Internship Report: Ghana Broadcasting Corporation

Coming into my internship with Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), I was expecting, more than anything else, just to see how things were different. I know this sounds like a rather broad perspective going in, but I wanted my philosophy to be that way. If I came in with a broad perspective, it would, on one hand, help to avoid any disappointment with how the internship panned out. On the other hand, it would allow me to have the most fulfilling experience during my internship. If I came into the internship with my mind as a big, broad ball of clay, then that ball of clay could be molded as much as possible, allowing me to take everything out of the internship that I could.

Something I noticed even throughout my first day of the internship was this theme of easing into the day. GTV Sports+ starts each day with a show called Studio 5, a show that involves a host recapping sports highlights, press conferences, and other news from the previous day. The host of the show on the first day I was there, Gloria, told us that they deliberately try to keep the show as optimistic as possible. I kept her statement in mind every time I watched the show over the next three days, even on the days where I was upstairs learning how to cut between shots and commercial breaks on the fly. Unsurprisingly, she was right. Everything shown in Studio 5 was spun with a grain of optimism by the host, whether that be Gloria or someone else. There will be certain exceptions where you can’t do this, as the case with breaking bad news. For example, on Friday, the host had to reveal that The Gambia’s national team nearly died on their flight to AFCON as the oxygen supplies had malfunctioned on board.

The yet optimistic Studio 5, held from 7-9 every morning, is followed by the soccer talk show Match Day from 10-12. The optimism and easy-going mood of Studio 5 was seemingly used as an appetizer or a way of easing into the more nitty-gritty nature of Match Day, which features a much more dense format. Match Day consists of conversation and dialogue between four pundits that fills the show’s two-hour timespan to the brim with content. This culture of easing into things was something I saw outside of my internship as well. I don’t remember what day it was, but I remember Professor Eric sharing how Ghanaian business meetings will start off more friendly and with small talk before gradually transitioning into more practical matters. We were able to see this more lax setting in the meetings we were actually able to get to on time, which, unfortunately, wasn’t many of them. On the other hand, formal business meetings in America have clear agendas that are followed from the very start of the meeting in an organized nature, with no time leased for personal conversations.

Cultural Themes I Found Within My Internship

A cultural theme that I found in Ghana was that many activities and social customs are done communally. I had been expecting this communal culture going in, given the brief amount of research I had done on Ghanaian culture before coming for my presentation. Also, I know that most countries outside of America put a stronger emphasis on doing things communally when it comes to things like, for example, eating. Countries like Mexico and Greece are just a couple of the places that I knew had very collaborative, communal cultures before coming to Ghana. However, I wasn’t expecting the communal nature of Ghana to bleed into or affect the media practices as much as I would end up seeing. An interesting difference between American and Ghanaian media practices that I found during my internship relates to the weight given to others’ opinions. Following along with Ghana’s more collaborative, communal society, it became apparent to me that Ghanaian media puts more weight than American media coverage into those opinions of others. GTV Sports+ has an entire show dedicated to reading the social media comments of others called The Hub, which is aired once daily in a 15-minute segment. I was admittedly surprised by the show on that first Wednesday of the internship, seeing as we have nothing like it in America. The Hub features a host reading the Facebook comments of various sporting accounts, with that account being the official Ghanaian Black Stars for the three days I was there. I’m sure any expletive or overly-insulting comments were left out of the Facebook screenshots in pre-production, nonetheless, The Hub still featured a good mix of comments that were either optimistic or positive, critical or disappointed, or simply attempting to be funny.

My initial shock from watching the show was that we, firstly, don’t have anything like it in America, and, secondly, I don’t think the show’s format would even work in America. I simply do not think people in America would care about the collaborative and communal opinions of others enough to warrant an entire show for it. If someone tried it in the States, I don’t see it having any commercial success because of the fact that our culture is not as communal. I don’t think people in the U.S. would care about the opinions of their online peers, that, odds are, they don’t even know. In Ghana, meanwhile, it would seem that even if those talking are online, faceless, and therefore people you don’t know, the communal theme of Ghana’s society and culture would expect that you, at the very least, hear them out.




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