The Pakistani Spectator

A Candid Blog

What should be the Role of Media in Pakistan?

By Guest Blogger • Feb 2nd, 2010 • Category: Politics • 10 Comments

The media mainly television has become the main storytelling vehicle and the journalists have become the key players in legend making and identity building. Professional journalists are responsible to create a sense of belonging and to encourage the youth of Pakistan to behave like a responsible Pakistani.

On the contrary, Pakistani media has taken a completely new direction and is determined to create a dreadful situation in the name of ‘freedom of press’. The competition has gone so fierce that they need negative tools to increase their TRPs which results in huge revenue chunks. Is this what they are working for? The effort should be focused to support the national image rather than highlighting the most harmful and depressing news to de-motivate the common man in Pakistan. It is not good to come up with such comments that our media works as paid workers of our rivals, but sometimes, you are strained to pronounce it.

Media has always been a unique and sophisticated ground to play on when we talk about image building It is good to be truthful, but when we talk about national interest, it’s our obligatory to be noiseless on certain instances so the issues can be sorted out within our own people without being influenced or carried away by the international community who will never come forward to extend their support to resolve our domestic problem. They will take advantage of the situation and will work on their aged tale of ‘divide and rule’.

Image building is more likely to produce desirable perceptions when action conforms to the projected images. It is important to identify a fact that that it is easy to maintain an old negative image or to gain a new negative image, but, it is extremely difficult to build a new positive image of a country. To put it in a different way that it is painless to be branded with a horrific image and very hard to rectify and heal the wound.

Media are swapping diplomats. Diplomatic profession is being undercut by the arrival of global television. In this regard, diplomats are conventionally occupied in intelligence gathering, negotiation, reporting and representation. No institution is perfect in this world, so is the media, and still there is still a huge scope for improvement where media can work according to the aspirations of the people of Pakistan where they want to cultivate the attitude of ‘Pakistan First’ in every Pakistani.

Media is like a watchdog in a democracy that keeps government active. With the passage of time it has become a more matured and a more responsible entity. But few talk shows and programs are required to be monitored who portrays a negative image of the country in the name of autonomy of press.

Government media and the private sector should remember that managing and creating a positive image building is by far a colossal task. It’s no more a matter of choice, it’s a prerequisite in present day’s situation. It’s about time that our media must work on the Positive Image of Pakistan.

Mumtaz Zaidi,
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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10 Responses »

  1. Role of a watchdog and not opinion makers. One thing I realize that we seem to criticize the Pak media all the time. We should realize that Pak media is just a toddle yet. It will make mistakes but what is important that it learns from its mistakes.

  2. I agree Amna! Media does play the role of a watchdog in a democracy that keeps government active and we have all shared the sentiment that with the passage of time it will become a more mature and less sensational. But somehow it is evolving in to a biting-dog! The media needs to impartial and unbiased in its reporting and the achievements of the armed forces need to be highlighted

  3. Evolution does not occur overnight.

  4. Journalistic ethics are often compromised over the case of being sensational and the thus they lose objectivity and would start predicting political consequences. The biased/one-side of the coin reporting leads to frustration among the quarters of power that then resorts to extreme measures. All of this can be avoided if awareness is disseminated along with responsibility

  5. today media is playing very irresponsible role especially talk shows hosts are considering themselves as chief justice of is not focusing on core issues like health, education,poverty,clean drinking water etc there are lots of issues in ques that should be discussed but media is just spreading
    sensation.core issues are discussed no doubt but if they are addressed in the same way as the political (political personalities)are discussed than these problems will be solved and govt will compel to take productive measures.


  7. Umar Arsalan, journalism is a profession.. Those who have opened up these channels
    are owned by strong vested interests. The irony is that journalists of the electronic media are mostly
    professionals but corrupt and do not follow the rule of the game. Be it the mighty establisment or
    greedy industrialists, be it the bureaucracy or the wedera shahi, be it the CIA or our good old neighbour’s intelligence service, electronic media in Pakistan is offering its services to them and is on sale. Just like we say that our politicians are corrupt or our Judiciary of the past (I wud say present also consists of the same faces) was/is corrupt, so why not with your symphony we call them toddlers and give them a little break too. Brother, very little time is left for us to rise from the precipe!

  8. Not to mention our own ISI, these agencies tend to go
    beyond their mandate and pull strings of the media through carrot and stick.
    A case of ISI sponsored manipulation of Pakistani politcs is pending in SCP.
    Though the role of intelligence agencies like CIA or ISI has also been positive
    e.g in ending Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, but when it comes to normal
    day to day life and polity of people, they intervine negatively and try to manipulate
    public opinion according to their own goals and objectives and deny development of
    free opinion. Our ISI for example geared up public opinion against PPP through
    media manipulation in the first 2.5 years of PPP rule and now is trying to back
    propaganda against Muslim League (N) lest they become strong enough to sway election
    and their design to have a hung parliament is thrawted.

  9. well,,,,,it’s wrong to say that our media is not playing its role,,,i m quite hopeful about media because it is playin its role,,but not up to the u can observe that media highlight every issue but it is the responsibility of government to take action…….,that is not being taken,,,,,,,

  10. yeah……..,,,we can say that our media has played a very important role for the development of our country……
    But still it is not enough because our country is passing through the most critical time of it’s history……….
    It is the responsibility of our media to recognize PAKISTAN as an ideal nation for others
    And media must fulfill it’s responsibility in a very good way so that image of our HOMELAND would become very bright in the world…;;;;;;;

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