Raza Rumi: Media Exploiting Flood Tragedy

Aug 20th, 2010 | By | Category: Express Tribune

Raza RumiRaza Rumi, consulting editor at the Friday Times, points out troubling examples of media exploiting the floods to promote a political agenda in a column for today’s Express Tribune.

Flood relief is being used by some as an opportunity to orchestrate political upheaval. Sections of the media are drumming up the partisan politics of a dangerous kind by involving the thorny issue of civil-military relations and the trite-but- failed recipe that the country should revert to authoritarianism whenever a crisis erupts.

Some TV anchors have been overtly suggesting that the military is saving the country at this juncture when the “venal” politicians are staging VVIP visits and not giving any relief. In one TV show, an estranged senator of the ruling party called for martial law. There is now a clear effort to create a duality — that of the military versus the civilian government…

While there is certainly a place for differing opinions, it is disappointing that some elements in the media are using a tragedy as a means to promote a particular political agenda rather than informing the people.

If political rivals can understand the need for cooperation and honest information, certainly the media can do the same.

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