What should be the Role of Media in Pakistan?

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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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