We reproduce below an excerpt from Dr Ayesha Siddiqa’s email (circulated in the Press Pakistan group) to Dr Moeed Pirzada explaining her perspective on Dr Shahid Masood and his style of journalism. Unlike Shahid Masood who is a medical doctor by profession, Ayesha Siddiqa has a PhD from King’s College, London. Dr Siddiqa highlights certain worrying areas in Dr Shahid Masood’s style of journalism including the dubious role he played in Shazia Khalid case (who was raped by a Pakistan Army officer), and also the opportunistic role Shahid Masood played in organizing some sham conferences in the USA.
It is surprising that Dr Shahid Masood has the gumption to keep marketing himself and move from one to another channel. Perhaps, it also shows how desperate are channels to take someone who has no honor and reputation left.
It is certainly not about changing channels but what you do with that time. I have nothing against Shahid Masood’s campaign against Zardari’s corruption at all. I have an issue with Masood’s intellectual corruption. I stopped appearing on his programs when I saw him editing selectively.
I had criticised Mr Zardari which was relayed but minus the context. And it wasn’t even a long speech which had to be edited. This is professional dishonesty. He edits to fit his own thesis which means quoting people out of context.
Not to mention the role he played in the Shazia Khalid case. Who, in Pakistan’s media, will dare do a ‘merey mutabiq’ on that tragic but painful case?
He was in Washington recently trying to convince the world about his independent-mindedness by arguing that how he wanted to take the army chief to task.
The question is that does he dare do that or was it just for his own face-saving (plz refer to the Shazia Khalid case for his credentials).
I know a lot of people will be jumping up and down if i argue that the media in Pakistan today is different from the media of the 1980s. The old one had more balls and a spirit. This one has technology but no spirit. And this is not even about presenting a pro-government picture.
Plz note that I fully realize that the government has its point of view and the right to argue for its perspective. Before anyone jumps up and quotes the example of foreign media, I will say that yes people make a choice and seek information from the government which is a big source itself. However, I see people on the media who don’t then boither to study the details to make their view look independent. Their script is so carefully written for them. You listen to them or read their writing and you know which one is actually a provided script.
But going back to Shahid Masood, I heard him speak at a conference in Canada. Nothing to say except how he was given a bullet-proof jacket by BB and then straight to when he became chairman PTV. I asked him during the break about would it not have beena good idea to remain independent and his answer was that how many people have chairman and MD PTV on their CV. So, at the end of the day it is all about cooking up your resume!
I wish one could ask him about the couple of conferences he organized in the US with money from (don’t know where) on which he had absolutely nothing to say because the subject was beyond him.
These incidents or events are basically tip of the iceberg. ….pray ask yourself the question from the perspective of an ordinary citizen that this intellectual dishonesty and corruption is becoming intolerable. As an ordinary citizen I would like to believe in something.