importance of data and using AI to harness this.Rai’s head of Digital and Transmedia Content Caterina Stagno talked about Rai’s Pills project against disinformation. The project aims to educate the audience to increase critical thinking and awareness of disinformation and impart knowledge of the mechanisms that are used to generate disinformation. The project also informs the public about countermeasures.The whole organisation approach has been effective for training the audience to recognise AI generated disinformation. The graphic below shows the PILLS virtual anchorwoman presenting one of the 30 short videos released over 18 months, which had 848 million views across all Rai’s outlets. […]

ASIA

If Tomorrow Never Comes….We only have today!

Selling Radio Direct with Pat BrysonWe’ve all heard the saying, “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” Wise words for anyone in sales….or for anyone wanting to make a difference in their lives. How we spend our “billable hours” determines our paychecks. It also determines much of what we accomplish in life.One of the attributes of great salespeople is a trait we call “urgency”. We test for it in our hiring process. They want it done yesterday….or now at the latest. They never put things off. They make their plan, prioritize their activities and execute the plan.As salespeople, we keep many plates spinning wildly at all times. We need to be able to multi-task, and we need to get things done. Today is better than tomorrow.Sometimes, however, getting things done is interrupted by another activity that we call “procrastination”. I’m sure none of my readers have EVER been guilty of indulging in this activity. But, on the off chance that some of you DO engage in it from time to time, let’s look at some of the major causes of procrastination and how we may avoid them.
I don’t have time now.
The task is difficult.
The task is unpleasant.
I don’t see why the task is so important.
It isn’t due for a while.
I don’t have clear or written goals.
I’m not organized.
I have too many interruptions.
I’m overwhelmed.
I have too many tasks to choose from.
Sound familiar? If so, the following activities may help you to replace procrastination with positive action:
Set deadlines.
Let others know your deadlines.
Start each day with the most important task on your list.
Do it once.
Break down the job into smaller parts.
Reduce interruptions.
Eliminate reasons why you can’t get started on the task.
Create a reward for finishing the task.
It is important to recognize when we procrastinate and why. Spend a week looking at your activities and how quickly you get them done. What do you do instead of doing what you should? Once you’ve identified the problem, you can take steps to get things done NOW rather than later. Life gets a lot easier when we do the important rather than the urgent!Happy Selling! […]

ASIA

AI tools for Newsrooms

Newsrooms across Asia and Europe have been integrating AI into their workflow progressively over the past few years. With the introduction of Generative AI, they are taking the next steps.At this year’s ABU-Rai Days, news leaders shared their latest insights and tools.All India Radio’s Director of News, Nilesh Kumar Kalbhor (pictured) told delegates that his newsroom has benefitted from the Indian Government’s 2018 digital India campaign which lifted the digital skills of school and university students.“We are well aware of the potential for misuse of AI… we are optimistic but cautious,” he said. In India there is an emphasis on self regulation of AI.India’s national radio and tv broadcasters have put guidelines in place for using AI, which include mandatory labelling of AI content, and informing people about the potential for misuse of AI.Other uses in the national broadcaster’s newsrooms include automatic language translation, research, and management of databases and library content. AI Generated graphics are being used in schools programs.“We produce 600 bulletins per day in 90 languages, AI translation is making that more efficient,” explained Nilesh.Two AI Avatars, AI Krish and AL Bhoomi, now present news stories on the broadcaster’s TV News channel.

“Speech to text is used, but we make sure we have human checking at the last stage before publication because, as a public service broadcaster, we know that our audience cares about accuracy and will tell us if we make a mistake.”The newsrooms offer WhatsApp chat groups for audiences to interact, they have now added AI Chatbots to monitor feedback in these groups  and summarise audience reactions to news reports. “Our newsrooms have become very fast by using these platforms,” said Nilesh.“The Arab Spring changed our traditional skills and practices of journalism, and the construction of news changed drastically during that time,” said TRT World’s News Director Mevlüt Selman Tecim in an ABU-Rai Days session on AI in Newsrooms.That was the beginning of Turkish Radio and TV’s newsroom journey with AI. The most significant areas where AI is being used by the Turkish national broadcaster at the moment are: transcribing; voice and image recognition; language translation; localisation and data analysis.These functions have increased efficiency, sped up the workflow process and enhanced the production process. There was also a need for the broadcaster to rethink its guidelines. “We had to upgrade our style and ethics guides and reinforce our commitment to explaining how we are using AI,” said Tecim.He presented examples of how chatbots are skewing the answers to questions about the Israel-Gaza war and then comparative discrepancy about how AI answered questions about Israel and Hamas.Tecim showed how the Avid Ada chatbot has been integrated as an interactive help system for newsrooms. https://connect.avid.com/ada.html . He also outlined how AI CoPilot is being used by news producers, who are turning news packages into digital formats or changing horizontal to vertical orientations automatically with AIFor live feeds, TRT uses AI for Supers and for tracking what is trending on the internet.Tecim’s advises to use AI “as a tool for creativity, not a replacement,” so that the synergies achieved can lead to innovations and improve organisational structures.Andrea Gerli from RAI outlined how Italy’s national broadcaster is using AI. They use Microsoft’s CoPilot, integrated with some of the newsroom’s systems:
As a content assistant to suggest tags and headlines
To summarise source content from news agencies and other partner sources
Video analysis – they are testing CoPilot to see if it can reliably identify what are the main issues in a video report or raw audio/video footage
Searching RAI’s archival reports to quickly identify content that is worth resurfacing in relation to current news topics
All the AI search engines scrape content without consent, and many don’t acknowledge their sources, so it is difficult to see if the answers being presented to the searcher are based on credible sources. Of the available Open AI search engines, Andrea says that Perplexity at least cites its sources, so that searchers can go to the sources and make their own judgements about the credibility of the source and the AI generated answer to the search question.He also pointed out that all the search engines that are now using generative AI, including Google, Bing and Perplexity, give answers that may decrease web traffic because searchers may feel they no longer need to go to your website if they have a quick answer in a short sentence.RAI is also experimenting with detection tools for fake content. One of those tools is GPTZero which can identify if text is created by an AI bot. However, as the arms race continues, there are also now tools for people to use to ‘humanise’ their AI created content, such as Undetectable AI.AI Watermarking tools are also being developed, but they are constantly being overtaken by tools to circumvent watermarking and reverse image searches.There are some safeguards now being introduced by the tools to prevent famous people being faked, but Andrea is not so sure they always work. And what about people who are not famous, “deepfakes using anyone’s image and profile can easily spread throughout web,” he said.In the early days of Deep Fakes, experts could spot the fakes by looking at the hands moving or listening to the background noise, but AI deepfake generation tools are now being developed to overcome those methods of detection, and they are easily available on the web to help disinformation providers trick the detection bots.“The only way to spot deep fakes in future will be your own knowledge, you will need to have a hunch it is not true and you can only do that if you follow the news and have real knowledge from trusted sources. “In the competition for truth not clicks, public service media will have a special role,” he said.Alexandru Giboi from the European Alliance of News Agencies continued the point, emphasising that it is not just public service media that have a role to play into the AI generated future, it will be all news agencies who take their role in society seriously.“All media is at some point public service… Just to produce quality content is not enough, we have to promote it and also support media literacy in our societies, the public will not distinguish it unless we teach them.”Alexandru said that media which use AI should disclose how they use it and mark content that is AI generated so that their audiences know it comes from a responsible media organisation that is transparent about how it uses AI.“AI is an opportunity for the media, but we need to get it right now, because it will be difficult to change in the future if we get it wrong… Engage with AI and explore it, but in a way that does not damage the authenticity of the news product or undermine your journalists.”Other tools for AI detection that were mentioned include:
Reality Defender https://www.realitydefender.com (a US start up company) can help media detect synthesised voices and faceswapping. “We don’t think there will be a perfect platform for the newsroom to rely on, but this one is useful for now.”
SG Factchecker, is a Mediacorp Singapore developed prototype via OpenAI’s Custom GPT feature. It delivers “close to human quality fact check success for Singapore news,”  according to Mediacorp’s Chua Chin Hon. ChatGPT is providing customised features that can be used by media to create their own tools, but read all the terms and conditions before using them.
Veri.ai is a tool for media to use their own rights owned content in more ways to generate new revenue streams. Luisa Verdoliva, a professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Naples is working with this tool along with a group of research partners to evaluate if it will be useful for media https://www.veritone.com/solutions/media-entertainment
Face Forensics++ is a data set of fake faces that can be used to check images against, it is a collaboration between various universities https://opendatalab.com/OpenDataLab/FaceForensics_plus_plus. Watermarks are no longer useful in identifying fakes, “Deep fakes now even contain fake digital fingerprints so we need AI to analyse them,” said Luisa.
Another fake image AI detection tool is Noiseprint, which analyses images using heat and noise maps, See https://grip-unina.github.io/noiseprint  and https://www.researchgate.net/figure/The-robustness-of-the-noiseprint-algorithm-against-compression-and-resizing-a-Without_fig7_353717842
There is a lot of effort being undertaken in the research community to build automatic tools that can be applied to detect fake media. Luisa Verdoliva said researchers are moving from asking  ‘is this video manipulated’ to now ask the more sophisticated question, ‘is this the person it is claimed to be.’Olle Zachrison from Swedish Radio reminded delegates that it is easy to clone any media personality because there are many hours of broadcast content that AI can train on. “It’s easy to clone any presenter within one minute with the audio that is online online.”European broadcasters are working together to fight fakes with AI.Examples include:European newsrooms have joined forces to deliver verified news from trusted broadcasters as part of the European Perspective project, which uses AI to deliver news stories and their original sources to anyone searching through its portal. […]