The introduction of plural digital TV stations in Ghana has sparked a debate about whether television truly reflects society.

In the 1990s, despite a divided nation, Ghanaians were united in instilling values and customs, with television playing a crucial role. The limited number of TV stations at the time primarily aired local content, with occasional foreign programs carefully selected to align with Ghanaian values. However, the rise of digital TV stations has led to a wider menu of options for viewers, raising concerns about the content being consumed and its impact on societal values.

While some TV enthusiasts appreciate the nostalgia and seek out memorabilia, others worry about the negative effects of certain content on the youth. There is a growing prevalence of social vices and hedonistic pleasures among young people, which can be attributed to the proliferation of digital TV channels that promote content in sharp contrast to Ghanaian values. In the past, Ghanaian TV shows celebrated the country’s culture and entertained viewers with high-quality productions.

Today, there is an overabundance of shallow music videos and movies featuring explicit content, undermining the moral fabric of society. Additionally, alcohol advertisements and foreign soap operas endorsing debauchery have gained popularity, driven by profit motives. This shift toward financial gain has come at the expense of cultural preservation, values, and virtues.

Critics argue that regulatory bodies such as the National Communication Authority should be more vigilant in enforcing regulations on TV stations, while parliament should expedite the passage of the long-awaited Broadcasting Bill into law. Prioritizing local content, controlling nudity, and regulating foreign content are seen as essential steps to protect the youth from harmful influences.

Parental guidance is also emphasized to shield children from indecent portrayals and vulgar language. The consequences of failing to address these concerns are evident in the country’s increasing social vices, including sex tapes, school suicides, armed robbery, fraud, explicit music videos, and the pursuit of wealth without effort.

The transformation of television has been fueled by technological advancements and changing times, but it is vital for digital TV stations to reflect more positive aspects of society. Instead of blindly imitating negative elements from foreign countries, there is a call for showcasing programs and movies that inspire and promote a “can-do” spirit among the population. Currently, the quality of local movies leaves much to be desired, as producers are reluctant to invest for fear of losses.

To rectify this, producers and directors should strive for better scripts and draw inspiration from successful movies like “Heritage Africa” and “Love Brew In An African Pot.”

Without legislation mandating a percentage of high-quality local content with virtuous themes and regulating foreign content, the youth will remain exposed to the negative influences propagated by digital TV stations. Urgent action is required from the National Communication Authority, parliament, and TV station managers to protect the youth from the perils of alcoholism and addiction to sex.

In conclusion, the introduction of plural digital TV stations has led to a divergence from Ghanaian values and culture. The negative influence of certain content on the youth has raised concerns about societal well-being.

Immediate action, including legislation and responsible programming choices, is necessary to safeguard the youth and ensure that digital TV stations reflect the positive aspects of Ghanaian society.

By: Francis Abotar Sey,

Kpone (Tema).


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