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.


parvez | 13 years ago | Reply You have made a good point and I agree with @Mirza's comment. This is something for the editors of leading papers to figure out how to clearly connect the follow up story to the main story of a few weeks or months ago. This would give credibility and certainly increase interest in the paper. Simple logic is : a story with an ending is better than one left hanging in the air.
mirza | 13 years ago | Reply Also, I'd like to add, there is always a complaint of a lack of following a story to its end. But a lot of people miss the stories that lie between the front page, op-ed page, and the back page. You will find a lot of these stories in there. Sometimes you, the public, have to make the effort to find the story.
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