Who recalls that the dead cannot be turned alive? It swiftly happens with Pakistani media in charge. Local media houses have resorted to making a mockery of investigative journalism which meekly calls for a slight hassle of travelling, reaching out to stories and unveiling the true nature of them but unfortunately enough, with the kind of queer rat-race our media houses have leaped into, is it worth making all the futile effort? Well not in case where eulogy is meted out to those who report ‘first’ rather than to ones who report ‘authentic’-Perfect Practice, isn’t it? Huh! Preposterous………
The same ‘news-break-first’ culture took us to Kohistan last month, and would take us ‘better’ destinations, if practices such as this, don’t really pull off an end in sight.
5 innocent girls were reported to have been lynched by the dagger of some unidentified local fundamentalist. They were accused of dancing ‘publicly’. The news got big flavour when the girls popped up on national television to confirm the version of their own deaths, the very next day, wow—that makes it real savoury! Eh! A group of protestants take to the streets of Egypt—their placards read “Hillary, we are not Pakistan”—not related? Well! if this not related, nothing is, this recounts the altitude our national image has plummeted down to, amidst such stability crises, false media hype such as this, would come down as a tremble to a rubble. And this is what it came down like –Phew! News of the world, Uk’s largest selling newspaper closed down on charges of ‘corruption’ and on suspicion of ‘conspiring to intercept communications’. The chief operating officer Murdoch stated that the paper was “in the business of holding others to account, it failed when it came to itself.”
Corruption and conspiring to intercept communications, Aren’t these two ‘scruples’ rehearsed by our very own vibrant media every single hour in Pakistan? Deploying bugs, intruding personal meetings, hacking telephone calls, so on and so forth. But who solicits self- accountability-who chooses to step down–None! More television channels than the number of centuries Sachin Tendulkar has registered and one feeble PEMRA, unjust—isn’t it pouring more water than the poor flask can hold? Or was it Kohistan, girls killed for dancing, don’t bother going, ought to be a true thing, right? Cross with Mr. Riaz buying villas to our celebrated heroes who frame public opinion everyday, 8-10ish, cross with our revered Luqman-Bukhari duo inter-mingling in ear-splitting voices off-screen, cross with Aamir liaquat denying his ‘local’, street-befitting linguistic skills caught on national television, cross with Maya khan evolving as the ‘only’ saviour of the ‘degenerated’ youth of Pakistan, cross with, ad infinitum.
It is certainly about time that the screws are tightened–So that the media sensitizes to issues of national integrity and learns its own lesson-the lesson of ethics, the lesson of responsibility, that it has boastfully tutored for at least the stretch of a decade, and it is certainly about time that ‘selective accountability’ is put to a screeching halt and media houses are made answerable for ill-reporting and misinformation that spreads like wildfire.
Writer is a financial economics student at York University, and a student political activist.
He tweets at @AsadAijaz