Discontent with mainstream media

Shahid afridi’s arrival back in karachi had more fireworks then the final of the asia cup. He tried to come out like he normally does without much security, there was a throng waiting for him, beyond which was his daughter and then it happened. Someone stepped on his daughters toes, she screamed – people pushed, she fell and dad that is afridi went nuts.

It was not shocking that a father kind of umm lost it when his daughter was pushed. Afridi punched one gentleman and pushed another as he tried to get to her..fair enough, he also apologized even though in a muffled growl sort of a manner ok..but the way his altercation was portrayed shows us what is horribly wrong with our mainstream media.

Strange thing is they get away with it every single time. Mainstream media in Pakistan distorts the news, creates false assumptions, heightens panic and then moves on to the next sensation without anyone even batting an eye. Why is it never held accountable for all their ambulance chasing? Why dont the viewers demand better if they want better?

We often blame mainstream media for all this but if you look at some of the complaints mentioned by Jay haque in his article on msm here, its quite easy to come to the conclusion that the main thing general viewership in Pak cares about is how pro israel or pro india our programming us. No one is even bothered by jingoism, they are more bothered with what in their mind are displays of loose morality which is not Pakistani.

Hence we need to realize this when we scream across on twitter on how bad mainstream media is. If we want it to change then the people who control its ratings the general masses of Pakistan have to demand that change. Not us as we might be educated and well meaning but do not constitute a big enough chunk to make a difference to them. Its a shallow way to put it but there are no high aspirations of journalism in main stream media these days in Pakistan. Not to those handing out salaries anyways on behest of advertisers who pay once in six months and are being chased by every media house like nobodies business.

This doesn’t go to say that isolated cases of social media and the educated classes putting pressure for change will not succeed. I merely mean that if we want change to come across the board it will have to be brought by masses who are eating up the crass content driving ratings. Advertisers too have somewhat to share the blame of this issue as many among them pay little attention to issues of content as long as it sells the required chips cola or whatever.

So its going to take advertisers viewers and added pressure from the drawing room classes to make a change in mentality happen and since that is a big ask The only tool till then in our hands is to switch off.



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