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DOVE IMPROVEMENT: our advice to the GMA
[ fair representation ]

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FAIR REPRESENTATION
Let me set the stage. My eyes have observed a total of about one hour of Dove Award coverage over the years. I don't have cable or Satellite TV. In order to watch the ceremony on the local PAX station one year, I stood by my television with one foot in the air while holding the antenna toward Nashville with one hand and aluminum foil in the other. That lasted about five minutes.

The recently renamed "GMA Music Awards" will be televised on May 28th on UPN stations means I can check one of my recommendations off my list - to place the event on a non-cable station. However, keeping away from the list of winners before seeing the ceremony is akin to staying away from the discussions at the water cooler at work the day after the Super Bowl. When can we expect a live broadcast on regular television?

In the months before and after the awards, a music fan is bombarded with "Dove Award nominated" and "Dove Award Winner" ads. Media are bombarded with similar press releases. Not that these alone are the problem. However, I have spoken with several people who are eligible to vote in all of the categories and many of these full time music industry professionals are not familiar with many of the artists on the ballot. So if the band that has the most ads and press releases will be the one to bring home all the awards, Casting Crowns is assured to win big this year. If GMA would open up more categories to the people actually buying the music, perhaps the artists with the biggest publicity budget would not always win.

Before I close, I have just one last thought. Tooth and Nail and its related record labels have yet to won a Dove Award. Considering the artists on their roster make up a good portion of my CD collection, and no doubt many of our readers, I am hoping that 2004 is the year that brings these bands the recognition they deserve.
- Kim Flanders
April 2004

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