Austine Woode, a controversial and outspoken broadcast journalist with Abusua 96.5 FM, the EIB Network owned radio outfit based in Kumasi has written this interesting piece after the just ended RTP Awards 2017.
Taking to social media, the broadcast journalist questioned the credibility of the award scheme and also gave solutions as to how the scheme can be crafted in the future to produce winners who are more deserving in the industry.
Read his piece below
I have followed the radio airspace in Kumasi for almost 19 years now and had the opportunity to do same for other parts of the country primarily through “Listening and Watching” with Francis Doku in the Graphic Showbiz and other avenues
Back in 2003, a gentleman introduced a new TV program that captured the attention of the whole nation called “Presenters’ Guide”. This show went to the various studios of our favourite radio stations and their cameras captured everything these presenters were doing LIVE in the studio.
This was a period the activities of radio and radio presenters was a BIG thing so to be able to see your favourite presenters doing it on TV was a great experience.
The gentleman I’m talking about is McKay now head of the organisation that owns the RTP awards.
He developed it into a competition where these presenters did it in a LIVE studio session on TV in a competition and we saw the exploits of Andy Dosty, Frankie Taylor, Delay, Blakk Rasta, Turbo Bee etc.
Then the RTP awards was born later on with the view to award deserving personalities who had excelled on both Radio and TV for a particular year under review.
In the first year of the awards, I got a feeling that based on the criteria for selecting nominees and awarding was flawed and couldn’t stand the test of time.
They organisers nominated radio programs that were popular in Accra and to be seen as representative of the whole country, threw in a few nominations from others regions.
They also said the awards will be based on voting by general public and a board we never get to hear from them.
This is it, media awards should never be based on popularity because there are ethics in journalism that not every ordinary person can know, For example, I was trained as a presenter not to ever talk over lyrics but we have people awarded for repeating this. There are others who repeat other mistakes but get awarded every time.
This is happening because as the awards scheme started gaining grounds and became the only avenue to award Radio and TV personalities, the media owners wanted to influence it because winning made it seem they were doing well and ride on that. So there were times, some people from other regions got nominations and eventually won awards and later found themselves in Accra working.
Then the general public started having issues with some of the award winners because to balance publicity with ethics, they awarded supposed non popular personalities.
That was the time I realised that awards scheme had lost focus and was just a popularity only awards and excellence was out of the question.
No radio presenter in Kumasi has had a bigger impact on residents with his/her program than Otwinoko from his days at Mercury, Nhyira and Fox. But isn’t it shocking that he’s never won anything before not to talk of even getting a nomination.
This is because the organizers feel Ghana is Accra and until they see you doing it in Accra, all what you are doing is not relevant enough. There’s a segment for Radio development program and Maa Afia of Peace FM won it consistently for over 4 years. I don’t have a problem with that but if the organisers thought no program apart from “Wo haw ne sen” and “w’apomu te sen” was the only program to win such category then they simply don’t monitor other stations outside Accra.
Go to Techiman, Akomadan, Enchi, Nkawkaw etc and listen to radio stations there and the impact they are having with their programs that discusses issues related to farmers, marriages and other social impact programs
First of all, bringing in public voting will never give Ghanaians a credible media awards. The organisers must invest heavily by getting enough sponsors to do away with the money they want to generate through the voting.
Also they must get knowledgeable industry players who value excellence over popularity to monitor thoroughly radio stations for the year under review, do proper nominations.
After this,the panel should sit and analyse and evaluate these works and award excellence not popular shows and presenters.
Tommy Annan Forson, Cox Tamakloe(if not attached), Samuel Attah Mensah(If not attached), Jojo LeMaire, Karl Tuffour, Wofa Yaw Asubonteng, Kwame Baah Nuako are some of the names that can be included on the Board and I’m sure we will get these ace broadcasters giving us worthy winners and not just popular presenters.
Some popular presenters will not be awarded and if the organizers defend it by saying they insult, malign and joke with news presentation on air hence can’t be awarded, lot of Ghanaians will agree with that