Few decades ago information flow was limited to few traditional media (electronic and print) in Ghana, which were government corporations. The situation changed with the influx of private traditional media houses leading to relatively easy access to worldwide information.
Currently in Ghana, radio stations have limited radius of transmission. According to National Communication Authority – Ghana, commercial Frequency Modulation (FM) stations are to transmit up to 45 kilometers radius. This limitation or control measure seems to be stated in principle but not in practice especially with unstopping emergence of social media applications and trending android mobile gadgets enabling expedient medium of live streaming of supposedly traditional media programmes.
As of second quarter of 2016, there were about 75 NCA authorized TV stations and 354 authorized commercial radio stations in Ghana and most stream live on social media to reach a wider active listenership and viewership even beyond the borders of Ghana. This can be referred to as using social media to power traditional media. Online radio stations are equally in competition hence the sustenance of the traditional media landscape is ‘shaky’. It is in this regard that Maximus Ametorgoh, Digital Marketing Strategist recommends traditional media Journalists to push up their news, other information and programmes on social media.
To large extent, it is prudent for traditional media operators to resort to social media to broadcast their programmes. It is on records that 2,789 billion of the world’s population are active social media users and in Ghana 19,697,062 people have subscribed mobile data while 4.5 million Ghanaians are hooked on Facebook. With six telecommunication companies (telecos) and each offering quite attractive packages for wider subscriptions, most Ghanaians are compelled to use more data to access internet – social media either for education, information and or entertainment purpose(s). The numerous text posts and video uploads on the internet is a seeming risk to traditional media because social media seem to provide satiable needed information to its users and it is largely inevitable.
Social Media defined – any or set of new media applications which facilitates social interactions based on shared identities, common interests, collective actions and social networks for divers expected results (Maximus Ametorgoh, Digital Marketing Strategist)
Globally, lifestyle is dynamic and thus people are varying information and its medium. News; politics, sports, entertainment, showbiz, current affairs amongst others on social media do not impose activation, rather, users activate to read, listen and watch trending posts and uploads. With this turn of lifestyle, western regional manager of Mobile Telecommunication Network (MTN) Simon Amoh at a social media workshop in their Takoradi base urged media personnel in the Sekondi/ Takoradi Metropolis in the Western region to take advantage of social media frenzy to disseminate information as they aspire to reach a wider coverage.
Cisco study indicates 80% of the world’s internet traffic will be video uploads. Presently, it will take one a total of 300 hours to just view the number of videos uploaded on YouTube within one minute. Will traditional media actively join the queue on social media or wait until readers or viewers and or listeners tune in, visit the news stand or switch on their television sets to patronize programmes?
You may compare and contrast social media and traditional media.
By Loveridge Ampratwum Okyere/ Connect 97.1 FM