S. Rajvee and I. Arul Aram
Television is a major source of recreation for the people of India. Though television concentrates more on soaps, reality shows and film-based programmes, many of them now have slots for health-related programmes. These health shows range from 20 seconds advertisement to one hour programmes. This trend is because of the increased health awareness among the public, which again may be an offshoots of increased education and increased programming on health through the mass media. The focus of this study is to find out how phone-in interactive health programmes in Tamil television channels is changing the face of healthcare and health awareness in Tamil Nadu. Conventional face-to-face consultation with physicians is now replaced by remote consultation and clarification on various aspects of health. This paper will analyze the merits and demerits of consultation over phone-in television shows. The purpose of the study is to enhance the quality of health programmes in electronic media. The study is mainly qualitative. In this study, questionnaires and interviews will be employed as tools of research. Data will be collected from experts, media people and users of the shows. Based on the data collected we will be able to evaluate the present state of phone-in television programmes and ways to enhance the quality and content of these programmes. The study will help understand how television can be used effectively in the field of healthcare.
S. Rajvee is a Research Scholar with the Department of Media Sciences, Anna University Chennai, and a freelance Health Journalist. Dr. I. Arul Aram is an Associate Professor in the Department of Media Sciences, Anna University Chennai.