Letter to the Editor | Sunday Observer

Letter to the Editor

Television’s ‘Mahagedera’ should focus on nurturing aspirant talents

Today, there is an abundance of television channels in Sri Lanka, some old and some new. Among them, the Independent Television Network (ITN) is the oldest , which, due to state collaboration and its consequent precedence has been called the 'Mahagedera' of Television. Each station vies for customer loyalty, and is fiercely competitive in providing programs that maximize and sustain viewer interest.

Being indigenous, they promote inter alia traditional aesthetic programs. One area where increasing interest is evinced is the ‘performing arts’ In developing performing arts TV stations could make prodigious contributions.

They can be catalysts in identifying and harnessing talents.

They can, to a large extent provide the much desired platform for aspiring artists to showcase their talents.

In fact, some stations inclusive of the 'Mahagedera', in the past have been most successful in identifying talents, nurturing and grooming them into talented and respected artists. Many who have been benefitted have confessed this as they have elected the fields they are competent in as their professions for livelihood.

These artistes have admitted that they are indebted to the ‘Mahagedera', the ITN, for grooming them.

The concept of the very popular program on Friday evenings “Chat N Music”, for two hours until just past midnight is apparently to provide opportunities to gifted artistes, and is comparable to a talent exploration.

This program drawing huge viewer audiences had sustained for over twelve years uninterrupted. In the writer's view the way the program is conducted now with a biased selection criteria, considering it a talents search is an unsavoury development.

All viewers would agree that invitations are extended by the producer/director of this program often at regular intervals, to some established artistes, thereby depriving those talented knocking at the door, the much needed opportunity. Hence, making this program a misnomer in its avowed desire.

Therefore, the passion for identifying new talents is woefully nonexistent.

The stubborn pursuance by the producer/ director to continue with a process that doesn't provide equal opportunities for everyone is atrocious.

In effect, it is just the recycling of existing talents who are already well established. Many a talented aspirant is turned away under a dubious invitation selection process. The fervent suggestion of the writer is to commence an open formula in the invitation route, instead of the current prejudiced invitation process.

Sunil Thenabadu