Television: Name- Change And Politics Of Envy
lately been some political talk around the re-branding of Ogun State’s
broadcast stations by the Administration of Otunba Gbenga Daniel.
Prominent in this regard is the piece by Abimbola Awofeso entitled "What
manner of change" and carried in a national daily. Before the public is
misled by ill-informed commentaries on this matter, it is important that
the facts of the case be put in perspective.
13th 1982 when he commissioned the Ogun
Television, Chief Olabisi Onabanjo of blessed memory, first civilian
Governor of Ogun State, noted that:"the prime goal of the OGTV is to help
restore within the areas covered by its transmissions the good image of
in these illustrious footsteps, the administration of Governor Gbenga
Daniel recently re-named the State-owned television and radio services
from Ogun State Television (OGTV) and Ogun State Broadcasting Corporation
(OGBC) to Gateway Television and Gateway Radio respectively.
re-branding of the State’s media could not have come at a better time when
the world is faced with ongoing changes in information management. Gateway
Television and Radio are now poised to provide better information service
to the people taking into consideration their heterogeneous nature.
Governor Daniel could not have put this better when he said: "Our
Administration has embarked on re-engineering and re-positioning the State
Radio and Television services for improved performance and enhanced
relevance through human capacity building and the provision of
cutting-edge infrastructure to enable them master the ever-changing and
competitive broadcast industry".
Re-branding the state media organisations became a necessity to engender a
change in perception in the minds of the people. It is part of
Government’s strategy to re-position the State away from the previous
notion of being a "civil service" State and exhibit Ogun in a more
positive and dynamic light. To be sure all policies reflect this new and
exciting position being championed by the Daniel Administration.
change in name is hardly just for the sake of it. It will be recalled that
Ogun State Hotels had its name changed to Gateway Hotels. The change in
name has in a sense helped to reinforce the image the Government aims to
project for the State and its approach to Governance. As the Gateway
State, Ogun has identified itself and its people with a renewed openness
and its media organisations are a part of this viable concept.
Government’s "Business Unusual" stance is highlighted in how it wants the
State to be perceived by the outside world. It is a vital component of the
vision hence the State’s media organisations have received a new charge
which is in line with electronic information services all over the world.
This was summed up by Governor Daniel when during the Commissioning of the
Gateway Broadcasting House in February 2005 he noted that: "the
information explosion that our age has witnessed has made information
gathering and transmission easier than two decades ago. Yet these
developments call for concerted efforts in the proper use and deployment
of vital information for national development and to enhance national
viewing and listening public in Ogun and beyond are now served with
well-balanced and lucid information items. "Edutainment" has become a way
of serving up positive information to the public. Little wonder that the
newly improved television has proved to be a step in the right direction.
Since the change, GTV’s rating has moved up and with it renewed interest
from the world of advertising has also gone up.
to recent ill-informed innuendoes in some quarters, the Daniel
Administration has in no way moved away from the dream of the founding
fathers of television in Ogun State. If anything the Government has sought
to build upon the legacy left behind by Awolowo and Onabanjo. While the
name of the television station has changed in concordance with Ogun’s new
outlook, the guiding principles have been left intact. Chief Onabanjo on
that epoch making day in 1982 noted that: "OGTV is being encouraged by my
Government to evolve a distinctive character of its own and come out with
a choice of programmes appealing to different interests. The station has
been mandated to promote the confrontation of tastes and opinions and
refrain from treating the public as a bunch of like-minded folks".
Undoubtedly these assertions are still very much of current and
contemporary relevance and are being observed fully by the State radio and
current and viable trend in the television and radio industry is to make
commercialisation a key part of operations. The idea behind the new
Broadcasting House is for it to serve as an alternative source of income
for the station. This is hardly a new phenomenon as the British
Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) makes a good deal of its income from its
ventures outside the compulsory TV licence fee. The other side of the coin
also shows that the Broadcasting House will capture the social market. The
coverage of social events held there by the two stations will also in a
sense push up custom. People who use the venue are guaranteed coverage.
Naturally advertisers will be encouraged to advertise their products on a
station where they are guaranteed wide viewership.
village - which was first conceptualised by late Chief Onabanjo - is being
made a reality by the State Government. The media village will have dual
purposes of serving as the hub for media activities during the 15th
National Sports Festival (Gateway Games 2006) and subsequently be
converted into staff quarters for media professionals. One of the pet
ideas of Onabanjo - who was one of the grandee’s of Nigerian journalism -
will not be buried with him.
only the irrational will quarrel with the step by the State Government to
place the State Television on the Internet. Where else to advertise Ogun
State and her potentials to the world?
change over in name from Ogun State Television to Gateway Television has
given a new identity to the State-owned television which can only but
through Ogun into much-deserved limelight. The act of re-branding is a
globally recognized phenomenon aimed at breathing new life into a product.
These days almost anything may be put through a re-branding process. The
benefits are enormous and if Awofeso and his colleagues in AD are in any
further doubt they should ask the Britain’s Labour Party!
writes from Abeokuta