Radio broadcasting in Solomon Islands started in 1952 as the SI Broadcasting Service, a government department. It became SIBC, a state-owned enterprise, in 1977. It has an active and progressive online presence and plans to start a national TV service as soon as possible, likely in late 2018.
SIBC outputs benefit its commercial clients, listeners and on line viewers.
SIBC is a national icon with a distinctly Solomon Islands sound that all Solomon Islanders recognise. They also have listeners in PNG and Vanuatu, as well as many wantoks (Solomon Islanders) and friends living overseas - the latter group listening online.
SIBC’s Board of Directors appointed, in accordance with the State-Owned Enterprises Act 2007, provides the policy, direction and authority to the executive management staff who run the organisation.
Its activities are:
- Providing information – news and current affairs programmes, emergency warnings, weather, shipping, food security information.
- Providing educational programmes e.g. to promote progress toward the sustainable development goals viz. promote gender equity, reduce domestic violence, combat climate change and environmental degradation, reduce non-communicable diseases, among others.
- Providing programmes on culture, history and entertainment
- Providing commercial advertising and sponsorship opportunities for the private sector and others e.g. NGOs and community groups.
SIBC is paid on contract by the Solomon Islands Government annually to deliver its Community Service Obligations (SB$2.5 million in 2017). It also earns revenue from sales of commercial advertising and promotions (about $7m in 2016) and receives a modest annual grant from the Prime Minister’s office (SB$1 million in 2018).
When SIBC launches its own TV channel, its commercial revenues will rise to double the current levels.
There are currently 44 staff, 39 per cent of whom are women. However, in late 2018 the staff number will increase to 52 after recruitment for the TV service.