Singapore boosts new-media outreach

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SINGAPORE -- Singapore's media authorities said Tuesday that they plan to ramp up international outreach efforts this month with three days of closed-door gatherings designed to enhance the country's media development master plan.

The Media Development Authority said the sessions, previously held over two days, will be extended to a third, adding a "dialogue" event set for June 20. Singapore is attempting to position itself as a bridge between East and West in other media sectors, including film. The new event, dubbed New Media@Arts House for the venue at which it will take place, underlines the country's determination to extend this positioning into the digital arena.

MDA chief executive Christopher Chia said a "credible blend of East-and-West perspectives" is necessary for a critical look at the impact of new media on both the Eastern and Western worlds.

Participants in the new-media panels include Todd Miller, Sony Pictures Television International's executive vp and managing director, Asia; Cory Ondrejka, chief technology officer of Second Life creators Linden Lab; and Gary Wang, founder and CEO of Chinese video-sharing site Tudou.com.

New Media@Arts House follows the second annual International Advisory Panel on June 18-19, which comes as the MDA re-evaluates long-term plans first outlined in 2003 in the Media 21 blueprint and relaunched in October2006 as the Media Fusion 2015 strategy.

The Media 21 blueprint aimed to increase the GDP contribution of the media industry from 1.6% in 2003 to 3% and create more than 10,000 new jobs for Singaporeans by 2013.

"The global media landscape is being reshaped in fundamental ways. ... The challenge for Singapore's media industry is to enhance the production of quality exportable content, boost its position as a media financing hub and extract economic value from the new media landscape," MDA chairman Tan Chin Nam said.

The IAP will discuss Media Fusion 2015's major initiatives and proposals. These include the formation of a dedicated interactive digital media research and development division with a S$500 million ($329 million) budget to boost the sector's growth.

IAP members include Bollywood filmmaker and director Shekhar Kapur.

Both events are being held as part of Singapore's Infocomm Media Business Exchange, billed as Asia's largest media event (June 18-23).
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