A little patience, please

Mar 23rd, 2011 | By | Category: Dawn

Dawn‘s editorial on the president’s speech offers some good advice to media groups and journalists:

Finally, a word about the destabilising role of sections of the media. Clearly, the political class needs its feet held close to the fire — the elites are too entrenched to initiate on their own the deep reforms the country needs. But too often sections of the media appear to be ringing the death knell of the government instead of being cheerleaders of democracy. A little patience, please.

You will recall that the media has been predicting the death of the government since the moment it was elected, and yet we are almost four years into this government and despite some turbulent waters, the ship has steadied itself after each storm. Time has proven that media talking heads are not very good at predictions. So, please, let’s stop making predictions and stick to reporting the facts.

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  1. Looking at the media, there’s a major flaw in the way the debate over sensitive issues i,e religious, judicial and diplomatic were conducted. That’s not the way this debate should be conducted. Right wing journalists cum conspiracy theorists and pseudo religious and political intellectuals were able to whip up public emotion to a hazardous pitch, that resulted in the assassination of Salman Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti. At that point human rights organizations and campaigners urged to halt anti-Christian hate campaign on television. They indicated that the situation has grown increasingly serious and, in view of the history, heightened tensions and the necessity to safeguard the peace and reach a just solution, any public incitement to hatred must be curtailed whether it is on television or otherwise.

  2. Did the media play a role in Salman Taseer’s murder?’, that a large part of the print and electronic media provides the much needed space to both hate mongers conspiracy theorists and radical groups to publicize their cause. The major responsibility of Taseer’s assassination rests with the irresponsible media and it’s howling and yelling anchors. There are several extremist anchors and rightest analysts in the media, who berated and maligned Taseer for supporting Aasia Bibi or condoned such behaviour. It’s also very unfortunate that the intelligence and security apparatus has well established links with mainstream media to espouse a particular cause. After Salman Taseer, Shahbaz Bhatti is the second PPP leader, who is victim of media irresponsible reporting.

  3. There are only few Pakistani journalists that can be counted on finger tips, whose articles are published internationally. But even these journalists try to avoid writing on controversial topics. The concept of national and regional interests is difficult to find in Pakistani media. In the same way in economic fields any creative opinion is difficult to find. Economic problems are discussed but instead of finding solution the concentration is on sentimentalism. The discussion is just limited to World Bank and IMF. Foreign aid is rejected and it is preferred to eat grass instead but whenever there is a slight increase in prices the uproar of Pakistani media is then noticeable.

  4. Ever since the media in Pakistan was given freedom to air their views, we have seen these channels racing to be the first to expose Pakistan’s weaknesses. In fact, most of our leaders too keep telling us that Pakistan is in a state of collapse. This onslaught of the media against Pakistan is damaging the psyche of Pakistanis; it is making us feel inferior. This downward drift is encouraging our youngsters not to care for the image of Pakistan, which they perceive as being dark anyway. Nations have to be nurtured like children. One must not continuously berate a child. Most of us keep prodding the government to do more. Here is something we can do ourselves. We should follow this policy in our ‘drawing room politics’ and put moral pressure on the media to incorporate the same in their policies.

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