Laos plans to modernize and upgrade its media to international standards to enable it to compete with foreign media both in substances, human resources and technological aspects in order to attract more audience.
Recognizing that media plays an important role in the development of the country as Laos is in the process of integrating into the world community, Minister of Culture and Information Mounkeo Olaboun said that Lao media should reach out to people across the country. But in order to do so, it needs to be developed in all aspects, he added.
Laos currently has 31 radio stations in all 17 provinces of the country and only one national television. Its radio stations can cover only up to 80% of the total areas of the country, while its sole TV station can be seen or watched in only 50% of the country. Officials say that is one of the reasons why Lao media are having difficulty competing with Thai televisions and radios, which have the capacity to reach the Lao population throughout the land.
In addition, the fact that Laos’ media are state-owned, combined with budget constraints, makes modernization and upgrading of the system difficult if not impossible, thus preventing it from keeping up with the continuously changing world. Therefore, one of the top priorities for Laos is to encourage both the public and private sectors to join efforts in modernizing Lao media.
Listen to Songrit's report in Lao for more details.