'Muni badnaam hui' is never appropriate on a news channel

Pakistani news producers find it appropriate to sensationalise court stories by adding a Munni-cum-Sheila twist to it.

Ferya Ilyas January 19, 2013
I hate watching news on TV, not just because the lead stories in Pakistan are too depressing, but also because their treatment is mainly frivolous.

The argument that our electronic news media is young, is years old now. Even if we do buy that claim, sadly there is no sign of growing up.

Despite having a body to regulate the workings of our media, the performance of our news channels has always been disappointing.

The regulatory setup and channels are to be equally blamed for the low quality. However, a few simple changes here and there can, of course, help set a standard.

For instance, the use of movie songs as background music in news packages should be barred. God knows, in what universe do news producers find it appropriate to sensationalise court stories by adding a Munni-cum-Sheila twist or make politicians dance to the tunes of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.

Secondly, the breaking-news madness should stop. For Pakistani news channels, everything is a news alert – from a fire in a dumpster to a chicken who crossed a road. No matter how major any news item is, channels should not be allowed to air it unless it’s time for an hourly update. At most, they should be permitted to run tickers at the bottom.

Then, there should be an end to the utterly insensitive coverage of tragedies. The reporters stick their microphones in the face of grieved parties just to add a little spice to their reports. How many of us have not seen a reporter asking a victim’s relative how he feels about the death? What the media-persons fail to realise or very well ignore is the pain they cause by constantly reminding them of their loss.

And last but not the least, the news anchors need to be trained. Studio-bound journalists should understand that the pitch and loudness of their voice will have no impact on the outcome of any event and that they don’t have to climb their tables to get an answer from a guest politician.

It’s amusing how our media manages to be serious and shallow at the same time.

Read more by Ferya here
Ferya Ilyas
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


uzma ausaf | 11 years ago | Reply What about ads which are even more pathetic and star bolly wood jokers? point them out as well !!! The problem with News channels is that they have to run 24/7 seven days a week all year round !! THey have to fill in the gaps with absurd stories, scandals, gossips esp bollywood stuff without which it seems their digestion is incomplete!! Even more horrifying is the dramatization of crimes e.g ' Meri khani Meri zubani' on a prominent news channel.... pitch & tone of some anchors is quite irritating they wish to sensationalize but end up screaming!!! The cat- dog fight of polititans sells like hot cakes as well as increases the ratings so some channels can do anything to create a war like scenario!! all of this reflects the attitude & taste of our nation which needs to be developed!!1
ignorantways | 11 years ago | Reply Thanx God yet not a single member of Bolo Bhi read this blog .
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