Bye to Silos: Media Programming in the Healthcare Sector

The government, media, and community

Fringer Cat from Unsplash

Interviews

This is arguably the most popular type of health program format in Nigeria’s broadcast station after the news bulletin. Here, an interviewer usually a broadcaster interviews a medical professional on a topical health issue. While this is very educative, I believe there is more than can be achieved via this format in terms of content.

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Witness Report

I saw some eyewitness reports from COVID-19 survivors on stations during the peak of the disease in 2020 to reinforce the reality of the disease, which was believed to have some impact on the audience. In fact, some stations also adopt this format for other types of programs especially community reports, political news, etc. So can health programs too!

Health Analysis

Every station in Nigeria and abroad has a program that analyzes their country's political landscape. The likes of Politics Today on Channels TV, TVC Breakfast on Television Continental, HardTalk on BBC, New Day on CNN, and the list goes on.

Investigative Reporting

This is one format that requires high-quality research and professionalism. This might not be a weekly program considering how time-consuming it can be, it is sure a format that can unearth the challenges and state of affairs of the health sector.

Exploring local remedies

To the best of my knowledge, there are no stand-alone programs that explore the diverse local remedies to health challenges. An explanation for this could be the fact that broadcasters might run out of ideas on what to present weekly. But I really doubt so!

Storytelling

An author said that ‘storytelling has a remarkable persuasive power to make people learn from crises. Individuals' emotions can be captured and motivated to change their behavior’. I recall that BBC Media Action adopted this strategy to create awareness about HIV/AIDs and other health issues through a radio drama series called ‘Story Story’. According to BBC, ‘drama gave us the chance to cover difficult issues’.

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Abigail Oyinkan Olajire

A communication researcher with a keen interest in the media and developmental policies that has the propensity to spur growth.