Sudanese TV Channels Role in Reinforcing The Cultural Identity

Thu, 19 Oct 2017



 (Qualitative/Quantitative Analytical Study of the Programing in the Channels of: Sudan TV, Al-Shurooq TV, Blue Nile TV 2015 – 2016)


                             Prepared by: Adil Daifallah

Abstract:
The research vision summarizes the extent of television impact – at the level of cultural manifestations – using the deeper and most comprehensive conception of culture, rather than being restricted to recreational and artistic outputs, concerned only with singing, as it is currently common. We mean by culture its major aspects, which are represented in conveying experiences and knowledge, and the overall concepts which are consistent with the definition of culture we have referred to. This shall be accomplished by studying the kinds of programs and the percentage of the time of their broadcasting in the object of study channels. The study reaches the conclusion that the TV channel in developing countries, is of a functional nature, requiring that it plays its enlightening roles in an ideal way, in accordance with the planned targets and strategies. The cultural programs samples have been chosen because of the deep impact they leave on viewers, and the opportunities they give for imitation, and acting the types of behavior shown through these channels. The researcher found that the channels which have been chosen as study sample, contain professional variations ranging between the professional classical TV school, and the modern and experimental school, on all types of programs used by these channels, and the ways of their presentation. The channels are: (Sudan TV, Blue Nile TV and Al Shurooq TV). The study confirms the fact that the effectiveness of the types of programs, need to find enough opportunities for deep studies by researchers, in order to infer the dimensions of these programs, and to define their role in a good and new way.


Introduction
The Sudanese Television Channels
TV Channel and Cultural Identity   
TV Channel Programming   
Television Programming Elements  
Television Cultural Programs
Experts’ Observations and Recommendations
Cultural Programs Content Analysis
The Most Important Results of the Research
Discussion of Results
Conclusion
Sources and References

Introduction:
The question of cultural identity in Sudan continues to be one of the most important object of discussion in modern age at all national levels. As new trends appear in answering the question, the matter becomes more complicated, despite the availability of cultural identity data, which could be seen as an undisputable fact . The researcher believes that the existence of cultural identity trends within the Sudanese identity studies, is enough in the minimum level, to be worked upon as a written given data, to achieve an internal vision of the television mission. The TV in Sudan has carried the burden of this question, and has been a target of criticism and accusation, for not dividing cultural quotas in a fair manner that guarantees the presence of all of them without exclusion. But judging television by looking through political “Aperture” seems un-sufficient if not misleading, because it deals with it as a political party (Al Aiyadi 2007: P5). This form does not free the mind of creative employees in the concerned TV channel and hinders it from performing its natural role. The television has now moved from being only a transmitter of visual images which have been made by the cinema, to a friend constantly and insistently teaching behavioral patterns. The type of the serial that grasp the different sides of the subjects and the dialogue, transforms the viewer into an interacting party, and the magazine that makes its own effects, and the documentation which is considered as the memory of the nation, and the warehouse of its whole history, and the other types of programs, all have changed from the single type of address which is issued by the elites to the common people, to a viewer with a serious and instantly interacting position in changing the direction of  programs to the type of interaction currently known.
Talking about television in the singular form is no longer acceptable, because reality has shown us that there are various “televisions” which differ in their legal status, subject, targeted viewers, type of broadcasting and sources of finance. The discussion about television is now requiring competent personnel with knowledge qualifications and scientific added value, based on modern concepts (Al Aiyadi 2007: P6). Instead of saying “Sudan Television”, we should say the “Television in Sudan”, after its channels became numerous and the split of some of them, which is type of duplication the experts fear, in the absence of a clear strategy which defined their routes.
The selection of (National TV, Blue Nile TV and Al Shurooq TV) channels as a case study, came from the fact that the researcher – due to his experience in television work – observed that the workers in this field did not lack experience and full knowledge of the professional aspects of television work, but this did not occur within the context of the channel strategy. Therefore, the intensification of the outcomes of their mission, become weak in the light of society aspiration that it shall fill the broad gap caused by the economic problem that separated people from each other, and the absence of the nights of sociability and entertainment which used to pump wisdom, and transfer experiences from generation to generation. Moreover, the wheel of life and its demands, forced people to stay at home, because the cost of transportation and communication adds more financial burdens on the family. Consequently, the telephonic means of communication filled the vacant time, and the television came and exploited this time to advance ahead of the radio, because of its ability to create positive movement toward representations, and to tempt people by presenting a culture and behavior capable of being acted and imitated by the viewers, at one level or another.

Research Hypothesis:
The study assumes that the TV channel and its programs output, must lead to a cultural and social pattern, which it will strive to make  the tongue with which the viewers talk, and the behavior which they will follow in their life, since it provides ample cultural representations of the life styles in ways of speaking, dressing, behaving and obtaining of religious and ritual knowledge, and all constituents of culture which are revealed in the visual scene and audible voice syllable, taking into consideration that the concept of television has changed from that of the forties and the fifties (Al Aiyadi 2007: P12). This was the phase when the television gave much attention to technology than to social problem. But now, its technological needs have been satisfied and were exploited in achieving diffusion, and it became more responsive to the forms of cultural and aesthetic expression, and the interaction of public.
Research Questions:  
1-    Does the TV channel required to contribute to the changing of society behavior, in the light of economic and political patterns and geopolitical transformations?
2-    Can the channel (Sudan/Al Shurooq/Blue Nile) create cultural representations for the Sudanese life?
3-    To what extent can we present the cultural patterns in accordance with multiple formats?
4-    What are the program formats which have more influence on public (Talk show, documentary, drama, others)?
5-    To what extent does the channel (Sudan/Al Shurooq/Blue Nile) achieve the concept of cultural representation in its programming, according to its strategy?
6-    The reinforcing of cultural identity, requires a set of products and a bundle of programming measures.
Conceptual Framework:  
The researcher found that it is necessary, in order to determine the conceptual framework which refers to a group of basic concepts related to the subject of research, to look to the subject in structural/de-constructional way. Whereas, the research in the issues of Sudanese cultural identity is included in the content and in the accumulation, and needs to be classified in a clear way, regarding what we mean by the cultural identity of the Sudanese society. The researcher found that it is conceded that the discussion about the identity issue has not been settled yet, despite the appearance of currents and trends which are differing and adjacent with regard to concepts, and sometimes consistent in vision. Since the appearance of the schools and trends of Sudanese identity and until they have been classified in the known schools (Arabism / Africanism /Mixed), many common points of consensus about the concept of Sudanese identity have been achieved. What concern the researcher are the cultural representations of television programs. Those programs with the intentional missionary design in the direction of reinforcing the contents of Sudanese identity or its numerous values and embodied behavior, which will reinforce in its final output, the regeneration of the recipient mind and giving it the opportunity of positive imitation of the interactions of television programs. Consequently, this shall be part of the fact that the program is a laboratory and accumulative plant for the societal perceptions of the received television material. The movement of the film images, and the succession of shots, resulted in feeling reality by way of feeling and not through the method of logic and thinking. The perception of reality through feeling increases the possibility of conviction and quick influence (Al Batreeq 1999: P70). Particularly, the percentage of illiteracy in Sudan, whether being letters illiteracy or civilizational illiteracy, makes the television one of the most important source knowledge for a large number of public, if not the only source for some of them. Thus, it is expected of this or that channel, to contribute by presenting this type of programs.
These responsibilities reinforce the role of television and contain the various changes. The talk about the television in the Arabic cultural space, remains the captive of the political and preaching addresses. The first address reduces the television activity in one dimension, and looks to it from the angle of the pictorial newspaper, which could hardly get tired of political or politicized events. The second address reduces the activity in the video clips and some virtual reality TV programs. The preaching address is non-productive because it disassembles their reference points and interrogates their social and cultural meanings and does not integrate them within the context of the remaining television programs, which in the last analysis, constitutes the television channel (Al Aiyadi 2007: P5).
The introduction of television in the third world during the second half of the past century, has been connected with the obtainment of independence by these countries. Hence, it started with the movement of searching for its identity and its early formation. Since that date, the television continued to be confronted with the difficult questions of identity. The case in Sudan was not different and the complications of cultural identity and its representations remained the axis of inquiry and a hope that required to be achieved. The question remained: Do the television programs present cultural representations? The reply is simply yes, since the least form of conversation, dress, behavior, transfer of knowledge and handicraft experiences, acquiring skills, learning, entertainment, and the life styles available in cultural programs, documentary films, drama and others, are all considered as constituent parts of culture in its inclusive conception


The Sudanese Television Channels :
The television started as astonishing phenomenon that surpassed the imagination of the people at the time, because of the international attention it has found. The researches for its development began in America, Britain and France during the twenties and thirties of the 20th century, which made it an international invention on which scientist from all regions of the world, have participated. But it took off at high speed in the world, without clear strategic targets and without guidelines that determine its methods of development, except in the technological field. This is reflected in the innovations achieved solely by television, which reached the extent of making use of artificial satellites to achieve the maximum degree of diffusion in the world, and it became one of the most important corners of modern world media.
The television concept has changed at an accelerated rate and in a manner that attracted attention at the beginning of the current millennium. The television we now know differs from the television of the forties and fifties. The television remained, during the fifties, subject to technological development, more than being carried away after social imagined issues, contrary to the situation experienced by current television, which has utilized the technological development and made use of the cultural and aesthetic forms of expression (Al Aiyadi 2007: P13). The television became a device which imitate all forms of cultural, behavioral and knowledge representations, and respond to the educational and enlightening needs of its various generations who differ in (age, culture, type and specialization…etc.). by providing continuous viewing customs, in spite of the fact that the negative viewer of the dramatic materials does not depend on imagination but insist on attending the next episode in order to decipher the mysteries of the previous one. But the positive response to what we view on television is a reality which we can’t ignore.
The researchers are now talking about “The end of television” or the post-television phase, where the television became capable of addressing – through its contents – the individual to console and offer condolences to him and to act as carrier of his cultural and behavioral representations (Al Aiyadi 2007: P13). In order to give a historical general view, the history of Sudanese television shall be divided into four phases. The first phase was a founding phase in which the work has been directed toward the creation of a technological environment in respect of devices, equipment and operation, and the Sudanization of this process and then starting a second phase. The television in this phase began to declare itself and achieve high percentage of viewing that surpass the elites to the common people in the viewing clubs. Then in the third phase, the television began to widen the region of its broadcasting. This phase started and is still continuing. But in these circumstances, a fourth phase began, which is represented in the national television search for its identity, which could be a source of distinction and strengthening of its mission, and which was connected with the space broadcasting in 1995.
The fission phenomenon shall continue to its ends. It has been started by the national television itself at the end of the nineties, when it presented programs on the second channel through ground broadcasting, which was presenting some selected programs from different TV channels, to provide another option for the viewers of Sudanese television, and as a reaction to the morning programs which were presented by the world channel which was providing cable television services in Sudan, and which was presenting its programs in an advertising form to attract subscribers.
The second channel experiment provided an attractive option for the viewer, and it started to meet a number of needs such as the school classes during the academic seasons, and the broadcasting of some football matches which the space channel did not own the right of its space broadcasting, and also some distinguished dramatic works. It began to respond to the viewer’s wishes and to draw its plan accordingly. Then came the TV channels, starting with the Blue Nile Channel in 2003, which also represent a case of splitting from the parent television, followed by a number of channels such as Al Shurooq Channel in 2008, and both of them raised the issue of cultural identity as one of the main titles, which made the researcher feels that there was parity in choosing the research sample from the channels.


TV Channel and Cultural Identity :
Abdul Qadir Al Shaikh says “The identity is a complicated mixture of objective and subjective elements which are springing from the socio-cultural history. The history in its traditional meaning, the history which is in the reconstruction phase or in the renovation phase. The land, culture, language and Islam, may represent the basic elements of identity, but we must, for the sake of enriching the analysis, assure that these elements are in state of interaction, confrontation and contradiction, and that the relation between what is constant, changeable and renewed is a complicated relationship” (Al Shaikh 1999: P66).
This establishing of the absolute identity concept, represents basic starting points which means that the channel shall be considered as a tool depending on form and content. When the Sudanese television announced the beginning of its  space broadcasting in 1995, as we have already mentioned, it felt the importance of having features and an identity which will reinforce its mission, but the effort made to achieve this identity was progressing slowly, and was fulfilling a theoretical framework, which was totally absent as far as the concepts of television work in Sudan are concerned, as we have stated in the book of: Television and Cultural Identity, which explained that no specified intellectual trends of the Sudanese state’s inclinations have been crystalized since independence, but remain in state of attraction by different cultural currents, which at sometimes reached the limit of breakoff. The television with its mechanisms and different acts of creativity is in need of revealing the Sudanese cultural identity through intellectual and professional basis and criteria. This is shown in the picture/address and the context through which both of them move. The constituent parts of the picture with its different elements are multiple cultural and knowledge dimensions achieved through conscious selection operations (Daifallah 2011: P55).
By referring to various methodologies, it has been observed that the concept of TV channel identity, was not limited to what has been known as its liberated line through which the channel expresses its homogeneous political attitudes and trends regarding the different issues discussed in its news programs, but extended to include the strategy which enables each TV channel to appear in its distinguished and different state, which is the description of TV identity in its ideal status. It does not concern itself with the artistic representations. It is also described as a continuous and renewed relationship, that does not express itself except through two basic reactive conditions, which are the possession of consciousness and will within the television channel, to build itself in a way that makes it different and distinguished from other channels, and its recognition by others as a unique and distinguished unit (Al Aiyadi 2007: P37). This is what the researcher finds that it forms a good horizon for reading the concept of TV channel identity. The artistic identity of a channel, is the sum of the total cultural identity manifestations on the screen, from selections which have been employed through the use of artistic operations, to form the TV channel fingerprint. The artistic identity depends on the channel’s objectives and cultural and artistic starting points (Al Batreeq 1991: P89).


TV Channel Programming : 
The Sudanese television was characterized by dense viewing, which started historically with viewing clubs, before the television spread in the capital Khartoum. This desire for viewing television remained always eye-catching until it has been exploited by the political authority as a gate for political mobilization, and the reinforcement of national concepts, which sometimes include a collection of events and practices that shed light on a social or intellectual structure or some or its sides, considering that the artistic works are a reflection of reality and human consciousness, for the purpose of making a positive effect on the viewer or the public receiving those integrated works (Al Batreeq 1991: P86). Despite the fact that – in the circumstances of multiple sources of television programs – the Sudanese viewer has retained some sort of relationship with Sudanese TV channels, as shown by the obvious influence of the data presented at the intellectual and cultural level, in this space. But in fact, he has been attracted by a number of options which – as seen by the researcher – need a serious study. The disclosing of current development or failure of TV channels can’t be understood, without taking into consideration two types of logic: The economic logic, which is striving for making profit or at least for achieving financial balance for the TV channel, and the semiotic logic which deals with television as meaning producing tool, on the basis of which the social relationships become closer and stronger (Al Aiyadi 2007: P7). Despite the influence of the economic factor, but the meaning producing effects are what gave the television mission its value. The open space, in the absence of responsibility, makes from the deterioration of mission, a source of economic returns, as the virtuous values are also a source of economic returns, despite the differences.
The measurement of the extent of the meaning influence, is confirmed by the society behavior and its merge with televisions icons and the representations of its cultural and behavioral conditions, at different degrees. The less educated viewers who depend on instruction and who do not conduct a dialogue with what is shown on television, are necessarily different from the receiving viewers who are conscious of the values of the representations imported to them via the television, and they are conscious, through the dismantling of the semiotics of the text and the TV presentation, the risks of their messages at the intellectual level and consequently, their influence on Sudanese identity. Those signs and symbols honestly express the cultural, civilizational and social traditions. They are capable of uniting the different classes of society, provided that the requirements needed for understanding that language by receiving viewers, are available (Al Batreeq 1991: P13).


Television Programming Elements : 
There are various elements for building program plan, which include social customs, work system, pattern of viewing and other elements (Al Aiyadi: P14). But time is responsible for controlling the structure of the components of programs network, and arranging the time of their broadcasting, and represents space where the viewers meet with the programs displayed on television, through exploiting their lost time or time spared from their professional life and social leisure time. Consequently, this time has been divided as follows:
•    First: Prime Time: The period during which the television channel draws the biggest number of actual or potential viewers, and which the researcher believes is connected with 8:00 p.m., the time which has been historically associated with the broadcasting of the daily TV series, and which is directly followed by the main newscast. The researcher is not sure about the effects of this timing among the numerous variables which could affect the viewer. This timing is also affected by the second broadcasting system (The Replay). But the following schedule provide a new reading of these times in accordance with a suggestion made by the researcher, with hope that it shall be developed.
•    Second: Access Time (Pre-prime time): Is the time which follows the arrival of the Sudanese from their work places, which starts at 4:00 p.m. and ends at the prime time.
•    Third: Second Time (Post-Prime Time): The evening show starts, according to the Sudanese television channels, after 11:00 p.m., which is no longer attracting a big number of viewers, because the changing of time by adding one hour, has affected the morning obligations. I believe that one of the most important of viewing strategies, is the inability of the viewers to stay awake to wait for a program of importance to him (Daifallah 2011: P86).
•    Fourth: Day Time (Daily broadcasting time): Attempts have been made to raise the value of this broadcasting time, and some channels have succeeded in this matter, such as the Blue Nile channel which worked on reviving morning times that have very limited number of viewers, due to the work obligations of the channel viewers. This experiment should be a subject of consideration and study.
The time of displaying the television material, is considered as one of the most important reasons of success. Programming is not absolutely subjected to timing, but is associated with the targeted social group, despite the interference sometimes by the channel to raise the value of viewing time by offering a lot of incentives (Daifallah 2011: P85). The chance of making the space channels materials available for the viewers through You Tube, make some viewers gradually keep away from the television screen. The television program sometimes becomes weak because of the process of copying the idea and the application of similar methods of preparation and presentation. Moreover, the recent television stars’ movement, has resulted in weakening the loyalty for the channel and making it lose its familiarity with the viewer. The economic factor also has directly affected the state of keeping away from the television screen, to the extent that it might be the biggest problem now facing the Sudanese television channels.
Al Aiyadi believes that “The connecting of television programming with the time element, without integrating it within the social dynamics, possesses a misleading dimension in understanding its nature and role. Programming does not become subjected to time in the absolute, but it also connected with the targeted social group and its social customs, cultural behavior and level of ascetic and artistic perception (Al Aiyadi 2007: P15). Consequently, it affects the television programming process from the side of form and intellectual, cultural and recreational content. The study of the reality of the Sudanese society now, confirms the regression of the opportunities of television viewing compared with the status a decade ago. It is not possible to predict another come back, except with new conditions the most important of which, are:
•    The study of age groups’ needs, and the redesigning of its programming mission.
•    Dealing with the economic factor and the inclusion of its effects in the programming, and the time of displaying the television material in the Sudanese channels.
•    Reinforcing the reactivity of television channel and increasing the opportunity of dealing with it spherically.
The researcher believes that the joining of programming and behavior in one system, shall lead to positive results, and also the programming and cultural representation as basic products of the viewing process. The presentation of programs and the art of their programming is a very important professional necessity, especially during the circumstances in which the channels in Sudan increase in number, on one hand, and their power to compete with the regional and international channels, particularly the intercontinental channels, becomes weak, on the other. The Arabic versions of these international channels, have now become the biggest competitor in the sphere of Arabic media.
In these new circumstances we must stress that programming is not only a method of organizing the television materials and distributing them over time spaces during the day, week and month, but a coherent planning technique that assists in attracting viewers to the channel. It is also the art of balance which translates the channel intellectual policy and its different conceptions. Hence, programming is the profession of social formation in the first place, and we can’t also ignore its economic feasibility. Programming is skillful act of arresting viewers and handing them over to the advertisers (Al Aiyadi 2007: P11). It is an open playground for innovating creative ways and methods for the channels, and a wide gate to enter the worlds of media economy. If the channel was working in the direction of strengthening its programs on one hand, but the strengthening of its programming is not less important than that, on the other. The new programming may create a new pattern for watching the channel and achieve the logic of competition, which is considered as one of the programming basis and foundations and which reached its highest point in the birth of exclusive broadcasting, and which participated in the increment of broadcasting hours to be throughout the day, and also in employing television stars, strengthening the programs and their topics and models, and the forms of dialogue and television narration, which will all assist in greatly in strengthening the programming.
The main basis for creating firm and structurally complete programming that start with the viewers, and the knowledge of social life rhythm, the working hours, the work duration, the cultural rhythm in the societies in which the theater and cinema represent one of the recreational options. The regression of these forms in Sudan, may help the television channels in exploiting the leisure time left behind by their whole and partial absence. It is also important to know the family life style, and also the advertisement market. This all depends on the channel knowledge of its financial capabilities that are available for making its programming successful, as one of the necessities, laws and legislations which may obstruct programming and conflict with professional conventions (Al Aiyadi 2007: P19).


Television Cultural Programs:
The occupation, language, source of programs, place of production and targeted viewers, represent the axial criteria used in the process of program classification (Al Shaikh 1999: P 22). The researcher found that in order to make sure of the effectiveness of the program frameworks under study, he has to design a questionnaire based on a central question about the frameworks which can contribute in reinforcing the components of Sudanese identity, and the creation of behavioral imitation reality for the viewer (The results of which are as shown in the schedule below). The results showed that the professional trends of the experts in the field of television, depend on the genre question test, which makes the responsibility bigger on the person in charge of liaison operation, as is the case in the recommendations of some of them. The researcher also noticed that the experts’ mentality is liberated from the narrowness of the specialization to wider horizon and bigger spaces of creative professional sensitivity. The form has also contained visions and ideas for developing the field of television, as shall be mentioned later. The observations of the researcher regarding the total results, confirm his assumptions to a large degree.
The following table explains the results of experts’ questionnaire (Form No. 2) which contains 13 questions, covering a large number of the program models included in the programs plan of the television channels under study:

Chosen Programs

I strongly Agree

I Agree

Neutral

I disagree

I Strongly Disagree

Documentary Films

100%

-

-

-

-

Drama

90%

10%

-

-

-

General & Specialized cultural Programs

80%

10%

-

10%

-

Political Programs and News

10%

10%

40%

30%

10%

Sport

-

60%

30%

-

10%

      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Experts’ Form No. (4)
        
Experts’ Form No. (4)
       
   Experts’ Form No. (4)

The researcher observed that the sample of experts, despite the fact that most of them are not specialized in the field of drama, but they see in the drama materials a power of influence as a program framework reinforcing the Sudanese identity, and achieving behavioral imitation model for the Sudanese viewer. Despite that the percentages were not the biggest at the level of questionnaire’s analysis, but they were a positive indicator that became prominent in (Expert Form No. 4), as compared with the administrators’ form (Form No. 2), which indicated the subjects that dealt with by the drama. The attention which the drama found during the period from mid- nineties to the beginning of the third millennium, represents the most important reasons for becoming acquainted with the importance of its mission and the power of its influence. In addition to this, the researcher finds another reason which is the issues treated by the drama. This confirmed the comprehensiveness of its mission and the diversification of its output. But there is still a problem pertaining to the form which needs intellectual, philosophical and artistic structures.
The researcher became sure that the sample of experts, look to the drama, not as a competitive program model but as an attraction element to increase the viewing time percentage of the channel to which they belong. Consequently, they long for including drama in their channel program plan as shown by the recommendations of some of them on the form. Despite that, the result of broadcasting monitoring (The first and the second) in Sudan television, in the report of August, 2016 (The Report: P 19), for the actually executed programs, was not reasonably promising for this type of television material. The hours of its broadcasting amounted to 6.30 hours, with a percentage of (0.8%). The broadcasted works, have been broadcasted before and is repeated may be for the second or third time, which is more likely to make the rate of their watching weak.
As for the documentary films which attained the highest percentage in the subjects’ replies, as shown in the above table, they represent an indicator confirming the integrity of documentary films of any problems pertaining to subjects and methods of treatment. The documentary film, which has been defined by Garirson as the creative treatment of reality, is characterized by its inclusion of actual elements which reinforced its credibility. Because of elements of strength it contained, the documentary film found broad acceptance by viewers everywhere (Al Hadidi 2004: P 12). But the researcher, according to what he found in the research sample form, has discovered an obvious defect in the selection of the topics of the most documentary films produced by the chosen channels. Most of the films concentrate on geography as a component of identity. It is true that it is one of the components of identity, but the effect made by human being on the viewer is bigger. When choosing the idea, the human being, or what he does or what he benefits from, should be the basis of the idea. Also, the absence of human being with his various performances is reason for accusing the channels of not satisfying the cultural portions of Sudanese components.


Experts’ Observations and Recommendations:
•    Paying more attention by the person in charge of liaison regarding the aspects of training, qualification and introduction of new technologies in the field of television work.
•    Paying attention to the idea, and exerting more effort in preparation.
•    Paying attention to the drama, because it is considered as the nearest model for achieving cultural identity reinforcement.
•    Creating an opportunity for diversified pictures, through the going out by channels to the states, to reinforce the common cultural issues among the citizens of one country.
•    Paying attention to the documentary films as far as idea, subject and production are concerned.
Cultural Programs Analysis in the Channels of (Sudan TV, Al Shurooq and Blue Nile)
The analysis of cultural programs percentages in the selected channels (Form No. 2), confirms that there are many observations which should be taken into consideration, the most important of which is the programs subjects map, because when we talk about the required effect, we must know the mechanism of how to make this with the viewer. Therefore, the absence of conceptions which satisfy the viewer’s need of the topics necessary for him, is considered as one of the problems that face all these channels. The cultural programs subjects, fall in a very limited circle, so that most of them think that the discussion of culture problem, for example, is considered as a great achievement for its programs map, in the direction of reinforcing the cultural identity. Whereas, the cultural problem is another aspect, and the design of a mission with a cultural way out, is a totally different matter. This is to say that, the viewer is in need of programs that contribute with him in the direction of his administration of life, and reinforce positive behavior in him. But he is definitely not concerned with how this effect is made, or the mechanisms it used. This is a matter which concern only the intellectuals, and you when you go to the pharmacy, you don’t ask about the constituents of the drug, but you are concerned with its effectiveness.
The researcher has discovered a lot, through reading the titles which their owners think of them as cultural programs, and which take a lot of the channels programming time, and which in reality don’t serve the purpose of the said program type.
The percentages of broadcasting hours and the percentage of cultural programs, which, according to the replies of research departments and program managers, amount to 30% of broadcasting percentage for the total programs map, are shown in the following table:

Cultural Programs

Broadcasting/Rebroadcasting

%

Sudan TV

242.83 Hours

30.06%

Blue Nile Channel

357.8 Hours

29.8%

Al Shurooq Channel

223    Hours

30.7%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The channels total broadcasting hours vary from channel to channel. In Al Shurooq, which has been classified among the comprehensive channels, and which gave considerable space for cultural programs, they amount to 720 hours per month, whereas this rate increases to 744 in Sudan TV, as per the monthly monitoring and follow-up report. The cultural and educational programs broadcasting hours also increase compared with other similar programs. As for the Blue Nile channel, the broadcasting hours amount to 660 hours (as shown in the above table). Despite the fact that the number of broadcasting hours is less than the other channels, but the percentage of the cultural programs amounts to 29.8. The Blue Nile channel is presenting an additional broadcasting within the second rebroadcasting programming, and for this reason the number of its broadcasting hours for research sample programs, rose to 357.8 hours. The general rates in the programs map, for the selected channels, confirm the following observations:
•    The researcher found that the number of broadcasting and rebroadcasting hours of cultural and educational programs for the sample of the channels chosen for study, varies in an obvious way with regard to number of broadcasting hours and the pattern of thinking pertaining to programs, since some of them are evening programs and the other are mid time program.
•    The percentage achieved by Sudan TV, despite the fact that it is reasonable, but it does not include a considerable percentage of the programs which the experts consider important, such as the drama, for example.
•    As for the percentage of Al Shurooq channel, the researcher found, through the information available to him, the replies of the concerned department. He found strict commitment with the programs percentages around the year. But there is a defect in subjects map which is manifested in the inability of subjects to satisfy the needs of the viewer regarding representations and behavioral imitation, and this apply to all channels. In spite of the relative measurement of issues like creativity and conception, but the professional criteria are capable of achieving the effectiveness of programs by using all types of different measurements.
Throughout the history of Sudan TV, there was always departments which have been specialized in the field of culture, and which have historically contributed to the documentation of the cultural life through the program packages that they have been presenting. Their size varies between a section and small unit in the other channels. But their employees are complaining of insufficient training and the small budgets available for production. The conditions are not better in the other channels,  where some of their employees complained particularly of training, which represents a guarantee for improving the program outcomes.    

Cultural Programs Content Analysis:
The study included a sample of the selected programs, and the number of participants amounted to fourteen specialist in the field of program preparation. Only one participants failed to hand over his contribution within the set time limit. The educational level of participants varied between university post graduates with a percentage of (54%), and university graduates with a percentage of (45%), and their experiences varied from (10 to 12 years). All of them satisfied the requirement of answering the experience question, where most of them mentioned programs of long history and influence on the programming of the channels under study. The researcher believes that the inclusion of the subjects’ form (Form No. 3), has covered important aspects, and enabled us to become acquainted with the subjects map by comparing it with the channels strategies, which we found difficulty in obtaining its drafts, despite the fact that the departments believes in its existence, and defend it and deduces estimative percentages for its feasibility. Hence, the researcher believes that it is a matter of paramount Importance to activate the research departments in these channels, and to connect it directly with the universities’ institutions, in order to be supervised and controlled by these institutions. The looking in the following programs, confirms the existence of obvious variations and differences in the pattern of programming adopted by each channel. There is the imitation, which means the copying by the channel, of the programs of its competitors, and contradiction, which means the attraction of the viewers of other channels, through programs that attract an a important and active members of the family, during the watching of television by other members. The nearest example of this is the broadcasting of children programs at times of paramount importance to the adults. The methods used in programming these channels, should exclude the programs that did not take into consideration the viewing customs and temperament of the Sudanese viewer. These are decisive factors for solving a lot of problems which accompany the programming.

Selected Programs

Channel

Broadcasting Time

Time

Program Type

Cultural Orbits

Sudan TV

Thursday 7 p,m

48 Minutes

Talk Show

Our Home

Sudan TV

3-5 p.m

120 Minutes

Magazine

Nectar of Places

Al Shurooq

8 p.m

oo Minutes

Documentary

Al Shurooq Passed by

Al Shurooq

5 p.m

24 Minutes

Talk Show

Be Distinguished

Blue Nile

6 p.m

60 Minutes

Mixed

New Evening

Blue Nile

6 p.m

120 Minutes

Mixed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


   
•    By looking at these programs, we find that they are shown at different times, and are content with their viewers sometimes, or strive to attract viewers from other categories, such as Baitana (Our Home) program, which is watched by the viewers who return home from their work or schools…etc.
•    There are various program types, but the talk show programs finds more chances than the other types.
•    Despite the great effect of the drama, but the channels don’t give it enough consideration in their programs map, with respect to the percentages and number of broadcasting hours. The concerned department indicated in the primary information form (Form No.2), which raised three questions about the subjects map, the type of subjects which it is dealing with (Cultural and educational programs, documentary films and programs, and different dramatic materials).  

-    The programmatic treatment of cultural programs subjects, is limited to the study of issues, news coverage and follow-up of cultural activities. This form of drawing cultural programs objectives, needs reviewing. Since, the cultural programs, as per the researcher opinion, is the program which presents material that affects the performance of the human action representations and the imitation of positive behavior. Whereas, culture is casted as a result of human experiences in the direction of affecting and being affected.
-    We find that the documentary films are dealing with subjects such as acquainting people with Sudan geographically, and paying attention to the issues of identity and peaceful co-existence, and reflecting a picture of a co-existent Sudan, in addition to the creative production, which is a positive form, but need to concentrate on what can present the human action, in connection with geography of course, in order for the required diversity to happen.
-    The persons responsible for channels programming, have unanimously agreed that the drama is concerned with the discussion of social issues, the treatment of negative types of behavior, and the suppressed untold issues. The researcher believes that the attention given to the drama in programs map, does not resemble the strong enthusiasm for its importance, which indicates the existence of a defect that needs the collaboration of different research efforts, in order to know the reasons for the absence of drama as a programmatic material, despite the acknowledgement of its deep effect.
The researcher believes that with regard to subjects map, despite the constant percentages of programs, but it is changeable in a way that can contain all recent developments, achieve contemporariness for the channel and constitute one of its most important characteristics and media presence. Hence, the channels sometimes respond to a number of occasions that impose themselves. But we must have containing formats, which contribute to the achievement of the required balance.


The Most Important Results of the Research:
1.    The person in charge of liaison in the research sample channels, has an experience which amount to a decade in the field of television, but training remains as one of their biggest problems, as per the form of those in charge of programs preparation (Form No. 3). Hence, the research recommends the necessity of having training.
2.    Programming planning and cultural identity reinforcement trends, must be reviewed.
3.    The insufficient planning for the mission requirements, where the viewers depend on drama for receiving the values and other forms of behavior representations. Hence those in charge of the matter, shall be conscious with regard to the importance of drawing objectives according to systems.
4.    The use of documentary film format only to deal with geographical identity of Sudan, shall make this format ineffective because the documentary film is more effective in many issues which include, among other things, the human activity with all its interactions.
5.    The weakness of channels planning side, which provide research data according to scientific standards.


Discussion of Results:
The researcher finds in these results an opportunity for making right the professional and framework structure, and program planning for these channels, in their capacity as representing deep-rooted models in the television work in Sudan, and the evaluation of programs percentages in a way which achieve the required balance and the required effect. It is not possible for broadcasting hours that exceed two thousands hours per month, for the three channels selected by the researcher, for the study of a program genre that we direly need which is the cultural and educational format with its known sub-types. These long broadcasting hours shall definitely  leave an effect on the Sudanese viewer. This effect shall be positive in case of improving the displayed programs and strengthening the contents of their messages.
The review of program planning is a monotonous and routine work which should be carried by the channel  whenever there are new developments, and certain transformations appeared that are subjected to obvious media evaluations and challenges, but its absence shall definitely affect the channel in a big way. The employees are in need of renewing their mind cells, and the diversification of their performance, which will create a new spirit of competition and aspiration, particularly that the study has reached a conclusion regarding a number of important signs, in the opinion of the experts, which reinforced the program formats that fall under the name of (cultural), which require the treatment of the problems that appeared through the recommendation made by the experts and the workers in the field of television.
The reference to the outstanding nature of some of the necessary program formats, make us stand long before them, because they represent an attraction element  for viewers, and find the appreciation of the persons in charge of this type of programs, until the channel realizes its objectives. The good programming alone is not enough to reinforce the presence of channel for viewing, but the improvement of the type and quantity of its programs is the guarantee for its continuity and the reinforcement of its different roles.
Research Recommendations  

1.    The television channels shall pay attention to the cultural programming to an extent that is sufficient to reinforce the identity and its revelations.
2.    Paying attention to the cultural quotas ratios, which take into consideration the achievement of balance, and making the value contents available, and displaying diversification.
3.    Taking into consideration the good planning of programs map in respect of program formats and percentages.
4.    The departments concerned with researches should play their role in providing the guiding studies for the channel during the process of programs planning.
5.    The establishment of scientific partnerships that enable the research departments of the channels, to draw their plans in accordance with scientific reference institutions such as the universities and study centers, which can prepare the containers that make the necessary information available for evaluation.

Conclusion:
Finally, the researcher believes that the research hypothesis has been accomplished due to the existence of an intentional attempt to affect the viewer for the purpose of creating the effect he called “cultural representations and behavioral imitation”, despite the non-existence of clear strategies regarding the design of the message, and the variation of the reference authorities of their employees, at the professional level. The researcher attributed this variation to the non-formation of Sudanese professional television school, and to the fact that we have not moved yet from the boundaries of preliminary knowledge of professional practicing, and also the condition of the person in charge of liaison, who has not been given enough opportunities for training and contact. Hence, the renewal of visions, thoughts and creativeness, became impossible.
The chances of creating and innovating program ideas are stumbling, because those who are responsible for preparing programs, have fallen in the trap of direct approach and the imitation of successful formats which have become standard that can’t be surpassed. The absence of exchange programs between the channel and its counterparts, has its effect and is considered as a big defect. But we think that their absence in private channels is justifiable because of the non-existence of binding agreements, but their absence in the major channel is considered a problem which should be taken into consideration, because we know that the major channel is formally committed for providing exchange chances, on one hand, and the exchange programs shall contribute to the viewing of new patterns, by those who are working in the field of television, on the other hand. It also, provide the Sudanese viewer with opportunities for becoming more open towards the others, and to become acquainted with the cultures of other nations, and this is considered as strategic objective for the national channel, at least.
Then came programming which suffers from a number of procedural and planning problems, because the programming outcomes are not compatible with the big number of hours  which the channels provide for the Sudanese viewer, who becomes attracted by incoming patterns of behavior. The types of influence obtained through imitation of incoming behavior, represent one of the mechanisms that threaten the Sudanese cultural identity. Hence, the channel should strive to produce its own programs which provide a life example, that is capable of permeation and realization of its effectiveness.
The activation of qualitative/quantitative studies in this field, shall deeply contribute to the analysis of programs plan, in a way that reinforces its role in achieving its objectives and strategies. These studies show the requirements of success and shed light on the way to avoid shortcomings. Finally, the researcher believes that the activation of the departments concerned with research in the TV channels, represents an important guarantee for feeding them with more treatments and opportunities, for reinforcing the values of their mission through scientific research.


Sources and References:
1.    Al Aiyadi / Nasr ud-Din – The Art of Programming and Preparation of Programs Plan – Radio Researches and Studies Series – Tunisia 20077.
2.    Al Batreeq – Nesmah – Cinema and Television Language – Cairo University – Cairo 1991.
3.    Daifallah / Adil – Television and Cultural Identity – Khartoum 2011.
4.    Qalandar – Mahmoud – Mass Communication – Azza Publishing House – Khartoum 2003.
5.    Therese – Marie – Visual and Verbal Cultural Representation – The Supreme Council of Culture – Cairo 2002.
6.    Al Shaikh / Abdul Qadir – Television-Culture-Identity – Radio Researches and Studies Series – Tunisia 1999.
7.    Al Hadidi – Muna – The Basis of Documentary Film – Arab Thought Foundation – Cairo 2004.      

 

 

 

 

 

   
        

 

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