Biased media: We are all to blame

Not only are the liberal and conservative news channels guilty of bias, their audience is at fault too.

Shoaib Taimur January 18, 2011
People tend to believe everything they see on TV. In Pakistan, this means that they only believe one side of the story. News channels in Pakistan often resort to selective censorship, preventing opposing views to be heard.

Right vs left

Over the past month a majority of the media has behaved recklessly and has given up on presenting both sides of the story. By and large most news groups in Pakistan push a right-wing agenda while a small sub-section promotes the liberal agenda.  Just as right-wing channels refuse to present the other side of the story, liberal media will not showcase the right wing point of view.

One-sided agendas

It was irresponsible of various media groups to make up the story that the late Salmaan Taseer and his daughter were pro-Ahmadi. Some channels managed to interview Mumtaz Qadri (murderer of Salmaan Taseer) but did not care to show the Taseer family’s point of view. It is a shame that most of these channels did not condemn the murder and refused to address the late governor as shaheed. These channels might as well start running infomercials promoting hatred, pro- blasphemy laws and action against minorities in Pakistan.

Here come the liberals

I think the liberal media is justified in suppressing conservative opinions; after all, isn’t the conservative media doing the exact same thing? We are already seeing too much hatred on TV; balanced reporting is impossible because if everyone started reporting in a balanced manner then no one would want to watch the news as some other channel would give people the news they want to see.

People need to take responsibility, too

It is not just the media that needs to change. When people stop watching ridiculously biased news channels and declare ‘enough is enough’, the channels will know that they will have to be more balanced.

If both conservative and liberal channels objectively come up with views and news from both sides then censorship would be unwarranted. The probability of this happening is one in a billion because I don’t think people who subscribe to the liberal media’s point of view would ever endorse the views of the conservative media. They are aware of what is being promoted on the liberal channels, but would never care to hear their point of view. The same applies to the conservative media.

Pakistanis are so polarised now that they would never subscribe to each other’s point of view. Objective journalism in Pakistan is a myth, because it is now more a matter of whose version you believe.
Shoaib Taimur An IT graduate from Middlesex University who has been blogging for the past 7 years. He is a big fan of tennis, house music and Bjork.
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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