Advertisers urged to support First Nations TV service

An independent report by Future Search has urged advertisers to put more support into First Nations communities after its evaluation of the Aboriginal Health Television (AHTV) network found that those attending Aboriginal Medical Services found the information on AHTV contributed to better health outcomes.

A new independent report has urged advertisers to put more support into First Nations communities. The report was of an independent evaluation of the Aboriginal Health Television (AHTV) network which is beamed into waiting rooms of Aboriginal Medical Services (Community Controlled Health Organisations) in regional, rural, remote and metropolitan areas across Australia.

A world-first for First Nations people, AHTV is part of Tonic Media Network Ltd (TMN), Australia’s largest health and wellbeing media network.

The evaluation, conducted by FutureSearch, investigated whether the content on AHTV made a difference to people’s understanding of health and wellbeing (health literacy), the effectiveness of the messaging and the cultural appropriateness and safety of the network’s content.

The vast majority of people attending Aboriginal Medical Services (AMS) said the information AHTV provides is useful to increase their understanding of their health and wellbeing. They also believed it was contributing to better health outcomes.

AHTV’s Partnerships & Community Relationships Manager, Jake Thomson – a Wiradjuri man, – adds: “We know these screens are having a positive impact in the community and getting attention at a vital time, in a culturally safe way.

“Recently, we have been very active in using the power of the Aboriginal Health TV network to help increase the uptake of COVID vaccines. And, personally speaking, our network has been instrumental in helping my community understand the importance of not only the COVID vaccine but our overall wellbeing. Health is a crucial part of every one’s life and by building a bridge with common language, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will feel a sense of inclusion and belonging,” Thomson concludes.

Results of the independent research showed a strong correlation between the health literacy programs delivered by AHTV screens at AMS and improvements in health outcomes in both urban and hard-to-reach rural communities.

The study looked at three key areas – Cultural Appropriateness and Relevance, Engagement and Acceptance, and Health Literacy.

AHTV scored highly in the Cultural Appropriateness and Relevance category of this evaluation. Among AMS consumers, 99% think the content is culturally appropriate and relevant.

According to the findings in the Engagement and Acceptance category, over 80% of AMS consumers say they enjoy watching the channel in the waiting room. 82% said, comparing AHTV to other health and wellbeing content, the content on AHTV attracts and maintains their attention.

In Health Literacy, All AMS healthcare consumers surveyed said that AHTV’s informational health and wellbeing content was helpful. 94% said that after watching AHTV, they felt that they knew what was important to talk about with the doctor or Aboriginal Health Worker.

CEO of Tonic Media Network, Richard Silverton, said: “We are so proud of AHTV and what it has achieved in such a short time. Since its inception, AHTV has been advised and guided by a group of highly respected Aboriginal health leaders and we have all worked hard to make this a network by and for First Nations communities. It’s immensely gratifying to see that culturally appropriate, community centred content can influence health outcomes.”

Tonic Media Network’s Commercial Director, Sev Celik adds: “When brands and media agencies want to communicate with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, they can look to AHTV for engaging, ‘culturally safe’ content, not only in health and wellbeing, but lifestyle and diverse community interests,” concludes Celik.

These environments, found inside AMS, act as community hubs, employment services and host local community events and celebrations.

AHTV reaches a total of 507,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia, with 233 screens in 197 different locations. AHTV is a mix of HD, culturally-specific programs and health messages. It broadcasts on a 60-minute loop and segments are constantly refreshed with curated content from ABC, SBS, NITV and Federal Government health messages tailored to patients.

From July 2018 – June 2021, AHTV was funded by a Federal Government Indigenous Health Promotion Grant. At the completion of the Grant, June 2021 Tonic Media Network undertook a full evaluation.
The executive summary of the evaluation and images can be found here.

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