TV awards scene overcrowdedBy Nestor U. Torre
Philippine Daily Inquirer
So many new TV awards are handing out their trophies that some “outstanding” personalities have been teasing each other, “O, what award did you win this week?!”
More soberly, we should note that, with so many “audience” awards groups, it’s become that much harder to determine who do truly outstanding work.
Some people believe that viewer “votes” should be the definitive factor—but what if the viewers aren’t sufficiently aware of the key considerations that determine “excellence”?
What, for instance, if viewers don’t know that an admired TV host ostensibly dedicated to “public service” is in fact doing “sponsored features” instead of objective reports on “recommended” products and services?
All too often, viewers are guided mainly by what they see on-screen and have little knowledge of off-screen machinations, hence the subjectivity and unreliability of the “honors” they heap on undeserving winners!
Another bone of contention is awards groups’ penchant for giving awards not just to outstanding shows, but also to the hosts of those programs. One group award for the winning show should be enough!
Why honor a host for his work, when some of the time, it mainly consists of asking questions and mouthing spiels written by other people?
If the hosts weren’t given separate awards, more categories or program types could be honored with citations.
Group honors rather than separate awards for hosts would also go a long way in disabusing TV personalities of the smug and puffed-up belief that they are responsible for their show’s content and success.
Yes, theirs may be the face and even the “engine” that makes their program unique and special, but surely the work of the writers and director is at least equal in importance to the host’s contribution?
If so, why are there no separate awards for writing and directing in most TV honors? Why should the “star hosts” have the most fun— and awards?
If so-called TV award groups are serious about motivating outstanding TV people to do even better, why are current TV production standards so low, and lacking in substance and a genuine sense of responsibility? And why do some of the most irresponsible “talents” keep winning, while the lesser-known TV people who do better work go unrecognized and unappreciated?
Many years ago, the country’s first TV awards, the Citizens’ Award for Television or CAT Awards, were looked up to for honoring winners who deserved the trophies. But, the CAT jurors had to undergo months of training in TV standards and production practices before they were deemed ready to view shows and come up with judicious verdicts.
Is there even a training process in place for today’s “jurors”? The task of evaluating TV people’s work and sense of responsibility is too important to be left to laymen who rely mainly on “gut feel” and a noble sense of purpose, but keep coming up with questionable honors that sometimes make the local TV situation even worse than it used to be!
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