Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The flaws of Kenyan TV

This is part one of a two part series highlighting the Kenyan media particularly television. This concerns the news as it is delivered from the studios in Nairobi to our screens at home. in everything there are positives and negatives and the same goes for Kenyan TV. Today, I'll focus on the negatives and relay the positives on another occasion.

       Kenyan TV has grown tremendously since the monopoly of one TV station was broken way back in  1990, when Kenya Television Network(KTN) was started. This was a huge development back then as the state-controlled Kenya Broadcasting Corporation or KBC hogged broadcasting in Kenya. the quality of news and programming began improving with the privately owned KTN broadcasting content that was unseen before on Kenyan TV. Since then, we have had a proliferation of TV stations including NTV,Citizen TV, K24 and many others. This was expected to improve the quality of news as competition became stiffer with time. it seems the cut-throat competition is the bane of providing quality news and more so professionally. There are several incidents that point to the decline of professionalism on Kenyan TV and some are strangling the joy of watching news as it used to be in the recent past. These days when watching news you might think you are sitting beside a runway littered with models on New York fashion week or drama festivals on some gala night. There is too much going on during news that invites it displeasure and much to be desired.First of all, there is a crippling lack of professionalism in news these days. There is a particular TV station for their English news,have two female anchors who are sorely unfit to anchor Prime time news. Their delivery and mannerisms justify their need to stay away from news. Both of them were presenters of entertainment magazine shows and segments and they hardly interacted with the audience in a capacity that needed utmost professionalism. The manner in which they were pushed to anchor Prime time news still surprises me.Both of them have also separately been given chances to conduct live interviews and the basic principle of eye contact lacks in them as their focus is on the Ipads that they hold. They mumble and give nervous gestures as they deliver news, they lack composure and i dread what would happen in a high-pressure situation like the forthcoming General Election that requires alertness and composure. In another station, a minister once infamously walked out on a female anchor in a live interview, while it might be cynical to blame the interviewer but she lacked the professionalism to conduct the interview even as the minister was boiling mad. the art of a communicator, to try and calm the minister down was lacking, she herself seemed timid and intimidated of the minister which was wrong.Other TV stations also have questionable anchors reading news. They do so to collect their paycheck and throw values out of the window. What amazes me is these anchors are known to have graduated from esteemed media institutions. The other issue is drama and rhetoric. The news is becoming dramatic each passing day. News should be presented in a simple and understandable manner. There is a station known for its female anchor who catwalks on the news set, while this may be pleasing to many amorous eyes and leave men drooling at her swinging hips, i find this overly dramatic and wastage of valuable time.There are numerous runways in Nairobi to go and strut in ,in high heels and certainly not on a Prime time news platform. her delivery of news is not taken seriously as eyes are focused on her lone beauty contest. This trend is emerging also in other stations and one needs to look at CNN or Al-Jazeera to just see how trivial the drama on Kenyan TV is.The same station during their news will see a presenter walk the whole aisle across to a screen displaying an opinion question. Again, this is unnecessary and makes me wonder what the Technical and graphics team at the station is exactly doing. I saw to my great indignation, two male presenters in another TV station actually singing on set. One of the presenters is known for his daily interview show and reads news in the most dramatic and epileptic manner as his Sports news counterpart that day with whom they were singing along. One renowned female anchor is known for her rhetoric. she comments on almost all the news items, imploring the news watching audience to do this and that. Oh, love your country, don't throw stones and other verbose. To me, she seems insincere and she is only trying to capture her viewers by appearing concerned. I have an issue when female news anchors are dolled up and layered in make up and hairstyles done as if it was a rock band performing and not a professional news reader. This is part of the drama. One of the pioneer stations in Kenya is fond of caking their anchors in make up.To add to that, the bright lights of the studio expose the folly of the make up artists. Why, i say this,is because it is a distraction to viewers. Moderate make up is just enough. i have an issue with TV anchors holding tablets while anchoring news. technology has come a long way but it should never be allowed to be an impediment to quality new delivery. Many are the times you will see an anchor as earlier mentioned, conducting an interview with his /her fingers stroking a tablet. It says what the guest in studio is saying is not relevant or important.
to be continued.....

1 comment:

  1. the audience is partly to blame because they are more intrested with the drama and swagger of the presenters and not news.