Pakistan is a country of very vibrant and dynamic history. Politically, the conditions here have never been stable. Neither democracy nor dictatorship has been overall accepted by the people. Media has always been vital in improving as well as aggravating the situations. According to Malcolm X,
“The media is the most powerful entity on the earth. They have the power to make innocent guilty and make guilty innocent and that’s power because they control the minds of masses.”
General Musharraf is said to be a dictator but the ground realities deny it. He gave as much freedom to media during his period that has never been experienced before in the history of Pakistan. But the truth is that media is not actually free. Yellow journalism is constantly practiced. Now, there are so many private news channels in Pakistan and each one speaks its own language. While you just go through these channels, you wonder how the opinions and news of one channel differ from others. It is hard to think which of them will be saying the truth. In fact, no one is true. Electronic media today runs on competition base and in order to win the race, people controlling media may cross every ethical boundary. All media exist to invest our lives with artificial perceptions and arbitrary values (Marshall McLuhan).
TV channels are biased to some specific ideas and many time some political party. Some people think media played the vital role in the restoration of judiciary in Pakistan but actually it didn’t. At that time too, it was biased in favor of a political party. Media has also played no role in the revival of democratic norms (If someone thinks he is living in a democratic country). Media is actually responsible for all the political mess in the country.
Exaggeration is the most important characteristic of media. Situations are never so serious and pathetic that media cause them to look like. Taking the case of Malala, it was media who gave her so fame that she never deserved and the ones deserving much still being neglected. Secondly, media business is much concentrated. There are few companies who control maximum of what we see and hear.
There is another aspect of media too that is it is responsible for the distraction of young generation from their proper paths and purposes. This is really a serious issue of concern for the government as well as nation. The exploitation of culture and society by media must now be hindered. If the people in media cannot decide whether they are in the business of reporting news or manufacturing propaganda, it is all the more important that the public understands the difference and choose their news source accordingly (Thomas Sowell).
By: Aimon Tanvir Malghani