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Knife Rider: When media ethics take a back seat

Today, a large chunk of Pakistan’s population has access to the electronic media. Televisions and radios are now undeniably the most powerful influencers in our society. With that in mind, there has been much debate recently about what the media’s responsibility should be. How should it conduct itself? And can it afford to run programs that instigate hate or violence? On Thursday, the Economist released its ‘Safe Cities Index 2017’,

Mischief against the press

i“If you give me freedom of speech, I have the freedom to publish it, otherwise the privilege is useless.” — M.A. Jinnah ALTHOUGH the effort to get an antediluvian measure against the print media adopted by the Press Council of Pakistan has been foiled — for good one hopes — the assumptions underlying the nefarious move need to be firmly repelled. That the draft of an ordinance designed to strangulate

Why media is failing democracy

Rather than instigating animosity and limiting people’s thinking ability through sheer propaganda, media needs to invigorate critical thinking among people by providing them different perspectives through dialogue. Chomsky and Herman’s book Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media came out almost 30 years ago and argued that mass communication institutions actually played a part of propaganda machines to form public opinion. Following is an attempt to assess the

Dear media! Politics is not our issue

Many of us are familiar with the influential power of media and also experience it in our daily lives. In Pakistan, for many years, the electronic media is completely cuckoo over political affairs. Their talk shows, anchors, analysts and journalists are practicing a strong hold in society creating and shaping our thought patterns without any objectivity. Every night, one after another, we see a never ending rally of talk shows

Pakistan Misrepresented

In Pakistan, and among Pakistanis around the world, the words ‘Pakistan’ and ‘Western press’ can seldom be found together in a sentence without the word ‘misrepresentation’ linking them. As a novelist, I often find fellow Pakistanis asking me what my novels do to correct this misrepresentation, as though a novelist’s task is not to do their own work but to chase after Western journalists with an editing pen, adding footnotes

Media’s bias cannot be ignored: editors, analysts

KARACHI: Editors, analysts and senior journalists of newspapers have said that the bias of media could not be ignored, adding that, however, the situation of media had transformed over time. They said that first it was significant to analyse the meaning of being unbiased. Then, the dialogue around ‘being unbiased’ must be continued and the employers must be included in this dialogue, because employers are always the sole policymakers in

Has Pakistan’s media ever been free?

When Quaid-e-Azam waged the constitutional struggle for independence, he imagined a constructive role of the press in the new country. On March 12, 1947, addressing the Bombay Provincial Muslim Journalist Association, he said, “You have great power. You can guide and misguide people. The power of the press is really great, but you must remember that this power, which you are wielding, is a trust. Look upon it as a

Media and labour

NOAM Chomsky pins his propaganda model on “inequality of wealth and power and its multi-level effects on mass media interests and choices”. The media’s structure and its five basic filters, as pointed out by Chomsky, are the same the world over, although there are variations in cultural and political filters specific to each country. Hence, it came as no surprise when I saw the news of the death of five

How social media is reshaping Pakistan

Mashal Khan, a student at Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, Pakistan was lynched to death by an angry mob on the premises of the university on 13 April 2017. It didn’t take long for the videos of this barbaric act to pop up on various social media sites including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Twenty year ago, this incident may have disappeared into oblivion without such online attention. Social media sites

Who will tame the media?

The unseating of prime minister Nawaz Sharif has its origins in the work of the media. It was the work of a dedicated group of journalists that exposed the financial transactions and wealth of a number of leaders, including that of the Sharif family, which led in this instance to the departure of Mian Nawaz Sharif. This report was the basis for the creation of the JIT which in turn