Pakistani Media: The Presstitutes or a Bull in China Shop? – I

By Sohail Parwaz

1Since last few weeks a great, on screens and in columns, media war going on. It kindled when a mysterious life attempt was made on a private channel’s anchorperson Hamid Mir and soon went up into the flames. Ever since then there is no ceasefire. It’s less of bringing bad name to the Pakistan but more of it to Pakistani media. Fortunately or unfortunately Pakistani media’s act of washing dirty linen in the public has exposed those villains who are taking refuge behind the media ranks and files. Not only that, it has further exposed those who have a specific agenda to harm the state and its profound pillars. The most powerful electronic media group, self-proclaimed champion and the flag-bearer of the media community of Pakistan is seen licking the dust as a result of public’s wrath. If on one side it has brought the mightiest media group down to its knees then on the other hand it has exposed the concealed aims of our current government. A government, which should have logically been siding with the state’s institutions, ironically is found colluding in the culprit’s camp. As a matter of fact the government’s ‘strategy’ has worsened the situation. If a special love lost had not been shown, the group would have momentarily realised the gaffe, nevertheless, probably they forgot that a pampered child will never have anything to beat himself up over. It appeared that the government had to settle some old scores with the security institutions and were hell bent upon seeing them falling down.

No one is sure so far about the ultimate fate of this strongest media group but the government’s support has surely created a false 2alarm and a wrong feeling among the masses as if certain quarters were determined to ensure the channel’s closure hence teamed up with latter to defame the most vital institutions of the state. As it’s said earlier, the fate of the channel is yet not known. However, even in case if it has to go down the dump temporarily or for good, then it’s not going to make much of a difference. As compared to the News of the World, GEO incidentally stands nowhere and we all know where that 168 years old Britain’s one of the most popular newspapers with a mammoth circulation is today.

It’s not a very old story, rather hardly a three years back case when the News of the World, a national tabloid being published in the United Kingdom since 1843 had to go down the drain in July 2011 merely on the media ethic violation charges. The newspaper was nicknamed News of the Screws and Screws of the World because of focusing mostly on sex scandals, sizzling scoops and common news. It had a reputation for exposing personal lives of the celebrities by setting up insiders and journalists in disguise to provide either video or photographic evidence, and phone hacking.

By intruding too much in public’s privacy, the tabloid asked for the trouble and the allegations of phone hacking began to engulf the newspaper in 2006. These accusations culminated in the revelation on 4 July 2011 that a private investigator hired by the newspaper had intercepted the voicemail of missing British teenager Milly Dowler, who was later found murdered. According to the Guardian, Scotland Yard had discovered Dowler’s voicemail had been accessed and tempered by journalists working for the News of the World and the newspaper’s private investigator Glenn Mulcaire. Seeing GEO one could conveniently say that that the latter was following in the footsteps of former. The point is that if a newspaper with an average weekly circulation of more or less three million copies during the final days can go down the history lane then what is so special about this average Pakistani channel which despite becoming a security hazard is resisting for survival?

5It’s not only about a specific channel or a couple of newspapers. As a matter of fact the Pakistani media as a community or clan is reeking, hence needs a deep cleansing. I often quote Pakistani media as a bull in a China shop and our media hasn’t developed these instincts of bullying, ridiculing, humiliating and blackmailing over a night, nevertheless, its current trend isn’t a story of far history even. Media is generally and potentially a pulpy and juicy fruit that everyone would like to pluck. This is a profession where people are warned at every step to be careful and strictly follow the ethics. Unfortunately in Pakistani society where moral values are waning and corruption is flourishing at a very high speed, like all other polluted segments of the society media is also badly tainted and it’s not wrong to say that this trend developed with the arrival of private television channels those popped up like mushrooms.

Our media has the setback of our history because of five factors; cunny, money, honey, funny and sonny. The first and the foremost 15factor cunny stand for that astute and shrewd group who had a long for excess to the higher tiers and elite governmental circles hence they opted for the backdoor entry and for them media was the best choice, next factor is money and it denotes those who are filthy rich. They are no different from the class mentioned earlier however they didn’t have to struggle much to be among the media ranks as they were already filthy rich and money worked as the magic. The honey group is the one whose aim is to develop relations with the female celebrities and stars and they are the one who have lust for sex and city. Although they don’t care to be the owner of the papers, yet they would like to be at an influential position in their respective media group or paper where even the owners at times dance at their tunes. Yet another but interesting class is funny. The journalism is all Greek to them nevertheless, they would insist to be reckoned as the electronic media journalists. Ironically, these failures of art and theater are a success in the electronic media. Last but not the least is the sonnies. These are the journalists who are born with the golden spoon in their mouth; the next generation of the cunny and money ones, who need no qualification or experience to become media persons. They just occupy the chairs vacated by their elders or pull a chair in the adjacent office to be the editor in charge or deputy chief executive officer.

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