Minorities and Media BiasJul 25th, 2010 | By Ali | Category: Jang, The News
Mainstream media sources often overlook or fail to accurately report incidents of discrimination and violence against minorities. Following the recent incident of two brothers being murdered after accusations of blasphemy, The News covered the situation in a way that misled readers and could potentially incite continued violence against minorities. The Pakistan Christian Post featured the following analysis of media bias in coverage of the incident.
The mainstream electronic and print media shown biases and failed to cover the incidents in a way that could show Christians as victims and help common masses to understand that innocents have been killed. It did not speak about the hearing in the court in which the police informed that no evidences were found against the two brothers. There were no witnesses in the case or any other evidence which could prove they were guilty. If these could have been shown that they have been falsely accused, masses would have sympathies and condemn the extremists. The media created more miseries and misunderstandings about the Christians.
Even the Christian business places in Warispura areas have been badly damaged that had been established in years by the poor Christians. The loss of business and injuries to Christians by the Muslim attackers has also not been covered even. The loss of Christians business is estimated in millions of US $s.
Take the example of July 20, 2010’s The News International one of the largest English Newspaper of Pakistan and considered the most Liberal news group. They covered the story on the second page of the News with the title; “Attackers killed 2 “Blasphemers” in police custody” The group forgot it has to be decided by the court weather they were blasphemers or not. The next day July 21, 2010, the same correspondent asked a question from Akram Gill, Member National Assembly for minorities in a press conference, “why both the brothers had been distributing the handwritten papers at bus stand? He reported, the MNA had no answer for that question. Again the reporter misled the readers despite knowing the fact that there has been no witness stating they have distributed even the complainant denied it.
The headline of The News International was enough to make Muslims understand that the murdered brothers were blasphemers and make understand that Christians commit blasphemy. The Urdu language press which is largely read in the country is even worst. They published stories that could trigger violence. However, “Express Tribune” and “DAWN” English papers done a good job for balanced coverage. Dawn reported, Muhammad Khuram Shahzad the complainant and who got the brothers arrested belongs to an organization called Tehirk-i-Hurmat-i- Rasool, (“Organization for the Honor of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH”) This group runs by a UN and Pakistan banned armed fighters outlawed organization called “Lashkar-e-Taiba”.