Social Media: Curse or Blessing to Entertainment Journalism?

Ghana’s entertainment industry is growing and same applies to entertainment related shows on both radio and on television. I don’t know if you have noticed but gradually I’m beginning to feel that, hosts of entertainment shows are becoming lazy these days with their approach to their job.

Entertainment show hosts must know that, the success of their shows are not primarily about the panelists they bring on the shows or how good they are in the Queen’s Language but it’s about how interactive they get with their viewers or listeners.

There are three ways that, viewers or listeners can be made part of a show. These are via telephone calls, text messages and of course through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Most people of late have resorted to using Twitter.

All over the world, social media is the thing now. It’s a big platform that many journalists, reporters and media personnel are exploiting to their advantage. The medium is changing the face of journalism, despite few areas which needs to be tackled and shaped.

In a proper journalism practice, before a journalist gets ready to interview anyone, he or she must prepare well ahead. Depending on who is about to be interviewed, the preparation must entail background checks and research on the person, before questions can be set.

These days, I have observed that, entertainment hosts who have embraced the new trend of using social media are becoming more popular and their programmes are getting high ratings.

What is however unfortunate is that, like I stated earlier, the trend is making journalists lazy as they fail to do the proper thing of researching well about the people they intend to interview and rather allow audience to have a field day to write about various unsubstantiated rumours about guests which they sometimes shamefully read live on air.

I can say that, Divas Show on TV3 hosted by newscaster Nana Aba Anamoah has become like a show on Saturday that virtually everyone looks up these days. According to some media friends, the show has taken some shine off others on the same band on other stations. The reason is simple; Nana Aba involves the viewers and occasionally reads their tweets while others do not.

The practice of not doing checks and allowing the viewers to decide the pace of the show is not the best but unfortunately it’s becoming the norm now.

Now let’s travel to the Industrial area based television station, GhONE. George Quaye is the host of The Pundits, an entertainment Talk Show on Tuesdays on the station. Even though the show is new, it has also become like people’s favourite to be educated, informed and entertained with facts concerning the growing entertainment industry.

Thanks to social media, George is edging out his colleagues who hosts similar shows on different television stations and are not taking advantage of social media.

There are other talk shows on TV which are scoring high marks as a result of the use of social media platforms. ETV’s Late Night Celebrity Show and Entertainment Review on Peace FM are just two of examples.

However, I wish there was a way that using social media for live shows can be regulated. What is happening currently is that, the host on most occasions ends up reading some unsubstantiated news sent as comments about their guest to the public and later apologise. After all it is not everything that radio and television guest want the world to know.

I think that, social media is both a curse and a blessing to entertainment journalism and it is time something is done to diminish the curse, so we all can enjoy the blessing that comes with it. One thing that should be noted is that, no matter what, entertainment hosts cannot out-rightly stop using social media platforms.

Now over to you, what do you think?

By Ebenezer Anangfio

eanangfio@hotmail.com or tweet @anangfio

Nana Aba Anamoah

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