OUTLOOK — By Huda Al Jahwariya — We cannot deny that the Oman Television has made some progress on the standards of drama, the new format of news bulletins and the HD channel. We know very well that the change will not come through the rubbing of the lantern, when the magic genie comes out to achieve our dreams. The issue requires a lot of planning and constant brainstorming sessions in order to change the outlook of some old mentalities.
I made a report about this issue and met with some people to know what they think about the programmes aired on Oman TV. After I finished all my interviews, I could only conclude with one phrase from the Omani viewer: Oman TV is my last option. Of course, it was a shock for me and for the officials at the Ministry of Information or the authority of TV and radio.
To be honest, I certainly was not able to obtain the views of the three million people across the landscape of Oman, but I chose a random category from the Omani society, from several regions like Ibri, Al Batinah and Al Dakhiliyah.
The first shock was that more than 50 per cent of the people told me that they do not watch this channel at all, or they surf the channel to listen to Al Maghrib or Friday prayers only or for football matches.
Some told me that: “If you asked the elderly for their opinion, the results will be different”. I targeted the teenagers and university students and staff, because I am well aware that this category is concerned with the need for change at the present time, while the elderly are satisfied by the fun it offers to them which is mostly about heritage.
We don’t deny that there are signs of slight changes, but in front of what is being offered in the spaces reserved for the Arab world, we can hardly feel it. The Omani TV has changed but this change doesn’t equal the dream, simply because we are no longer isolated, but through a small device, we can travel around the world, to view ideas and programmes that are more attractive.
Some criticised that the time is still too early for a report of this kind, but they believe that if the TV couldn’t grasp the attention of the viewer during the first week of Ramadhan and it certainly won’t be able to transform anything in the following weeks!
I concluded that the visual media is evolving, but unfortunately until now it couldn’t obtain that something which is important.. I mean, to earn the trust of the viewer.