Imagine having to pay for the air you breath just like paying for the light and water you use. No matter how rich you are, you will all die in no time.
Recently a Doctor took of his patients oxygen because he couldn’t pay and the patient died instantly.
That’s how delicate the air we breath is and God knowing how wicked and irresponsible we are decided not to give us control over it.
One thing that we have managed to take control of is Air Time and that is what we all pay for as in telcos, radio, tv etc.
An announcement on peace fm for 1 min ranges between 300 to 500ghc and it varies from peak and off peak time.
This means playing an advert at peak time for 1hr will mean paying 30,000ghc as in 300 million old Cedis for airtime and we have companies paying that.
Now these airtime or frequencies are sold to station owners who have to renew their licenses every year in fact the airtime even though sold to them can be taken from them any day or time if it’s abused. It therefore goes to suggest that even though you paid for it, it is still for rent and not solely owned by you unlike a car you’ve bought.
One thing we also have for free just like the air we breath is the freedom of speech and in the same way that if we pollute that air with chemicals we will die when we inhale, in the same way when we allow anything to go on air just because of freedom of speech we will end up killing ourselves just like Rwanda did.
In the nutshell free air and freedom of speech comes with responsibilities.
There are a lot of programs we run on air which are hosted by trained journalist but because station owners cannot bring their parents and children to become guest they have to rely on resource persons who are not trained journalist but have experience and expertise in the topics they choose to discuss and this comes with its own responsibilities therefore station owners put up notices in their studios which says that they cannot be held responsible for any irresponsible comment any individual makes including the trained journalist.
All this goes to attest to the fact that we all collectively own the air space that can even be taken away from us any day therefore we owe ourselves that responsibility to protect it.
Since I am with the music fraternity it will be just proper to throw a little light there.
Due to the advantage of monopolizing these rented airtime some Presenters/DJs go their own way to charge Musicians what they call PAYOLA just to manipulate the airtime to their favor even though the stations can’t survive without music and that has made a lot of Presenters/DJs very powerful and some even become power drunk till they are knocked out only to realize afterwards that the airtime was not theirs but for rent.
Some have even suffocate some musicians to death just because they were in control of a rented airtime.
Now the advantage and disadvantage of “traditional” airtime is that it could be controlled and manipulated and as we grew as a society and the conflict of manipulation of airtime and freedom of speech hustled for space to breath it became necessary for people to express that freedom to speak and curtailing that freedom meant looking for other means of expression therefore giving rise to what we today call SOCIAL MEDIA.
Individuals can now in their own small ways express themselves freely and society is now the ultimate Judge.
Now if you make a post that is senseless the whole world will know how empty your big head is and if your post makes a lot of sense the society will appreciate the brain power you possess.
Secondly the power of the Internet via social media is that the world have become a smaller global village and reaching others have become as easy as reaching for your phone.
Thirdly, the cost of doing things have reduced drastically and it takes just data to make a Whatsapp video call and you are good to go.
It still baffles me when traditional media still tries to underrate social media after Donald Trump was able to win the US Presidential elections by mainly using Twitter and Kwesi Arthur the King also getting his first BET nomination just after releasing a few singles mainly via social media without going through the vigorous PAYOLA system created by them.
I will not even site the Shatta/Social Media example in order not to start a tag of war conversation.
The earlier we wake up from our comfortable sleep the better.
Let’s all learn to respect each other’s trade since we all need each other to get to our final destinations.
The hashtag is VhimMoveMent #Vhim