Masala news: How the government benefits

Does the government cash in on a fickle news cycle? Undoubtedly, they wins out as issues roll away into oblivion.

Nauman Lodhi November 26, 2010
I feel sorry for us, the audience, when we are 'forced' to hear utterly bad news and exaggerated facts. Almost all important news events are covered with great fervor but only for a limited time - one can hardly see any news covered to its logical end.

This behaviour is quite similar to the government technique of forming committees to divert people’s attention from a burning issue, but people have now become well aware that constituting committees is tantamount to negligence and putting things on the back burner on the government’s part.

Starved for bad news

We have almost accepted that being threatened and depressed is our fate, especially if we want to stay informed. This information sharing is making us desensitised towards matters relating to society. Everybody seems to be concerned only about themselves. Why is this happening? The reason is simple: whether it is news about a person begging for justice or people being brutally tortured by the police, viewers know that the media will give it coverage for a day but then a new day will come with fresh, agonising news. It’s a viciously fickle news cycle.

Breaking news amnesia

Just as the media moves on so it seems do the government committees that have been created to resolve various issues that relate to human rights, legal, political and social chaos in our society. News stories like the lynching of two brothers in Sialkot and the torture of a little girl by a Lahore based lawyer are too quickly forgotten by both journalists who report them and the bodies established who are supposed to investigate them.

Who benefits?

Undoubtedly, it is the government that wins out. Just as the committees cannot solve anything, this convenient approach to media coverage cannot hold the government accountable.

So the dreadful silence prevails, as the flow of new but inevitably ugly news goes on, people continue to face a sense of hopelessness.
Nauman Lodhi Nauman Lodhi is an amateur writer and business professional. His work has been published in various credible newspapers including Harvard Business School Working Knowledge and Knowledge@Insead.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.