MEDIA HAS IT’S OWN AGENDA
Ordinary Pakistanis after having been thoroughly disillusioned with feudal lords, dictators, politician and agencies, have now pinned their hopes on mass Media. They believe this powerful tool will somehow reform Pakistan. The ruling elite will be forced to abandon their malpractices, governance will improve leading to better times for the downtrodden masses.
When personalities like Chief justice of Pakistan and Imran khan advocate that media is bringing peaceful revolution by enhancing the awareness level of common citizens and ultimately reforming the society, one ought to listen. I really don’t know whether they are serious or thanking the media for their better personal coverage. There is no denying the fact that media is powerful tool and has great potential to bring change but will it ever stand for truth, justice or poor masses? In my humble opinion, the chances are slim. I will support my contention in succeeding paragraphs.
Mass media or media includes radio, television, magazines, newspapers and the Internet. This is all a controlled and corporate enterprise. It requires money to run and hence, serves those who can pay. A fine specimen of how media is held hostage at international level comes from Israeli spokeswoman, Tzipora Menache who on 5 Feb 2009, during attack on Gaza, sharply criticized US, angrily saying, “You see, I know it and you know it that no American president can be in a position to challenge us even if we do the unthinkable. What can they (Americans) do to us? We control congress, we control the media, we control show biz, and we control everything in America. In America you can criticize God, but you can’t criticize Israel”
She was not boasting, she meant it, because six Jewish companies today control 96% of world media. Three most prestigious and influential newspapers: the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post, they are the ones, which decide what is news and what isn’t, at the national and international levels. They originate the news; the others merely copy it, and all three newspapers are firmly in Jewish hands. Where is agenda setting??? Who control agenda setting??
At Pakistan’s level, what are various interest groups? What are various interdependence entities of media? Who are more powerful, a specific ideology, a political party, foreign donors or reformist? Media is dependent on whom? Doesn’t a bigger “lifafa”(bundle of money) or plain Ghunda gardi mean more clout? (Have your ever noticed a comic parody or caricature of Altaf Bhai on any TV channel?) Amazed?
If we try to find out who are the owners of various TV channel in Pakistan, Who all are shareholders of these TV channels? I assure you it would be interesting exercise and would help in understanding real politics of Pakistan.
Its common to watch TV channels showing Quranic lectures and soon after airing scantly clad fashion models. Why so much contradictions? For administration of TV channel it is an act of balancing it out. Wow. A regular viewer would be a balanced personality or a confused person?
Unfortunately, most of the media czars in Pakistan are playing the role of modern day Mir Jaffers & Mir Sadiqs who have sold away their faith, and nation’s future for sheer servility to their vested interests & foreign masters. That brings us to the crucial question of how should the Pakistani media be governed. Should it be a runaway enterprise, sans ethics or it needs to have a vision, guideline and code of conduct that determine its bounds. Few even claim that media is fourth pillar of state. Might be but constitution of Pakistan does not says so. If it is to assume such a prestigious role than it must have some audit system, some accountability procedures. I leave this issue to media men to ponder let they are really annoyed. However, I have few suggestions/guideline for own media.
Recognize your responsibility & Reform yourself. Claiming to be fourth pillar of the state puts an enormous responsibility on your shoulders. That heavy burden warrants a lot of responsible behavior. Rise up to the great challenge and play your pivotal role in nation building.
Lift the nation out of its Defeatist mentality A Successive set of selfish & slavish regimes have hammered in an acute sense of inferiority complex in the nation & dented their self-respect. On the contrary, Allah has bestowed upon this great land of 180 million people, infinite bounties both in resource & talent. They are as industrious, intelligent and brave as the best in the world. Return them the hope & confidence in their abilities and they will rise like a phoenix.
Never compromise the country’s interests for your monitory gains. If the West’s so called “freedom of expression” inspires you, have a closer look at what CNN & BBC are doing to cover up for the criminal exploits of their nations. Expose the conspiracies being hatched against the very existence of Pakistan by the enemies within & without. Always remember! You thrive only as long as this country exists. Promote unity, harmony and cohesion amongst provinces as a national responsibility, for that’s the primary target of Pakistan’s enemies.
Stop promoting endless vulgarity & obscenity. For this is the poison that pollutes the hearts & minds of youth. Give them worthy ideals to look up to, and they can do wonders. Trying to compete with Indian channels in nudism will lead you nowhere. We have our own set of morals and values that is far more superior and worth following. Curtail down the onslaught of unethical commercial advertisements being bombarded.
Encourage and promote the bright and industrious students / workers who, despite hardships, stand out in their own fields or do worthwhile projects, as talent yearns for, and thrives on appreciation. Glorify the common man’s struggle. The ordinary Pakistani is braving untold sufferings like mounting inflation, a nonexistent healthcare, battered transport and rotten educational system. There are countless unsung heroes who need to be projected for the greater good.
Honor your National Heroes. This nation has no dearth of national heroes who can be icons of struggle, honor and character for the youth. Give more of your airtime & space to them for they, not the characterless rich should be the role models for our youth.
Avoid Cheap Sensationalism. Stop the unscrupulous race to gain popularity at the cost of nation’s mental well being. Don’t run high-pitched rumor mills round the clock. Try to soothe the frayed nerves of ordinary citizen. Show important day to day issues like Health, Exercise Hygiene and Sanitation that affect everyone, but people have very little knowledge about them.
Stop glorifying ill-gotten Wealth in your plays and advertisements as that directly discourages those striving for Rizq i Halal and promotes race for the overnight riches. Unveil the Social Evils like corruption, nepotism bribery etc which are eating through the society’s social fiber.
Uphold your Faith in Islam. Project it, protect it and praise it, for this is the strongest of our bastions here, as well as in the hereafter. It is only by adhering to its tenets that Allah’s divine help descends.
Last but not the least. Give Hope, Happiness and Healing to this nation that is besieged by boundless burdens.
Atta Rasul Malik is a regular writer for Opinion Maker. He holds master degree in International Relations from University of Balochistan