A few days ago, we shared an announcement made by the government-owned broadcasting corporation that the 3 Malay media units are joining to become one single force to be reckoned with. But before we get to see any positive changes to how our community is fed with news, information and entertainment, let’s imagine how this merger can be great both for the corporation and us, the consumers! Here’s our first ever #5Things post.
1. Radio On TV Part 1: Ria’s Long-Running Chart Show Will Finally Get its Own TV Show
Ria Chartz is unheard of to the age-group that it should be targeted to. That is because young Twitter-driven teenagers do not listen to radio. They do not even watch TV! But their favourite artistes and their favourite songs might help change this. Practised around the world, a partnership with local offices of Universal Music, Sony Music, Warner Music, Life Records and little, lesser known labels will ensure up-to-date hits get played on radio, and fans can get in on the action (tweeting, live voting, hashtagging) to make sure their favourite artistes stay on top of the charts at the end of the week when a Ria DJ announces it on, you guessed it, live TV. If Black Eyed Peas can stay more than a year on the weekly charts, and have up to 3 singles on the year’s Top 100 in the US, Hady Mirza, Sezairi and Hyrul Anuar can achieve the same, if given the chance. How about CD/MP3 giveaways? Concert tickets give-aways ai mai?
2. Radio on TV Part 2: More DJs on TV!
In the case Suria still can only broadcast in the late afternoon daily, now they can not only “show” the audio on TV, but they can broadcast it live. It is not uncommon that radio announcers such as Fiza O, Nity Baizura and Nona Kirana are seen on Malay television regularly so we don’t see the harm to putting a static camera on-site in the radio studios and literally, put on a show. Web crawlers with Malay headlines and even allow pay-per-SMS for dedications on a right hand column that are so popular with the Malay community during Suria’s live TV shows. Oh yes, we all know this too well, the love stories and emotional issues and that drives Fiza O’s “Girlfriend” and “The O Show” are the stuff that makes television. Give her a TV talk-show already! (And don’t kill it after 13 episodes like most Suria series do!)
3. Better Advertising:
The merger sets off a wake-up call for Malay-language or Malay-targeted advertising. Where we have heard “minyak kapak” ads on radio for a long time, and saw plentiful 80’s-styled property ads on TV propelling the real estate industry into campiness, the division sure came at a right time to bring about better advertising standards; reach out to better clientele, and can now reach out to a bigger audience simultaneously. How come only property agents advertise anyway? What about the real needs and wants of the Malay community? It holds such a big potential to reach out to our people who are always willing to try new things. MediaCorp has the power to make brands that don’t available here to become popular here! Forget about First Lady and Golden Chance already, bring the Malaysian Halal market here and the international health, beauty and leisure products. The possibilities are endless. “You never know when you need it!”
4. New Faces (And New Voices):
Before Dzar Ismail, can you name just one new radio announcer on Malay radio? Just one. Nope. It is because Ria and Warna have exchanged vocalists amongst each other for the longest time and not often take in fresh new blood, despite having a Radio Academy and Suria have had a string of reality programs that spawned at least 100 new names in the past decade. (Malaysia’s media giant, Astro, turns Akademi Fantasia (and Malaysian Idol) finalists into announcers for their radios since year 1; did you know Nana Mahazan, Adifashla, Reza Mohamad, Dina Nadzir were all singers before they became DJs?) Just saying, we could use a few new voices on radio, every now and then, just to spice things up. And with this division happening, better get them to look TV-friendly too.
5. A Partnership with Printed Press:
We don’t know how Manja comes in, in all of this, coming from MediaCorp Publishing. But just for the sake of it, bring Manja into the picture, the more the merrier. So that Ria Chartz doesn’t only get a TV show but also an updated listing on the magazine, current TV show stars are featured on the covers and no longer Siti Nurhaliza (again and again), and get the radio announcers on Warna who speak, literally all day, about health and lifestyle, to write! This is only natural. If only this merger can also extend a helping hand to Berita Harian (owned by Singapore Press Holdings), only then, can a true dynamism and synergy in Malay entertainment be achieved, with updated TV listings, different actors interviewed about their craft (and not their clothes) every other day, and definitely fresher news that appear on both on TV and in the papers on the same day. When Ria, Warna, and Suria read headlines from Berita Harian, it shouldn’t be called “keratan dari akhbar tempatan” anymore. It should be “keratan dari Berita Harian“. It is not a conflict of interest if the objective is the same. It is the 21st century after all. If TV3 and Astro can mention each other and mention unrelated print press on a daily basis, why not us, with the smaller Malay audience?
One can only wish!
(PHOTO: MEDIACORP, ST FILE, COURTESY OF KWAN SECK MUI)