Thursday, 22 November 2012

Concern as Radio Stations Go Vulgar

The radio industry has come a long way from one radio station transmitting in medium wave to over 30 radio stations broadcasting in quality sound frequencies: FM. It remains one of the most vibrant sub sectors in the entire media business attracting millions of shillings in advertising sales owing to its ability to reach millions of people.
Out witting competitors
However, the ever increasing number of radio stations has made them go to extreme extents to maintain their market share and jostle for lucrative advertising business. Some opted to hire comedians to attract and maintain audience. However, others have gone a step further to introduce sex talk shows and related topics. It has reached that point where it’s embarrassing to listen to radio in public especially in presence of elderly people. In most cases, the presenters discuss relationships/marriages. The audience call-in live to share their experiences and leaves one to wonder if morals still exists. As much as it has given people platform to exchange ideas or to vent, they have also significantly affected the attitude of people towards marriage not to mention poisoning minds with vulgar talks.
If it’s working ,why not?
On their part, contrary to the popular opinion, they say that people actually like the vulgar talk shows and its selling. This maybe attested by the high number of adverts during these shows. Some of the radio stations have since been warned by the Media Council of Kenya (in-charge of implementing Code of Conduct for Journalists) while others have been slapped with fines however the practice has persisted. This has brought to the fore two critical issues, one, does MCK has the ability to effectively deal with media houses that violate code of conduct? Two, is that attention has shifted to the professionalism of radio presenters. Most radio presenters are not professionally trained journalists as they are head hunted from the celebrity world.