KARACHI: Over the past decade, Pakistani media has experienced tremendous growth. This happened a few years ago with the launch of numerous media houses’ 9pm news bulletin, with separate segments for entertainment and health news. This made the public more aware and informed. However, it also gave way to the least useful and generic content to be broadcast only to fill up the time allocated for these particular news segments.
News bulletins were stretched to an hour with almost the same news being shown throughout the day over and over again as ‘Hourly News.’ With the progress in technology and the invention of social media platforms, news channels diversified into this platform. One can now easily search for social media outlets of these channels to find tips from ‘guidelines to personal grooming’ to ‘how to keep up with a skin care routine during summers’.
Given this social media evolution and intrusion into every aspect of an individual’s life, celebrity vacations and divorces are now a part of news as well. Such was the case of the latest news that went viral on August 4th. The news of British-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan’s split from his wife Faryal Makhdoom was announced on twitter. It is surprising yet absolutely hilarious that the couple chose to announce their divorce on a social media platform. This goes on to show how powerful such platforms have become not only for celebrities but also for the masses, which chose to comment and debate on these happenings from the comforts of their homes.
From Amir-Faryal drama to the Panama Papers case verdict, twitterati, also known as keyboard warriors, are more aware than ever before. If one keeps the consequences and damages of such platforms aside, it is pertinent to note that social media platforms give its users the opportunity to voice their opinions. They can become a part of an ongoing and current debate and also sometimes help change the course of policies through their collective pressure.
Hafsa Zafar Khan
Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2017.