Report: TDM system ‘seriously flawed’

Friday, October 8, 2010
Issue 1134, Page 2
Word count: 748
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The most important thing that public broadcaster Teledifusão de Macau (TDM) needs to do right now is to establish “transparent, impartial and responsible” management, said Kwan Tsui Hang, lawmaker and convener of the Strategy Development Working Group for TDM.

After around five months of investigation and research, the provisional working group handed in their report to Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On at the Government Headquarters yesterday.

The Chief Executive told reporters that within the next month the Government will decide their next step.
The research conducted included phone interviews of a random sample group of 1,044 TDM viewers aged 16 or above.

The findings showed that the respondents were not very satisfied with TDM news’ accuracy, timeliness and objectivity, which scored just an average of between 48 and 58 percent.

As for entertainment news, the survey found that TDM was far behind Hong Kong’s television stations, with the satisfaction rating less than 35 percent.

The respondents also hoped that TDM can improve the quality of its news programs and production, increase news programs and also insist on news monitoring.

The report says that overall speaking, the current problems in TDM include unclear positioning and goals, poor system, unregulated management and ineffective monitoring.

According to Kwan Tsui Hang, the “seriously flawed system” of TDM was to blame for all these problems found in the report.

The report also states that the positioning, goals, responsibilities, functions and operating mechanism of the public broadcaster should be stipulated in specific legislation or a charter, and that its most important business objective is to “get close to the public and serve the people,” adding the public’s level of satisfaction is the main indicator to measure TDM’s service quality.

Since the working group will soon be dismissed after completing this report, Kwan urged the Government to appoint independent and professional individuals to form a development strategy commission which is to instruct and oversee TDM’s operating principles, development strategies and quality of production and broadcasting.

In a long-term, the working group also suggested the Government consider bringing in international enterprises from neighbouring regions to invest in TDM, in order to expand TDM’s market to mainland China and Asia as a whole.

As the broadcasting station is completely funded by the Government which holds a 99.8 percent stake in the entity, the working group stressed that the Government has the responsibility to reinforce governance in TDM so as to ensure an orderly, highly efficient and quality operation.

“Be responsible and transparent, monitoring and accountability are the cores to establish the governance system of TDM,” the report said.

The SAR Government had granted MOP 123 million as a direct subsidy to TDM in 2009, but the broadcaster’s total expenditure was reportedly MOP 155.2 million in the same year.

Hence, the working group advised TDM to explore other financial resources.

The report also pointed out that TDM should prepare a proper human resources plan, and introduce a mechanism to cultivate and bring in talent.

The entity should also gradually build up a cultural atmosphere of “respect and care for the people” as a way to boost employees’ morale.

In addition, the working group highlighted the importance of reconfirming the Government, management and supervisory roles and responsibilities, as well as to make clear the duties of shareholders, board of directors, executive committee and board of supervisors of TDM.

Furthermore, the report suggests the TDM board of directors formulate a five-year future development plan illustrating what new infrastructure, major equipment and man power will be needed amid changes in society.

Public concern needed

Kwan Tsui Hang said she hoped that the report encourages local people to express more opinions and suggestions concerning TDM’s future and also attract the public attention.

The audit report which was also released yesterday showed a series of flaws in the staff welfare and business trip system of TDM also involving the management director. Asked whether the management body should be replaced, Kwan said it has to be decided by the Government, but believed that the top executives should hold responsibility for the audit report.

With regard to a TDM reporter who was suspended from her duties by the management allegedly because she reported on news that should not have aired, Kwan said the working group only has the authority to work on the report, and directed the reporter concerned to arbitration.

The full report is also available for download at The audit report can also be found at the Audit Commission’s website,


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