Kudos to media for budget coverage and GMB final

BY: Francis Doku
 GMB 2017 final four
GMB 2017 final four

BUDGET COVERAGE: It has been a very busy week for many in the media, hasn’t it? For what’s worth this was the week in which the 2018 budget was presented by the Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori Atta to the people’s representatives in Accra and if you work in the media you’d be very busy.

Of course, budget presentation these days are nothing compared to what we used to have when Dr. Kwesi Botchway presented budgets on live television in the 1980s and 1990s, but that notwithstanding, the approach to covering that in the face of hefty competition is a daunting task.

After months of preparations, I should guess, the Finance Minister stormed parliament and presented the fiscal policy of the government to the MPs and the nation for that matter. Every media house worth its salt was there to cover and it was live on most television and radio stations.

Social media was also a key part of this coverage as almost all media houses covering the event made sure they would leverage these channels and it was little wonder therefore that the hashtag #Budget2018 was the number one trending subject for most part of the day yesterday.

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It appears to me that the media organisations are improving their coverage of such big ticket events through integration and simulcast on multiple platforms and a much better understanding of integration with new media.

What makes these coverages interesting is how you could follow this whole exercise and get the most up to date information from Parliament House without switching on your television or even radio. The live streams on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter and the many posts and infographics on these same platforms are enough to make you sit in your board meeting and still follow such events.

Technology has been the enabler for this to happen. Some of the software and apps being developed these days are good enough to help a broadcast company push live content on different platforms simultaneously.

It is even important that our media organisations are investing in these technologies to help them cover such content as the budget presentation to their audiences far and near, stationary and on the move would all have access to such content.

I have had a bit of time to monitor the budget presentation on radio, television and online to know that, despite the resource constraints – both human and financial – many of the media organisations have done a great job covering such events and they deserve commendation.

I remember commending them after an awesome coverage of the last elections and giving Ghanaians some confidence in the electoral system, thanks to the openness that the presence of a vigilant and determined media brings.

That said though there is still room for the media to improve on its coverage. Not everybody needs to be put on TV or radio when such serious issues are up for discussion. It is the job of the stations to choose the right people to do it and that only can be done when we up our game.

GMB FINAL ON SUNDAY: Almost two weeks ago, a 25-year-old MPhil candidate of the University of Ghana, Miss Pearl Nyarko was crowned the 15th winner of the Miss Malaika beauty pageant in Accra. Miss Nyarko did that by beating nine other contestants to drive away a brand new Renault among other prizes.

Charterhouse’s Miss Malaika has been a very important pageant on the television and entertainment calendar and many in the industry look forward to it.

From the reports I got and watching over the weekend on GHOne, the most deserving contestant won, thanks to a good job done by judges including John Dumelo, Naa Ashorkor, and Becca. There were great performances from a cast of young artistes KiDi, Kuami Eugene, Adina and Ebony.

One TV reality themed beauty contest closes for 2017 and come this Sunday another will close with a winner to take home the coveted Kia Sportage. The 2017 edition of Ghana’s Most Beautiful has been showing on Sunday nights for a while now and come this Sunday night a winner will be chosen.

This season, TV3’s flagship reality show has been another entertaining and yet controversial one, especially around the last person to be evicted before the final: Edem. Gauging by public comments on social media alone it seems many from the region she represented, Volta Region were not too happy with her performances. Also, some felt she should have been evicted earlier.

The remaining four contestants are poised to show why they should be chosen as winners on behalf of their respective regions. At the moment they are preparing for the grand finale at the Accra International Conference Centre.

For all the efforts they have put in over the last three months or so, Baaba (Central), Zeinab (Northern), Nana (Western) or Serwaa (Eastern) will know on Sunday which of them would wear the crown and drive the prize vehicle home. So which of them will receive the baton from Western Region’s Yaaba?

Their fate would be decided by 40 percent votes from the public and 60 percent performance assessment from judges Linda Ampah and Oscar Provencal. Oh and there will be performances by MzVee, Kuami Eugene and others.