We faced some embarrassing of major proportions when President Obama of the United States visited Ghana in 2009 and the broadcasting world decided to rely on GTV to cover the programmes for them to pick the feed.
It was shambolic.The embarrassment GTV served us was not mitigated in any way as the eye of the entire world was on us and many saw the mediocrity of an African broadcaster at work. That was just one of the many occasions that the “still the station of the nation” has let down the nation when we most needed them to come through to deliver very good production that we all would be proud of.
When I heard that GTV would be the sole and official television station to carry the live telecast of the election results challenge by the NPPs Nana Akufo Addo et al, from the Supreme Court of Ghana I felt a chill at the small of my back! “GTV again?” was all I could utter.
So it was that D-day arrived Tuesday morning and the cameras of GTV rolled into the chambers of the Supreme Court where many people who had interest in the matter had gathered both on the side of the applicants and the defendants.
Seated in our homes and offices we saw political figures and lawyers prancing about some dressed for the occasion and others dressed as though that would aid their cause one way or another and while some laughed others showed more serious faces as if to say “we are not here to joke.”
Then the proceedings started and viewers were unable to hear anything the lawyers on both sides of the case said. Imagine waiting in anticipation to witness the first live broadcast of a Supreme Court hearing and then you can’t hear jack! That was a letdown, a major letdown.
GTV has come out with a statement about challenges they faced and many people have come to their aid with the argument that GTV got the notification a tad late hence the outcome of the production. To which I ask: Were the challenges caused by accident on the day or were they anticipated?
For the fact that GTV has a history of such bad productions, one would expect that they will take a principled position as professionals to tell whoever is requiring their services: please we cant do it this way because of so and so.
Apart from the sound the camera angles were bad such that viewers could hardly see the face of the panel of judges although I am sure that would have been deliberate. Granted that it was then what’s the point of watching a real-life courtroom drama without seeing the faces of the judges?
It must be said that the coverage during the second day of the hearing had improved somewhat, even by GTV’s own standards; however, the calamitous presentation made to the nation must not go unmentioned.
We can go on and talk about the decision to even telecast the proceedings, the significance of it and how it would impact on the democratic credentials of this country. We can talk about how the decision was instigated by what happened in Kenya and how they got it spot on.
We can even talk about how many radio stations across the country have also taken it upon themselves to broadcast live these proceedings to their listeners. We can talk about how productivity is lost because instead of working, people have kept their eyes, thoughts and emotions on the TV to follow the events.
Whatever we say though, the manner by which GTV broadcast the maiden edition of the first-ever live broadcast of a Supreme Court hearing would be remembered and spoken about for time to come.
It is my hope as an industry watcher that in the coming days of the election petition hearing, the national broadcaster would ensure that they give us good viewing experience. It must be noted that all stations that show the hearing including Metro TV, TV3 and etv do so by picking their feed from GTV and therefore would have a similar quality that GTV provides.
Article by Francis Doku/Graphic Showbiz
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