Good Advice

Aug 21st, 2010 | By | Category: Uncategorized

Naeem TahirNaeem Tahir offers some excellent advice for TV anchors in his column for Daily Times today.

I think what needs to be done is a careful presentation of the facts in a balanced way. Stop being so aggressive and interrupting everyone on the show. When you shout and speak more than the guest, you are projecting your prejudices and blocking the other point of view. If you believe that someone is hiding or misrepresenting the facts, then your calm and pointed questions will indeed expose him or her and the viewers will understand. Your aggression puts the viewer off. An anchor’s calm creates the benchmark for the tone of discussion. Please realise that viewers have already been educated, thanks to your efforts. Now they expect more. They look for an analysis of the situation. They want a dispassionate, thought provoking appraisal and a way forward. They expect public opinion to be motivated for short-term and long-term solutions. One anchor interviewed a Sindh ‘nationalist’ leader and probed his reservations about the present scheme of water management. Some positive thinking emerged. This was an example. While the nation has experienced this colossal natural tragedy and is prepared to avoid a recurrence, we need to focus on acceptable planning. If the civil government fails to rehabilitate, reconstruct and plan for the future, the media must take it to task.

Anchors have the power of communication beyond the reach of anyone else. It is the nature of your job that it is burdened with social responsibility. If you appreciate the good work of the armed forces, highlighting it is the right thing to do, but also encourage those who are sincerely mobilising. Build role models. Look at the causes and hold responsible those who have neglected the proper need for water management. Focus on developing a consensus on future strategy. Of course, expose corruption, mismanagement, apathy and incompetence. But be a role model yourself — of character, knowledge, investigation and decency.

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