Once again, it’s the season for TV awards for “excellence,” as handed out by many different educational institutions throughout our televiewing la-la-land.
The well-meaning groups involved declare that they want to encourage, recognize and reward TV people and channels to do their best work possible.
Unfortunately, some of the TV practitioners they cite don’t do outstanding work, so their noble objective is not achieved—and is sometimes even negated and contradicted.
What seems to be the problem? In some questionable instances, the awards go to the wrong people, in terms of actual work and contribution to the process involved.
Take the award for best newscaster or newsperson: More often than not, the “winner” is mostly just a news reader. In other words, he or she simply delivers reports, researched and written by other unseen reporters. So, why should the news reader get the praise and trophy for reading clearly and well?
That’s why our suggestion is to do away with individual awards, because they don’t reflect the more important and essential news gathering and writing process, of which the reading or newscasting aspect is just the visible tip of the iceberg.
Let the TV news award be for best news reportage, so it can be more realistically shared by all of the many TV news people who have contributed to the “best” results.
Another problem with individual awards is their temptation for the “winners” to think of themselves as “stars,” which is why some of them act up and behave accordingly.
There should be no “stars” in TV newscasts because it’s the news, reported as objectively as possible, that should be all-important.
We also suggest that most other program types should adhere to the “no individual awards” rule when it comes to on-cam work.
So, the best program host award for various program categories should be scrapped, because in many cases, hosting a show isn’t that big a deal or challenge.
Exceptions could be made for best interviewer or best game show host, since those tasks are more creative and demanding.
The “no individual awards” rule would disabuse both TV people and viewers of the wrong notion that the program host is responsible for a drama, comedy, variety or musical show’s quality.
In many cases, the host merely follows a preset format and scripted lead-ins, and is actually more of a spiel-reader than the element that gives its show its substance.
Yes, the host’s personality “colors” the show and makes it “fun and exciting,” but this is decoration, not essential content, which is generally supplied by many other people.
Finally, “award-givers” should not award trophies to stars who actually do mediocre work, just because they’re popular and agree to receive their award in person, enabling the award-givers to momentarily bask in reflected “glory.”
In addition, programs and personalities should not be cited for “excellent” work if they set the wrong example for impressionable, gaya-gaya viewers—like constant awardees who encourage belief in superstition, love showing off jewels and designer bags, keep talking about themselves and the “branded” products they favor, etc.!