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The impact of TV programmes on the observance of Covid-19 protocols in Ghana

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The media, particularly Television (TV) stations play an important role in educating, informing and entertaining the general public.

Programmes aired on TV have influenced and continue to influence the behavior of viewers.

For instance, years ago, when Ghana Television (GTV) used to telecast “Things We Do For Love”, it could be recalled that most youth at the time began walking and speaking like “Pusher”, the main character in the TV series.

Today, as the world is faced with the Corona virus pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) together with various governments have outlined a number of protocols for the general public to observe as part of measures to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

They are; washing of hands with soap under running water or using alcohol- based sanitizer to rub hands frequently, observing social distance; as well as all other hygienic protocols.

In Ghana, appreciable campaigns have been undertaken to educate the public to observe all the covid-19 protocols in other to curtail the spread of the virus.

President Akufo Addo, in his various addresses to the nation on measures being taken to fight the spread of the virus in the country, continues to emphasize the need to religiously adhere to the outlined protocols.

Despite the national effort to encourage compliance, It is worrying to note that some TV programmes currently being aired (in the midst of the pandemic) are not helping in the education drive.

As some set good examples, others show no regard to the Covid-19 protocols.

For instance, “Date Rush”; telecasted every Sunday at 8:00pm on TV3.

The love reality show provides a platform for people looking for love.

It showcases 10 beautiful ladies and a guy to choice from them.

This programme does not encourage the social distancing protocol as guys who are fortunate to get a “date” hug and hold their ladies closely.

I have also observed that the participants exchange microphones without sanitizing either their hands or the microphones.

Not only that but also, none of the love seekers; as well as the showhost, Giovanni, wears face mask during the show.

Another programme which clearly disregards the Covid-19 protocols is “Family Feud”, showned every Saturday at 8:00pm on TV3.

With 2 families battling for five thousand dollars, participants are seen holding and hugging one another when excited; without wearing face masks.

Again, the showhost, Steve Harvey, sometimes goes so close to the competitors without wearing face mask himself.

For lack of space, let me end with popular TV show “What Don’t You Know” which is aired every Saturday at 5:00pm on Joy Prime

On this programme, Ghanaian celebrities take part in a quiz competition.

Many of these personalities and the host of the show are mostly not in face masks.

In my discussions with a friend about this issue, I pointed out that I am not in the position to determine what TV programmes should be allowed to air and which ones they should not.

But if part of the mandate of media houses is to serve as a platform to educate the general public, what relevant education do TV programmes such as the ones cited above offer to their viewers concerning adherence to the Covid-19 protocols?

Giving producers of the programmes in question the benefit of the doubt, I will urge that even if the recording of those TV shows predated the outbreak of Covid-19, they should have an inscription on the TV screens to notify viewers that those are not live shows but recorded earlier.


The writer of this article, Olivia Azoteyinne, is a Teacher at St. Joseph’s Junior High School, Bolgatanga.

Source: A1radionline.com|101.1MHz|Ghana

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