Break the News, Don’t make the News:

Today we live in a society where each day begins with a breaking news. From Imran Khan wearing black shalwar kameez and halwa puri being distributed in his dharna to different dramatic versions of Tayyaba’s heart-wrenching story, from the Pakistan Cricket players getting bombarded with questions without proven guilty to propaganda against TV channels in order to earn more ratings, from talk shows being highly controversial to the race of being the number 1 channel by breaking fake news, being broadcasted on the TV channels of Pakistan…

Yes, this is what media is doing in the name of freedom. This, unfortunately remains a sad fact that our media, just for the sake of ratings, has to gone too far when it comes to lack of professionalism and putting up a sensational melodrama on TV. The freedom was retrieved during the rule of a dictator which, so far has been getting misused by the channels.

Media plays a very productive role in a particular society and without media, the society gets deprived of information regarding what it is surrounded by. If it realizes the responsibility it has on its shoulders when it comes to imparting information within the society, the society will be destined to progress and prosper in a more effective way

The sole purpose of media is to facilitate the nation with news based on objectivity and facts but all our media does is creating hype over self-made fake stories in order to keep the audience glued to the TV screens of theirs.

We have all seen the fake shows popping up on our Tv boxes every now and then in order to earn more fame. Recently, Mubasshar Lucman, a popular anchor and a rather controversial personality, was convicted of several fake news breaks which eventually resulted in his ban from a reputed channel for the time being.

Orders were carried out by Pemra in order to address the issue:

It is directed to ensure with immediate effect that Mubashir Luqman does not participate in any programme on ARY News or on any other TV channel being aired in Pakistan either as a host or as an observer or as a participant

The TV channels in Pakistan do not hesitate from supporting a particular political party and acting as its mouthpiece openly. The elections of 2013 clearly depicted this when we saw some of the channels supporting a certain political party for the reasons they were able to justify in their shows and campaigns, while the others supported other political parties for the reasons they could “fairly” justify. This battle continued and meanwhile, the news broken by one political channel would portray a certain political leader as a more worthy candidate while the other channel would depict the same political leader as less worthy candidate or else , completely different  Some news channels also broke false news regarding  the poltical parties battling against each other

The very recent controversy that portrayed one of news channel victimized by two news groups, resulted in the latter group, reporting fake news based on the blasphemous grounds, to apologize for the propaganda going on air. Here, we can all question the credibility of news we stick to our televisions for.

Moreover, media has also been fueling the fire by showing these shows where the hosts openly claim to catch the criminals and wrongdoers (the law makers and police be damned).

“Nobody’s life was in danger from that show. No one was harmed.”

“The problem was real. We were not making up an issue; it exists…I was accused of invasion of privacy. Well keeping that in mind, we used actors to ensure no one was harmed.”

This was the statement of one of the Tv show host after her planned show went terribly wrong. This shows how these Tv show hosts get their own actors to perform in order to make it all  look real. On getting caught , the host pleaded for forgiveness :

“Okay well, for the people who got me till here, those who cared for me and respected me…what happened, whether that was right or wrong, I won’t talk about that, but whomever  I have ever effected in a positive way, I apologize to you. Please forgive me.”

Such acts by media put them in great trouble and an open apology might seem to work but the question remains that would they be still trusted like they were before?

The media has also been responsible for creating tensions between the celebrity couples (Muhammad Amir and his wife Farayal and shoaib Malik and his wife Sania Mirza) . Farayal’s parents were reduced to tears and begged the Media to stay out of the happy married life of their daughter and her husband. To this, the media responded by putting allegations on not only Farayal but her parents as well.

The Panama Leaks has been a recent center of attention to media. Each channel is trying to win the race by spicing up the news with sizzling hot claims.

The purpose stated by the hosts is to show what remains hidden otherwise, whereas, the real purpose is to get high ratings. One such show revolves around a controversial host running around in parks to catch the wrongdoers (apparently she thought so). This also resulted in her ban from the channel she worked for.

A private TV channel producer, recently claimed at a renowned University that 50% of the stories they come up with in their famous tv programs are “fake stories” .The reason behind this is clearly to get more people to like their shows by adding as much spice as they can muster. These TV shows mostly include a producer, an assistant producer and the host who takes the responsibility of producing most of content himself for he will be the one who will have to face the criticism of the viewer’s later, after the show goes on air. This gives a fair representation of the amount of credibility they lack Media plays a significant role in building up societies. It is a tool that can be used in so many ways. It plays its own important role in spreading awareness amongst people and also to provide them with good healthy entertainment along with information that is not taken from false sources that might misguide the people. In so many ways does media influence people? If put to good use, media can enrich the nation with knowledge and zeal to accomplish much more than what they desire but if the same media strives to get more TRP and to earn more money only, then the nation will not be able to prosper.

Media can reshape the nation through the positivity of content they show and also destroy it. It all comes down to what role the media plays when it comes to building the nation

Maryam Suleman