Media Predictions Proved Wrong Yet Again

Mar 29th, 2011 | By | Category: Business Recorder, Pak Observer, Pakistan Today, The Nation

Hussain HaqqaniLast year we ran a short series on ‘Wishful Journalism’ that included an piece about media predictions that Husain Haqqani’s removal was imminent. These predictions were eventually proven incorrect, and the Ambassador was given an extension of one year. As that one-year extension approached its end this month, the predictions were once again revived and several media outlets quoting mysterious and unnamed sources announced that Husain Haqqani would be removed from his post by May. Once again, the predictions proved incorrect.

Pakistan Today published the prediction last Thursday, and The Nation also ran the story three days later.

Pakistan Observer included the prediction in an article yesterday, ironically the same day that Business Recorder included a report confirming that Haqqani would continue as Ambassador.

Foreign Office on Monday clarified that Ambassador Hussain Haqqani will continue with his post at Washington.

In response to media reports regarding the replacement of Haqqani with another senior politician, the Foreign Office spokesperson termed these as “untrue”.

A section of press quoting sources had published that the government had decided to replace Hussain Haqqani with a politician who was also a former foreign minister.

However, the Foreign Office categorically said that Haqqani would continue with his responsibilities as ambassador in Washington.

It should be noted that the reports in Pakistan Today, The Nation, and Pakistan Observer were all based on anonymous ‘sources’. Why did none of these newspapers take the simple step of picking up the phone and calling the FO to confirm what their sources told them? It should also be asked if these newspapers will continue to use the sources that have misled them.

Another point to be raised is that the report predicting Haqqani’s removal included a restatement of the disproven visa conspiracy. As has been explained numerous times, the issuance of a large number of visas in one day was not done for “likes of [Raymond] Davis”, but for an official delegation from the US including Hilary Clinton’s staff and security. According to evidence provided at the Embassy press conference in February, these individuals were only in the country for 2-3 days.

Media has proven exceptionally bad at predicting the future. Thankfully, this is an unnecessary role. Actually the people would be much better served if the media stuck to its proper role of reporting the present and doing so based on facts that have been verified and not anonymous rumours.

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  1. During the course of the proceedings, the acting AG informed the SC that despite the court’s orders, some TV channels were still conducting talk shows on the NRO. The chief justice again directed TV channels not to conduct talk shows on the NRO which is sub judice. “TV channels should not debate the matter which is sub judice: otherwise, we would issue an order in black and white in this regard,” the CJ remarked. REFERENCE: Court unhappy with NAB By Sohail Khan Thursday, December 10, 2009 SC concerned over Swiss case record’s safety Enquires about Zardari’s $47m According to a news report in The Nation on 8 December 2009: The Chief Justice advised the media not to discuss the matter with regard to NRO in television programmes until the case was disposed off. However, he said media could report the proceedings openly.
    By: Zahid Gishkori | Published: December 08, 2009 ٹی وی مباحثوں میں این آراوکیس پربات نہ کی جائے،چیف جسٹس
    اسلام آباد (جنگ نیوز) عدالت عظمیٰ کے چیف جسٹس افتخار محمد چوہدری نے ذرائع ابلاغ سے کہا ہے کہ وہ قومی مفاہمتی آرڈیننس (این آر او) کے بارے میں درخواستوں کی سماعت کے دوران ٹی وی مذاکروں اور مباحثوں میں این آر او پر بات نہ کریں تاکہ تعصب کا تاثر پیدا نہ ہوتاہم ٹی وی چینلزاوراخبارات کو یہ اجازت ہوگی کہ وہ اس کیس کے حوالے سے رپورٹنگ کریں۔ پیر کو 17 رکنی بینچ کی سربراہی کرتے ہوئے چیف جسٹس نے کمرہ عدالت میں موجود ذرائع ابلاغ کے نمائندوں کو مخاطب کرکے کہا کہ ہم کوئی حکم جاری نہیں کر رہے۔ ذرائع ابلاغ این آر او بارے درخواستوں کی سماعت کی رپورٹنگ کرے لیکن جب تک مقدمہ زیر سماعت ہے اس وقت تک ٹی وی مذاکروں اور مباحثوں میں اس پر بات کرنے سے احتراز برتا جائے۔ (Jang) NOW READ AS TO HOW JANG GROUP VIOLATES THE JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS BY COMMENTING ON MATTERS WHICH ARE SUB JUDICE! Hamid Khan (SCBA), Lawyers & Biased Notice of “Contempt of Court”.
    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2011/03/hamid-khan-scba-lawyers-biased-notice.html

  2. Judicial Dictatorship in Pakistan & Contempt of Court by Pakistani Media.
    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2011/03/judicial-dictatorship-in-pakistan.html

  3. Reversal of restoration of judges

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKKqlm3V1sU&feature=related

  4. One question that should be asked and is being ignored “who aired the news” and CJ “orders” government to find out about the news According to a notification released by the SC, directors of three local TV channels and Chairman Pemra, Mushtaq Ahmed, were informed by a notice to be present at the hearing. The full court will only do the hearings of judges’ restoration notification on 18th October. While other benches will proceed with their normal hearings. -DawnNews SC hearing for restoration notification on 18 Oct Saturday, 16 Oct, 2010 http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/06-sc-hearing-for-restoration-notification-on-18-oct-rs-01

  5. میڈیا اور ججز:’رد عمل ذرا زیادہ تھا‘
    آخری وقت اشاعت: جمعـء 15 اکتوبر 2010 , 15:46 GMT 20:46 PST
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/multimedia/2010/10/101015_judges_asma.shtml

  6. Pakistan obsession with news unhealthy, for judges too: Mosharraf Zaidi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxR40P3IpS8&feature=related

  7. Ali Ahmed Kurd says the judges should have waited

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPEcgwKWhHE&feature=related

  8. ‘There was no need for judges to show panic’

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzy9l1KE0wc&feature=related

  9. Pre-emptive strike Published: October 15, 2010 http://tribune.com.pk/story/62865/deposed-judges-issue-may-resurface/

    The following is the text of the Supreme Court’s late night press release issued by Additional Registrar Sajid Mehmood Qazi:

    “As per reports telecast tonight on several TV Channels including AAJ, GEO & ARY, alleging that the Government is considering to withdraw the notification/executive order dated 16.03.2009 of restoration of the Chief Justice of Pakistan and other Judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and Chief Justices/Judges of High Courts. Some newspapers have already reported this issue as well. Earlier on, few months ago, a similar statement was made by one of the high constitutional office holders in the Parliament.

    “As the news item was flashed by other TV channels, some channels have also telecast denial today (14.10.2010) from the Government, saying that there is no truth behind the said news.

  10. Chief Justice Pakistan’s son Dr Arsalan with Kamran Khan on GEO TV (2007) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8P-VmGvEuc

  11. Suo Motu Notice, Contempt of Court & Mehran Bank Scandal.
    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2011/03/suo-motu-notice-contempt-of-court.html

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