Television Awards Ghana: If it must be done, it must be done well

It is frequently said in doing things, it is the beginning that is often difficult. Such is the organisation of award shows; it  has never been easy at all. Even event organisers or companies that have done it over and over again will still say that it is a difficult thing to do.

But in all of this, I believe that when extra effort is put in such an organisation, regardless of whether it’s a maiden show or not, everything can go well and people will not have too much to complain about.

Currently in its sstage is the Television Awards Ghana – a new awards scheme being organised by people who have no prior experience in that field.

Yet what I have seen so far has been positive. The show appears to be by people who know what they are about.

Television Awards Ghana which is being organised in partnership with various industry stakeholders including the Ministry of Communications, National Communications Authority, the National Media Commission, Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association and others, is designed to engage all relevant stakeholders in television broadcasting in Ghana.

It is also set to conduct structured annual awards for deserving television stations, programmes, production crew and individuals in the industry.

In what appears to be an-all star showcase, the awards boasts of seven very credible, trusted and seasoned personalities in the television industry as Board of Trustees.

Mr. Kofi Middleton-Mends, Mr. Kofi Bucknor, Mr. Frederick Asamoah, Mr. Felix  Dontoh, Mr. Kenneth Ashigbe, Mr. Kwaw Ansah and Prof. Linus Abraham are the seven-member Board of Trustees who have been tasked to provide guidance, direction and support to the Planning Committee and the Faculty in the discharge of their various duties.

As huge figures in their respective endeavours, their competency to sit on a board to work on a ‘mere’ award has been questioned with some critics saying that they are too big and that, they cannot make time to see to the running of the awards.

But yours truly think otherwise as they have been seen on many occasions playing active roles in their respective capacities to ensure the smooth organisation of the awards scheme.

At the press conference at the Alisa Hotel in Accra to officially announce the nominees for the Prime Time and Industry Awards categories, something happened which nearly created the impression that, some television programmes were deliberately sidelined from the awards.

Even though I reckon that everything is on course for the awards to take place, there are few things that I wish to bring to the notice of the organisers. I strongly believe that, these areas need their full attention.

At the press conference, it came out that some programmes did not get nominations. Various reasons were offered to put a close to that segment. But consequently, it left many wondering and an exchange of words nearly ensued.

For instance, in a release to announce the awards to the public, television stations were tasked to go ahead and nominate various programmes on their channels for consideration into the awards and personalities for individual awards.

This, by what I witnessed and observed at the press conference, did not go down well with some producers who were present, yet their programmes did not make it to the awards.

I share in their sentiments because in this era where many programmes run on more than one television station, how possible will it be for all the stations to submit the same programme for an award? How will Station A know that Station B has submitted into the awards Programme Z which runs on both stations?

The Programmes Manager of Afrostar TV, Mr Baffour Awuah mentioned to me that, he did not submit a programme that runs on his channel because the same programme is telecast on Viasat1. According to him, he did not submit it because he thought Viasat1 would do it.

He also said in a situation where both Afrostar TV and Viasat 1 submitted a common programme, the latter’s submission is likely to override his own because his station is not as big and influential as the other.

Another thing that I find very disturbing is that, previously, many television stations relied solely on private and independent producers for content.

Today, things are done much differently. That trend has changed as television stations now produce or pay independent production houses to produce content for them.

Now in situations like this, it is very certain that, televisions stations would focus more on submitting their own programmes rather than that of the independent produced-programmes running on their station.

According to the 2nd Vice President of the Awards Faculty, Mr George Bosompim, a producer and director at Homebase TV exonerates the organisers of the awards of any wrongdoing.

He told me, “In terms of independent producers, we went on air to announce that anybody who produces for television is eligible for this awards. So if you are eligible for these awards and you didn’t submit, then it can’t be our fault.”

“Another thing is that, if the television stations also did not see a need to even inform you, (to submit yourself) then that cannot also be our fault because they are the people who are transmitting what (your programme) you have.”

Like I said earlier, I like the way the organisers of the awards  have started. It looks promising even with the little shortcomings.  A lot has not been done to create that awareness for the awards.

The organisers must come out with guidelines on the submission. It will help a great deal if television stations are only allowed to enter into the awards, their own programmes while independent producers do the same.

By Ebenezer Anangfio / Graphic Showbiz

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