Shifting media focus: From politics to people

Pakistani media is neither responsible nor people-centric; why doesn’t it divert its focus to real issues?

Wajahat Karim December 20, 2010
There has been electronic media expansion and explosion in our country since the turn of the century with more than 80 TV channels disseminating an influx of information to millions of viewers.

But the question is whether the media is fulfilling its functions in the society as a responsible actor? Does it regulate and improve itself to be more responsible with the speed it expanded and is expanding? Is it playing its role as the fourth pillar of state and a watchdog of the society?

These questions are worth considering because mass media is the double-edged sword of any society. It has effects, both positive as well as negative, depending on its contents.

However, unfortunately, Pakistani media is neither responsible nor people-centric. Prime significance is given to political issues. Over 150 televised talk shows aired every day during the prime hours have set their agenda to discuss nothing but so-called political issues.

Moreover, theses shows are overcrowded with politicians who deceive the nation with hollow slogans and traditional rhetoric. Politicians have nothing to do with problems; they are concerned only about their political gains and scorings.

Pakistan is in a quagmire of crises ranging from the war on terrorism to the war on waters and from energy crisis to economic woes. The list is long and unending. So, it definitely has something that deserves to be highlighted in the media beyond "dirty politics". Then, why doesn’t the media divert its focus from politics to people?

Shouldn’t media conduct shows on the real issues being faced today? For instance, a debate on the energy crisis with the participation of experts in the field proposing solutions to the problem.

Media managers have to reprioritise their agenda as  ambassadors of Pakistan, a link between government and people of Pakistan and a national image builder, before it is too late to regain its credibility.
Wajahat Karim A sub-editor on the city desk in Islamabad for The Express Tribune.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

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