Media in need of calibration
Mukhtar Ahmed Butt
The tragedy of Pakistan is that every second person is an analyst and defence analyst, and self-proclaimed champion of democracy. These people feel as if their word is final and they are the authority on the subject and what they say should be taken for granted as true and authentic. In fact, it is the miracle of media channels that most of these so-called analysts can be seen on different TV channels advancing the same arguments without having in-depth knowledge of the subject under discussion.
Due credit must be given to Gen Musharraf who believed in enlightened moderation and gave free hand to rich people and granted so many licenses for the opening of new Radio and TV channels in Pakistan. No criteria were established any one with money could apply and get the Radio and TV license. Later on, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) was established to regulate the electronic channels but it was tooth less, it was free for all do anything, say anything and get away. It is lately that PEMRA has come in action and taken some action against certain TV channels.
The nation has been very happy with state-owned PTV channel giving their best to the country starting from news coverage to dramas, entertainment,, quiz and music, and religious programs with greater sense of responsibility and maturity, that was the main reason that the entire family could sit and watch together any program but those golden days are now over. It is heartening and good to see that PTV is still maintaining those standards in true letter and spirit. But with the explosion of internet facility like other fields PTV also needs revolutionary changes for which no attention is being paid because mostly appointees have links with politicians or senior bureaucrats as a result government has failed to create a good team who could deliver and defend them against negative propaganda being spread by most of the privately owned TV channels.
It is natural law when you increase the quantity you compromise the quality this is what exactly happened with our media. When you have a large number of channels it generates competition. While doing so everyone forgets the red line and enter into the mad race of rating and owners are free to spread any message as long as their interests are served and protected. Over the years we witnessed instead of creating bonds of love the media divided the society into different sects, groups, sectarian divides, preached hatred amongst various groups instead highlighting advantages of love and brotherhood failed to create awareness and we became enemies of each other. As a result, the nation stands divided, the hatred gap is widening day by day. In a democratic setup, the opposition plays a very important role but here media is not highlighting their role and have joined hands with opposition to criticize Imran Khan on each and every matter
Those who work are bound to make mistakes and Prime Minister is no exception. Media should highlight the weaknesses and mistakes with the purpose of suggesting corrective measures, unfortunately, one-sided propaganda is going on, that is of no use to anybody. How media has been busy on the use of word Sahiba for Bilawal Bhutto Zardari irrespective whether it was a slip of the tongue or deliberate. Did this deserve a debate on our TV channels? Certainly not. When you work on some agenda then one loses his sense of direction. It was media that created unnecessary hype and not the statement of Imran. Simple question what did they gain creating a mountain out of mole hill? Just to remind media friends Khawaja Asif in one of the Assembly session called PTI MNA Shirin Mazari as Tractor Trolley, but there was no such storm-by media or protest and fiery speeches by women as we witnessed in case of Imran’s slip of the tongue.
The problem is that some people have not yet reconciled that Imran Khan is the PM of Pakistan. The nation is watching him very closely and they want him to succeed and do something for the country. If he is running around to get dollars from friendly countries he is not doing it for himself he is begging for people of Pakistan to pay interest on the loans borrowed by previous governments. So far he is moving in the right direction as per his plans. There is no doubt his chosen team is weak and has not delivered as per expectations of the people and unfortunately even shuffling of portfolios and induction of non elected persons in the cabinet has not been a good move as new ministers are not experienced in the fields assigned to them. Our media should expose enemies across the border and the facilitators inside Pakistan must be brought to justice as we cannot afford any type of activity that is against Pakistan. We all know press and nation fall together, therefore both have to be watchful and careful and support each other