Just a decade ago, we were not in as bad a turmoil as we are in now, and that should speak volumes for the intensity of damage that these foreign funded media channels have done.
The recent incident in Islamabad has yet again left us as a laughing stock for the world. This eccentric drama, that stretched for over six hours of the day, was transformed into a cheap Indian soap opus by our useless media. An armed man blocked a street in Islamabad and started air firing to attract the police. It was learnt that he had typical demands about a Shariah-based law and dissolution of the present government. The Islamabad police adopted the well-known professional tactic of dealing with such situations, where the criminal is worn down through time-taking negotiations. But wherever there is money and less brainwork for our pea-brained news directors, they decide to assist in the highly tense situation by hitting the man’s private life. Plentiful vital information was achieved by interviewing the man’s father-in-law, airing the couple’s wedding pictures and, of course, finding out that his room has a bed and a wardrobe.
As the night followed, I pictured these media personnels as a bunch of leprechauns over mounds of dead meat. Their selection of news left me disgusted when, on the contrary, there was barely ever a mention of the floods currently causing destruction in Sindh. About 40 villages have been destroyed and our Army, along with other selfless organizations, is busy in evacuating precious lives.
This irresponsible reporting by the news channels is not hard to miss. None of the channels have any speck of respect left when it comes to broadcasting a sordid genre of news, so that from the morning till the evening, the viewer is subjected to trivial information ranging from utterly disgusting and despicable happenings across the country to equally irrelevant news of deaths, birthdays, babies and family bonds of Bollywood. The news relating to national heroes are given an obligatory mention and dusted off the news desk. The news of Katrina’s wedding bells to Kate’s baby barfs are perhaps more important for the nation to be aware of. They seem to have disregarded the role of media centers in providing vital and unbiased information. News is to be authentic and broadcasted regardless of any discrepancies or personal opinions. But they choose to take sides, and pick their best version of the story, which is, unfortunately, destructive most of the time. They fail to realize the long term effect this could have on the minds en masse.
In sharp, high pitched voices, they read the headlines as if delivering a speech without a mic. They tend to exaggerate a simple incident ten fold, just by sounding melodramatic and painting a gloomy picture with grave expressions to describe just about every situation, and add hysteria to the news through their most uncanny selection of words, such as sharamnaak, tashweeshnaak, afsosnaak, alamnaak, dil dehla denay wala hadsa, shiddat pasandi, tabaahkun asaraat, shiddat pasand anaasir, Qayamat-e-sughra, Bollywood ki rangeenyan/gehma gehmi, etc, often in the analysis of absolutely irrelevant topics. Even the simple act of the resignation of an MPA from a political party sounds like a traumatic and heartbreaking incident that supposedly left several dead.
As far as the freedom of media is concerned, they play their necessary share by airing heated talk shows, where the anchor and the guests seem to be on a rage competition, not to mention, backed by cusses of the lowest order to explain their points of view. The actual issue is left suspended in the air while they play 90 minutes of blame game, with nonsensical and naive points and justifications. It is but a sad display of ineptitude, ironically by the same media that whines about the incompetency of the government in its annoying monotone. The same anchors that claim to be patriotic are time and again revealed to be backstabbing, two faced traitors. YET, they continue with their shows and our masses watch with rusted minds.
It should not be forgotten that the purpose of our media is to voice the thoughts and needs of the people. In its hunger for spicy, over the top news, our media has fallen short of this character and lost all respect. It has not only failed to voice the needs of the people, but also ended up messing around with their perceptions and damaging the conscience of the masses. They now look up to flashy, colorful Indian celebrities as their role models. They regard bearded, religious folk as backward, hay-brained maniacs. They actually believe that Pakistan is currently dealing with a terrible war based on sectarianism, where Sunnis are out to kill Shias. They believe that our Army is impotent and our only friends are the educated and the elite who do fashion shows every alternate month. More to the flavor, for example, these pro-Indian enthusiasts find it hard to accept, let alone mention or bash India for causing the floods in Pakistan that leave thousands of people homeless each year.