Last Saturday, the nation witnessed another event to honour radio and television presenters, programmes and companies in the industry.
The annual Radio and TV Personality (RTP) Awards, in its seventh year, came with a few controversies, sadly, once again.
The days leading to the event saw a banter between the organisers and music artiste Patapaa over whether or not he had been contracted to perform and how much he would be paid, the resignation of Jesse Agyepong,who until then was announced as a key person in the management of the awards, the announcement by an aide of the Vice President that the latter won’t attend the show despite massive publicity about his attendance and a few more etc.
Then came the awards night and there were winners and losers, as would definitely be the case at an awards ceremony, and then the usual backlash of who deserved what and who doesn’t followed like day follows night.
In my experience with awards over the years, especially awards for broadcasters in this country, there would never be a time you would get anything clean. Ever!
Radio and TV presenters would praise your awards when they win and properly denigrate it when they lose.
There is absolutely no consistency when it comes to them.
I have read individuals and sometimes stations that used to go all out campaigning for votes in this same RTP now slamming it or claiming they don’t want to associate with it.
I have seen those who previously slammed it caressing and showing their statuettes now that they have won.
Regardless of all the brouhaha that preceded the event, there were many who campaigned strongly this year, just as in previous years, to be voted for across all platforms and there were media houses which gave their airtime and other media assets to promote their presenters and programmes which had been nominated.
Some personnel on these same stations have been badmouthing the awards after last Saturday when they went home with nothing to show, despite the many promotions and requests for votes across all media platforms.
The consistency, when it comes to the RTP is very inconsistent (if I could be pardoned for using such an expression). For many, the only constant when it comes to RTP is the fact that something about it should be bashed, regardless of what happens.
Where I come from we say “when you speak for the sun you also speak for water” and so it is fair to say that this annual brouhaha around RTP must be seen as a shared responsibility by the radio and television organizations on the one hand and the organisers on the other hand.
The organisers have over the years not been too transparent with the process.
It is true that Prince McKay, the CEO of Big Events, the organisers, have tried different means including engaging others to be part of the organizing team at different times, however, the fact remains that some still think a lot is hidden from the public.
This has led to a love-hate relationship between the organisers and the broadcast personalities and stations over the seven years that the event has existed.
It is an all bashing spree when they don’t win and it is all praise and adulation when they do.
There used to be an industry award called RTV Awards and the few years that it was organized, it suffered something similar to what its current successor RTP suffers at the hands of radio and television presenters and their minders.
You can never win with the people who are critical of governments, politicians and pretty much everyone.
It is my view that there is the need for Prince McKay and his team to take another critical look at the event process and see how to improve on it.
I am aware that when Kwesi Asare was Executive Secretary at GIBA there was a decision and an action plan to organize a similar awards show for their members.
That idea died when he left to TV Africa.
I think it is time for some conversation between Big Events and GIBA to see how to make this event a lot more “owned” by the industry players in it.
I believe that would ensure that a lot more commitment is exacted from the stations and their presenters while the organisers would be a lot more responsible towards the body that oversees broadcasting in the private sector.
During the fifth anniversary of RTP, I noted in this column how strong a character McKay was and how I was sure he would ride the tide of criticisms for that year, just as he had for the previous four previous years.
“If there is anything you like about Mackay’s character it is his resilience and his determination in the face of adversity and what some would call failure.
Four times he had challenges with his shows and four times he came back.
Some of the criticisms that emanated from those events could kill the spirit and bury the soul of other people but not Prince Mackay,” I wrote.
“Each of the times he had dusted himself and organized things so he would come back for another show the following year.
This is the Seventh year and it seems that RTP has become a part of the entertainment calendar and there is nothing anyone can do about it.”
I would correct the last part, there is something someone can do and that is for McKay to keep looking, engaging and trying to get the right partnerships to improve what he has been doing over the last seven years.
The industry has accepted the awards, despite the few and expected screams from various quarters, what is left to be done is to make it worth their while.
The one person who holds the key to that status is Prince McKay.
He initiated this awards when no one asked for it and he should find a way to eliminate the obvious negatives and make it something to die for.
That would be the solution to the annual brouhaha.
That said, I think it is in order to wish all the winning presenters, programmes and stations congratulations.
Those who were nominated but lost out, I wish them better luck next time and those who were not nominated, we wish they would work hard to get the nod next time!