We all know, media whether print, electronic or social, plays an instrumental role in carving out public opinion in any democratic system. In the past, we have seen how media jolted even some of the world’s most powerful governments by publicizing their scandals and leaking out state secrets. Occasionally media’s role has also come under fire for taking up a biased approach while reporting matters of public interests. The ugly face of media becomes visible, when it is used as a tool to disseminate false information or rumors, for fulfilling the hidden agenda.
Media without any accountability and guidance could be disastrous for a country’s national security and interests. That’s why, despite all the claims of so-called ‘independence of media’ and ‘freedom of speech’, the developed countries strictly enforce a ‘code of conduct’ and high standards of media ethics and they don’t allow anyone to propagate against their national interests.
Since the opening up of electronic media in Pakistan, the media has emerged as the fourth pillar of state in addition to legislature, executive and judiciary. No doubt media contributed a lot for the independence of judiciary during the lawyer’s movement, but the overall performance of media in the last five years has disappointed many in Pakistan. Pakistani media has been characterized by scandals of blackmailing, exploitation and bribery involving renowned anchorpersons, columnists and leading media groups.
Under a well thought plan, media was used as a tool for creating a sense of deprivation and frustration in the society and thus pushing our country towards a state of anarchy and chaos. ‘Breaking News’ were presented in highly sensational way, to amplify the adverse psychological impact of the reported incident.
People were shocked to see a leaked video footage in which two of the leading anchorpersons were caught red handed, getting instructions from an influential real-estate tycoon during a talk show that was conducted to malign the superior judiciary. Yet no action was taken against the culprits, rather they were allowed to continue their ‘professional services’ on different TV channels.