The PH is a public health current affairs TV Series that raises awareness about global issues in the sector. The PH is uniquely positioned to feature interviews with global stakeholders, who can
simplify high level scientific data about public health issues, from the COVID-19 pandemic to road safety. Public Health Media Limited produces the content and then distributes it to Television Jamaica Limited for broadcast through an agreement.
Reaching more than 300, 000 Jamaicans through TV broadcast on various topics about public health, including COVID-19, racism, mental health, pregnant women and COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines, water and air pollution, sustainable buildings, and toxic substances. Through these episodes Jamaicans and anyone who watched the post-broadcast episodes on YouTube were provided with evidenced-based information about the various issues, tips and solutions on how individuals and institutions can play a significant role in solving the probelms identified, and expert opinions about the matters. The episodes included experts from the United Nations Environment Programme and other notable organizations.
We used various TV production techniques to film high production value episodes, including HD cameras and lighting. We used Adobe Creative Cloud suite applications to edit videos and create high quality graphics. We distributed the episodes through an agreement with one of the free-to-air TV stations in the country (Television Jamaica Limited), which was broadcast on the station twice weekly (1 new episode followed by a rebroadcast). We applied investigative journalism techniques through in-depth interviews and desk research to gather information about each topic and then delivered the information via feature stories that complemented the portion of the in-depth interviews that were included in the episode video.
What was the hardest part of this project?
The hardest part of the project is getting sponsorship to produce the series. We were only able to secure one sponsor in time for broadcast and so we had to fund most of the production and air time through director’s funding, companies funds, and pro bono work by colleagues. The content is so rich with important and relevant information that we could not let the opportunity pass to provide it to viewers, as so much data is available from peer-reviewed research papers about a wide net of issues, but the public is sometimes not privy to or have easy access to this information and so it lives within research institutes, other organizations/individuals, or sometimes shelved in newsrooms in press relases. We want to be part of the change that provides public education on public health issues.
What can others learn from this project?
(Not a novel issue) It is sometimes hard to get guest experts to discuss some topics because of political or other affiliation that may present a conflict of interest. However, it is always important to consider multiple sources that can provide the same information but from a different angle or perspective rather than shelving the story/topic altogether. Getting the accurate information, once relevant to the public, must be priority.