Elec­tronic me­dia free­dom

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - FAKEHA FAIZ

Lately, a re­port pub­lished by ‘Re­ports With­out Borders’ - a renowned NGO work­ing to as­sess jour­nal­is­tic free­dom in the coun­tries, noted that Pak­istani me­dia is the “freest” in Asia when it comes to cov­er­ing pol­i­tics. It is in­deed a mo­ment of great pride, for our me­dia has braved all odds and hard­ships thrown in its way by some forces of dark­ness, to at­tain this hon­our. How­ever, it is also a mo­ment of some soul-search­ing. In its de­sire for more free­dom, Pak­istani me­dia seems to for­get that free­dom never comes alone - it is chained by re­spon­si­bil­ity. It fre­quently tres­passes eth­i­cal jour­nal­ism bound­ries. Levelling al­le­ga­tions on even hon­est peo­ple, air­ing un­con­firmed and un­ver­i­fied news and uneth­i­cal and deroga­tory lan­guage by some an­chors and par­tic­i­pants - are the few blots on the un­prece­dented free­dom of me­dia. Some jour­nal­ists con­sume the air-time daily, to spew their hate­ful pro­pa­ganda against the peo­ple they dis­agree with. More­over, for most of our news chan­nels, a news is worthshar­ing only if it has all the neg­a­tive and de­press­ing com­po­nents about the coun­try and its lead­er­ship. Pos­i­tive news on our chan­nels is a rar­ity. Con­se­quently, our me­dia is breed­ing a gen­er­a­tion of con­stantly nag­ging, frus­trated and de­pressed in­di­vid­u­als who are overly-crit­i­cal and less op­ti­mistic. It is un­de­ni­able that free and vi­brant me­dia lends sup­port to the con­sol­i­da­tion and ripen­ing of demo­cratic cul­ture in any so­ci­ety. In a fledg­ling democ­racy like Pak­istan, its role is dou­bly im­por­tant which has to be met with re­spon­si­bil­ity. Me­dia should not act like a ge­nie un­leashed from a bot­tle, meant to de­stroy and rav­age. Rather, it should be like a builder whose role is to mend the dam­ages. In its mo­ment to re­joice the gains of its free­dom, Pak­istan’s elec­tronic me­dia should also re­flect on where it lags be­hind. —Via email

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.