Archive for November 2011

Note on the ongoing ‘Memogate’ controversy

Nov 19th, 2011 | By | Category: Meta

As is well known, this blog took the position early on that the claims of Mr Mansoor Ijaz about a secret memo were being treated as true without supporting evidence. As has become known over the past week, the facts behind the story appear to be far more mysterious than we had even imagined. Admiral […]



Media’s Newest ‘Moment of Shame’

Nov 18th, 2011 | By | Category: Conspiracy Theories, Ethics

It has been one year since the media caused a national crisis by inaccurately reporting that the government was plotting to withdraw notification to reinstate the judges sacked by Musharraf. Unfortunately, it seems that journalists and TV anchors did not learn from this ‘moment of shame’ and are once again causing alarm by rushing to […]



China cracks down on rumours in media

Nov 13th, 2011 | By | Category: Censorship, Conspiracy Theories

As government and military officials look more and more to China, members of Pakistan’s journalism community should take notice of certain recent developments. Chinese authorities announced this week that they are tightening regulations governing journalists, specifically, rule that require reports to fact check and have actual evidence before publishing sensational claims and conspiracy theories. The […]



“No Information”

Nov 12th, 2011 | By | Category: The News

Ansar Abbasi is back to his old tricks on Friday with an article for The News, ‘Foreign Office has no information if any expelled US official is now back’. The title of Abbasi’s latest piece says it all: “no information”. Nevermind that he had no information, Ansar Abbasi can always rely on conspiracy theories and […]



The News invents a new twist to revive a dead conspiracy

Nov 10th, 2011 | By | Category: The News

We noted yesterday that Adm (r) Mike Mullen denied the claims of Mansoor Ijaz also known as Pakistan’s James Bond. Most media groups reported this development in a straightforward way. Pakistan Today reported that ‘Mullen denies secret back channel in US-Pakistan relationship’, Dawn reported that ‘Mullen denies receiving Ijaz’s letter’, and Express Tribune reported that […]



UPDATE: Adm Mullen (r) Denies Claims By Mansoor Ijaz

Nov 9th, 2011 | By | Category: Conspiracy Theories, The News

  UPDATE II: In an exclusive report a week later, Foreign Policy, revealed that Admiral Mullen changed his story and has CONFIRMED the existence of a memo. His spokesman gave the following statement: “Adm. Mullen had no recollection of the memo and no relationship with Mr. Ijaz. After the original article appeared on Foreign Policy‘s website, […]



Charitable Reporting on Militants

Nov 8th, 2011 | By | Category: Samaa TV

An article hosted by SAMAA offers some fairly charitable reporting on banned group Jamaat-ud-Dawa. The article, ‘Kashmiri leader rejects Pakistan-India trade pact reports that hardline Kashmiri separatists oppose efforts to normalise trade relations between Pakistan and India. But reading closely, one will find an interesting passage. At first glance, the article is unremarkable. One would […]



Trust, but verify

Nov 4th, 2011 | By | Category: Ethics

We have written before about the problem of an unquestioning media either intentionally or unintentionally presenting information as facts that is actually carefully managed propaganda. This comes in many forms, from reporters embedded with intelligence agencies, to analysts picking and choosing evidence to support a predetermined conclusion. to journalists simply repeating what they are told […]



The News, or PR for Rent?

Nov 2nd, 2011 | By | Category: Jang, The News

Reporting on Imran Khan’s rally has taken many forms. From the varying estimates of the crowd’s numbers which easily give away a journalist’s political leanings, to the thinly-veiled giddiness of Hamid Mir, to The Nation‘s tasking Imran with “declaring his own assets first”, many of the media reactions to Imran Khan’s rally on Sunday were […]



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