Yellow Journalism – PK731 Forcefully landed at wrong airport by Media


News Report by Atiq Durrani

PIA, PK731, Jeddah Airport, PIA’s flight no. PK-731 takes-off four times in a week from Karachi airport landing at Jeddah airport.On 13th April the Gulf News reported that PK731 accidently landed on the wrong airport in Saudi Arabia. According to the report it was supposed to land at Riyadh Airport but mistakenly landed at King Abdul Aziz airport inJeddah.

Although they made all kinds of speculation in their report and even reported statements of some passengers, who were saying that PK731 was originally scheduled to fly to Jeddah. Before publishing their report they did not bother to check the PIA flight schedule and found it enough to rely on hear-say from passengers.

This did not stop here, the next day Gulf News was followed by the local newspapersof the countries that were the origin and destination countries of PK731. Leading newspapers of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan reported the same news without bothering to confirm the schedule of PK731. Arab News (KSA), The News, Jung, The Nation and many other newspapers of Pakistan reported this news.

On 15th April, PIA officials responded to the news, denying the reports that appeared in the local and international media saying that the reports are false and fabricated. They added that PK731 was never destined to land at Riyadh Airport; it was scheduled for Jeddah and landed at Jeddah Airport. Only 30 passengers of Riyadh, who opted for road transportation from Jeddah to Riyadh, were accommodated in this flight.

Last year Gulf News had published an editorial titled as “Expo 2020 vote: UAE deserves answers from Pakistan and Afghanistan” which peeved the Pakistani community in UAE and people in Pakistan. Most of the Pakistanis in UAE cancelled the subscription of Gulf News and actively participated in a campaign against Gulf News on social media denouncing the malicious claims of Gulf News. Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also rejected the claims made by Gulf News.

This is the second time in the last six months that Gulf News has deliberately or unknowingly attacked and maligned the image of different national organizations of Pakistan, which is very unfortunate and against the principals of journalism. Our National media should also wake-up and stop blindly sharing the news against the national organizations.

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