Is media truly society’s watchdog?

As vibrant and powerful as the media seems to be, is it really fulfilling its role as society's watchdog?

Qaiser Zulfiqar December 26, 2010

In present times, Pakistani media is known as a vibrant, revolutionary and overwhelmingly powerful tool in shaping society’s opinion on a host of issues and for serving as a watchdog of government actions.

However, the question remains whether the media fulfils the responsibilities it claims to or does it only look after its monetary or political interest.

On July 28 Airblue Flight ED-202 crashed into the Margalla Hills in Islamabad, killing all 152 passengers and crew members, as the entire nation looked on in horror. Instantly, the electronic media paid unprecedented attention towards the incident the entire day.

The Prime Minster expressed his grief over the incident and did not hesitate to announce that he would make the inquiry report of crash public within three months.

The following day saw front pages of all mainstream newspapers flooded with stories regarding the tragedy.

The same day, newsrooms focused on reporting another tragic incident – the devastating floods.

Rescue efforts were initiated nationwide and the media, without a doubt, played a tremendous role running campaigns on the TV as well as in newspapers for the support of flood victims.

However, at the same time, distressed families who lost their loved ones in the crash expected that the media’s attention would soon return to their plight and press demand for the inquiry into the crash.

Unfortunately, this did not happen. With time the crash was forgotten, leaving many questions unanswered. Requests for an Supreme Court suo motu action also went in vain.

If we think we can get the same sort of justice from the system as is available to the first world, we would be fooling ourselves.

Qaiser Zulfiqar
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Arsalan | 12 years ago | Reply media scholars have to think weather this traditional watchdog role belongs to media or civil society. according to civic journalism (PEW center for civic journalism) watchdoging govt actions is not media's role.
mahwish rahat | 12 years ago | Reply soo true..our media is just at its best to propagandize issues which can only give them maximum ratings. On the very first day of crash our media declared that black box has been found and on the very 2nd day they just change their statement that its not been found. Our government knows very well how to tackle media and they all are materialistic.
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