‘Change the channel’ that was remark of President of Pakistan when someone asked about increasing vulgarity on the electronic media. However he himself opted for ‘Clossing the Channel’ when he found himself under fire from media.
The basic allegation against media is that media crossed line, they ridiculed people, they presented the terrorists as heroes.
As for the first allegation I remembered our dear Mr. Pervaiz Musharaf was guest on the show of John Stewart. Infact people lauded his courage of attending the show of one of the must cunning ,… I dont even have correct word, ok the Wikipedia has one word for it….., political satirist. If someone wants to look at videos on his show here is the link (John Stewart’s Shows Page, Musharaf on Show).
And if you have seen them you will know that the style of humor in it, the satire it has,….. . When Musharaf said that Media was not functioning in the circle of ‘Tehzeeb’ and that they were not respecting elders; he should remember what kind of show he attended.
The comedy shows in America use much strong words, comments , pointed-terminologies and methods. And we are talking about the country who has forces in 2 countries. Mr. Musharaf should see what are the jokes being made on the President Bush and many of them are exaggerated versions of what Mr.Bush actually did. Dont go much in Past just see what happened in the case of Gonzales.
Now about making Heroes out of terrorists:
- Did American media made the Iraqi fighters hero when exposing the Abu-Gharib? I dont think so.
- When American media reported that American-Forces might be involved in Haditha Massacre (Time Magazine Link) were they unpatriotic?
- When they reported what war was committed on false ground were they saying that road-side bombs are justified? No.
They questioned the methodologies of war, they questioned behavior of the forces, they exposed tortures being legalized by American executives, they cornered the government on recording the private telephones.
European media went on to humiliate the government over the Iraq War, they thrashed the government for helping the Americans in transporting the people to illegal jails (known are retentions).
See we are talking about the nation that lives in fear, where one election was won on the raising the threat levels. Where they want government to act so that they dont even have to change their live styles. But they dont want it take away their rights.
How can reporters and analysts questioning the Pakistan Government’s handling of issues in the Northern Areas be regarded as ‘unpatriotic’? How can a Tv report telling that the many civilians have died by the bomb/fire of the Pakistan Airforce be making Hero out of terrorists?
When someone points that many people might be under the illegal arrest of Pakistani Inteligence agencies they are pointing out the violations of the constitution of Pakistan by the government. They might be making it clear that some decision makers are incompitent but they (reporters) are definitely not doing anything against Pakistan.
Prosecuting the media
Should media be prosecuted? yes they should be if it is thought that they have done something wrong. But for this the law already exists. PEMRA can issue notices, a person being defamed can move to court,…..
However this require the government to understand that are there not Kings of Pakistan, they have to live under the rules. They have to abide the decisions of judiciary. They cant survive by closing the transmissions whenever they want to do something big, they can not send the police to television center to thrash the windows, they cant just go on to remove the satelite equipment of media people,….
The Cable structure in Pakistan is illegall or most of is. The silver lining is now the public will move towards other resources including the satelite dishes. And most importantly the Electronic Chanels will itself seek other medium for their content delivery. One of them is Internet, which was previously being ignored. Now almost every one is offering the live streaming on their websites. Aaj is present on the jumptv.com, Geo and Ary has links on their own websites. Websites like pkpolitics are emerging.
The next best thing would be that the content could be mined for tags, certain programs could streamed on demand legaly.
We have long way to go only if we stand together, the flood only distroys the fields when only one stone gives it a way. If all media owners remain with strong then they could get more out of it than just the cable transmissions.