Competition for PTI media advisor

Aug 16th, 2011 | By | Category: Express News

It seems Azim Mian may have some competition in his quest to be PTI media advisor. A dear reader pointed us to the following video clip that shows Shahid Masood interviewing Imran Khan on his programme Shahid Nama, and it leaves us shaking our heads.

Anyone watching the program can see that Shahid Masood’s famous ability to grill his guests has gone missing when Imran Khan appears on the set. Rather, Masood falls over himself to praise the PTI leader as gaining popularity. It is hard to watch the clip without feeling that Shahid Masood is trying to create a soft corner for the potential 2013 contender in public’s eyes.

Obviously Shahid Masood can support any politician he chooses, but the question is whether or not in his capacity as a journalist would Shahid Masood extend the same gentle treatment to Asif Zardari whose failure the TV anchor began predicting from day one.

Journalists and anchors have a responsibility to the audience to act as a neutral moderator. Rather than trying to become best friends with Imran Khan, Shahid Masood could have asked his guest whether the Pew poll he mentions can be reflective of national support since it was conducted in majorly urban populated areas and reflected mostly the opinions of youth and urbanites, a vote bank not completely representative of Pakistan’s 180+ million population. He could have asked for details of how Imran Khan would address the issues facing the nation.

Showing favour to one politician over another one is not journalism, it’s campaigning. Shahid Masood should not pronounce Imran Khan as not competitive, but neither should he crown him as king. The people of Pakistan will choose their leaders, not the media elites. In order to make that decision wisely, the people rely on journalists to ask tough but fair questions of all politicians.

 

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