The state broadcasting company, Public Service Media (PSM), yesterday announced plans to create an English language international TV channel called ‘Maldives’ in 2016.
Speaking at a function held at the official presidential residence Muleeage to launch a magazine called ‘Maldeeb,’ PSM managing director Ibrahim Khaleel said the new channel can be viewed anywhere in the world.
The channel will feature programmes about Maldivian history and the resort industry as well as information about the Maldives.
Khaleel said PSM will prioritise hiring Maldivian youth to operate the channel, but resources and expertise unavailable in the Maldives will be sought from overseas.
Maldivian youth will have the opportunity to learn from foreign professionals, he added.
PSM was established in late April under a new law passed by the parliament to replace the Maldives Broadcasting Corporation, which previously operated the state television and radio station. The new law required the state broadcaster distribute a printed daily newspaper and use social media to disseminate programmes.
The International Federation of Journalists and local affiliate Maldives Journalism Association accused the government of seizing control of public service broadcasting. The PSM is managed by a seven-member governing board appointed by the president.
The PSM’s new magazine was meanwhile launched by First Lady Fathmath Ibrahim.
Mahaldeeb’s editor-in-chief is PSM’s deputy managing director Mohamed Akram. The managing editor is Fathmath Zushan and the deputy managing editor is former Raajje TV journalist Mariyam Shaneez.
In his remarks at the launching ceremony, Khaleel also said that PSM are preparing to launch a new channel dedicated to parliament.
Work on the ‘Majlis’ channel has been largely completed, he said, and PSM is awaiting the green light from the parliament.
PSM is also planning to create exclusive channels for news, youth, sports and entertainment, Khaleel said.
The state broadcaster’s goal is to create a range of channels to cater to all viewers and to “offer people the freedom to choose the channel they want,” he said.
The PSM will create world-class television productions, he continued, and plans to collaborate with famous international media brands.
The new ‘Maldives Idol’ show in the pipeline will feature participants from across the country, Khaleel said.
The show will be unprecedented in Maldivian television history, he said.