‘A highly meritorious enterprise’ is how one American writer has described Intertel, which is now moving out of the planning stage into production as the transmission date (May 3) for the first 12 programmes in this country looms near.
What is Intertel? It is an International Television Federation aimed at producing high-quality television programmes to promote wider knowledge of world affairs and better understanding of world problems.
Who belongs to Intertel? The members are: Associated-Rediffusion (our Controller of Programmes was the originator of the idea), the Australian Broadcasting Commission, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the National Educational Television and Radio Center (N.E.T.R.C.) and Westinghouse Broadcasting Company of the U.S.A.
Where will the programmes be seen? Each of the participating organisations will screen them in their transmission areas and they will also be available for selling throughout the world. The potential audience runs into many millions.
When do they start? Our feature on France, to be transmitted next month, is the first in the series. In June our programme on South Vietnam will be screened. Details of the feature on South Vietnam will appear in the next issue of Fusion.
Also well advanced is the first contribution from N.E.T.R.C. and Westinghouse. A production team with Associated-Rediffusion equipment and technicians is now working in this country for a programme which will look at the English state of affairs through American eyes.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has a unit working on their first programme in which they will look at a country of specific interest to the U.S.A. – Cuba. Australia is, in turn, investigating Canada and her ‘big neighbour’ problem with the U.S.A.
All this should produce some healthy competition between those taking part to produce the best possible programmes.
Intertel programme plans are made by an executive council composed of representatives of each of the member companies. A preliminary meeting of the council took place at a hotel in Vancouver, British Columbia, on November 14 last year. We were represented by Brian Begg, James Butler, Arthur Groocock and John McMillan.
The next meeting is set for April 14 and 15 in Lisbon. Members will report progress on the first six productions and agree subjects for the second six. Our representatives will show the film of the Morley/Bennett feature on France during the course of the meeting. Other business will include consideration of an Intertel trademark which has been prepared by publicity department and (on film) by George Willows. Another important item on the agenda will be a discussion on further productions to follow the completion of the first series of 12 programmes.