Media is known as fourth pillar of any state. It is one of the vital elements of any state and its main purpose is to draw attention of people towards the major issues and to highlight social issues on national level. On international forum it has the responsibility to portray positive image of the state. Media has to be the mirror of national policy of any state.
If we look some 15 or 20 years back, there was only one National channel i.e. Pakistan Television(PTV) that Pakistan was having and it was the only source of entertainment, info and news for Pakistani nation. In General Musharraf’s era we witnessed an enormous change in media policy. Many new channels were created and freedom of speech was given to those infant channels for the first time in Pakistan’s history. Channels for sports, fashion, drama’s, movies and last but not the least News channels were main types of such channels. In the succeeding Paragraphs I’ll carry out a very short and brief analysis of effects of so called free media in Pakistan.
Firstly talking about the drama’s of Pakistan. Pakistan’s drama industry was no doubt one of the best drama industries keeping in view the content of drama. Our Drama’s used to portray true image of our society. But once so many drama channels were created we see a drastic change in the quality of our drama. There are very few drama’s in the recent decade that are worth watching and majority of drama’s are true shades of typical Indian “Saas Bahu “ series and more or less having the same plot. The culture that we see in our drama’s is not our culture but still these drama’s have that much influenced our society that our society is blindly following the same practices. Best example can be seen in our marriages.
News at 9′ O Clock was the only news that our people were having access to. It was a wholesome package that use to cover the national and international news of complete day in 30 to 40 mins and Kashmir issue was amply highlighted daily. But when our media was given freedom of speech and thought then we see dozens of news channels that were created. Geo network was the major network that gained so much popularity and is watched all over Pakistan. People in power are criticized during talk shows and such daring clips are made that masses are automatically attracted by news channels.
Apart from this, in recent 15 years or so we see some positive role played by media in natural calamities Like in Kashmir Earthquake of 2005, flood of 2010, IDP’s. Another important role was played by media in restoration of Judiciary.
But if look on its negative impact on our society then we see so many grey areas. Our news media for instance is still very immature and irresponsible. News channels are in the marathon of showing the events before other news channels. Dozens of times daily you see breaking news that a blast has occurred at some place or news of such content. Such news have created so much of frustration that sensible people have stopped watching such news channels and those who are still watching have become the patients of hypertension and anxiety. If we switch to any news channel the only news you see are either about blasts, rape incidents, murders, theft or robberies.
Another trend these days is crime reporting by making videos of different crimes. On one hand these videos are not worth watching with the families and secondly they are polluting the minds of people by showing them new means and ways to different crimes.
The credit of corrupt, insecure image of Pakistan goes to our free media. The analysts and critics are having their personal interests and goal and are highly paid by foreign agencies just to tarnish the image of Pakistan. Adverse affect of all such activities by news channel is that foreigners are not coming to Pakistan in any way and most of Insurance companies in west are not insuring the people who are coming to Pakistan.
Media in any country has a very vital role to play. Media of any country can help her to attain its national and international objectives by flashing the major issues. On contrary it can divert the attention of people from core issues to immaterial issues. Media should be free but there should be some accountability on Journalists and media that will result to more responsible reporting. Media regulating authority should take necessary actions to control such media reporting which is tarnishing the image of Pakistan all over the globe.