Coverage or Reach? - Community Media underrated.
So I’m sitting here, everyday, wondering if government Communications and Media Liaison officers really know their jobs and who they really affect, or the mandate thereof of their respective departments and government entities. I have a serious concern about government Communications and Media Liaison Officers’ obsession about national media coverage thus forgetting who they are really intending to reach.
Ok, maybe I’m saying this as an estranged Current Affairs Executive Producer at a Community Radio station, who, all the time has difficulties reaching relevant people such as MEC’s, Ministers, or the Premier, if we don’t, at all, get hold of or even get attention from the officer relevant for media liaison, to reach our communities and deliver news/messages that affect them directly. All this because their are "building profiles" for their principals.
Why do u get obsessed with National Media coverage when you want to reach a small community in the outskirts of Mahikeng when you can do that through community media based in that respective area? Community media suffers for survival due to the fact that people and institutions that are supposed to be giving them support are the ones putting them down, not giving them the deserved exposure, afterwards then complain about how incapable we are. Someone please remind me again why community media was established?
As an employee at a community media institution, I have experienced numerous situations where government communicators prioritise national media, even prepared to pay for coverage, when we tend to cover them at no fee, but still, getting just a sound clip from the premier has become Mission Impossible V. I have witnessed community newspapers perish, even instances where community media employees have to beg government officials to advertise in their respective media channels, as if they do not know that quality should be prioritised over quantity, or maybe after 3 years of me graduating, the term “Media Liaison/Relations” has changed its meaning.
Well, even if I had all the paper in the world, it still won’t be enough for me to write all angles of my concern. All I’m saying is, we need each other to service our respective communities. The sooner government communicators realise that, the better.