Brazilian Minister of Science and Technology Marcos Pontes opened the second National Forum of Brazilian Broadcasters on March 5. In Portuguese, the event is known as the Fórum Nacional de Radiodifusão MCTIC.
Pontes is an Air Force pilot, engineer, astronaut and author. He became the first South American to travel to space in 2006.
Digital Radio Mondiale Chair Ruxandra Obreja traveled to Brasilia for the event and had the opportunity to interview Marcos Pontes on behalf of Radio World. Obreja is a frequent contributor to Radio World International, and she also shared a clip of the interview. Watch it now.
In the video, Pontes explains the purpose and importance of this forum for the Brazilian radio broadcast industry. He said hopes the forum will be an opportunity for broadcasters to share their ideas for how the government can improve, as well as what the Ministry of Science and Technology is getting right. For example, Pontes said he is seeking feedback on what broadcast technologies the country should standardize on and what types of regulation radio broadcasters believe is necessary for their success.
Pontes also provides an update on the country’s near-term plans for the sector. In his address, Pontes said that the time has come for digital radio in Brazil. Obreja pressed him on the question of timing. Pontes demurred to provide a specific timeline, but said he hopes for a “short term” solution to emerge and said they “are getting there.”
Pontes also noted that many Brazilian stations are still in the process of converting from AM to FM. Obreja added that she hopes digital will be the next step for these stations. Pontes appeared to agree, but emphasized the need to choose the right technology to make that happen.