The media industry has changed over the years. Radio presenters used to be anonymous. We were just voices and with just our voices, we developed our ‘on-air’ personalities. We were not ‘personalities’ because we talked on radio, we became personalities over time,through the things we said and how we said them.
When i was in Uni, i learned about the agenda setting function of the media, where in choosing and displaying news, editors, newsroom staff, and broadcasters play an important part in shaping political reality. Readers and listeners learn not only about a given issue, but also how much importance to attach to that issue from the amount of information provided and the level of attention given to it.
As a broadcast media professional, i happen to take this to heart.
In recent times, broadcast media has shifted from traditional forms to dynamic digital platforms where more people have access to media content on the go.
We have a large demography that consume audio and visual content on their hand-held devices more than the traditional radio and television boxes. The content they consume, drive conversations online on several forums and social media platforms and offline in homes, bars and even religious centers.
These conversations eventually lead to social consciousness, advocacy, mindset changes and influence government policy.
Therefore, as broadcasters and media content providers (either on traditional platforms or digital platforms) we are in a privileged position to shape society.
The average radio show in Lagos has about 20,000 (give or take a few thousand) listeners at 15 minute breaks. That’s more than most church pastors. That is too much power and responsibility to trivialize.
If your online platform can reach 300 people daily, that’s 300 human lives you have been given to influence.
The media platform you have been given (i say given even if you built it for yourself because i consider it a gift from God) is a privilege that should not be taken for granted. If you have been given a voice, you should have something worthwhile to say.
It’s very easy to get caught up in the celebrity culture and forget the primary objective to inform and educate while being entertaining. But how can we really be ‘Influencers’ if we have no enlightening perspective to bring to socio-cultural issues around us?
How do we elevate social awareness and create room for debate, discuss and push for solutions if we don’t bother to know what the issues are and bring them to the attention of our audience?
The microphone is powerful. The keyboard (formerly pen)is powerful. The video camera is powerful. Whatever your weapon of choice is, wield it with purpose because we are in a fight for the soul of our society.