To what an extent, the spat between the two political rivals can go on national television. Is there any limit to this? Is there any mechanism in place to restrict the immoral content and uncivilised rhetoric? Are there any parameters designed to stop the coverage of vandalism and hooliganism demonstrated by the political parties and their die hard supporters in political gatherings. The rants of political figures sometimes occupy not only a major portion of the airtime but also prime time, when most of the public tunes in to watch the hotly debated contests between the rivals. What message do we send to our youth?
What is the purpose of civilised debate? Isn’t it to reach a rational conclusion which convinces the viewers to vote in one’s favour based on performance in debate and strength of arguments? Or is it to leave their minds and hearts perplexed and in disarray?
In civilised and more prudent societies, debates are run to showcase the manifestos and future plans for the nation. What drastic improvements are needed and what are the major steps taken by the current and shadow governments to improve life of its citizens. But, in this country it’s like a never ending circus which continues untamed.
Instead of discussing economic, social and defence programs presented in manifestos or current progression in relation with roadmap laid down at the beginning of the term, and has the life of common people and living standards propelled or not. They mostly talk about petty or non-issues and pass derogatory remarks to overcome one another. There is always a new episode on some new happening or incident but no one cares what really the outcome of previous endeavour was? What had become of the previous initiatives taken by the program producers? Did anyone follow up the story or debate? Eager to take up the new hot & sellable story, they continue without analyzing the objectives achieved.
These programs have become a theatre of absurd. Beating the TRP ratings and by giving the primetime dramas run for their money, they are nations most watched programs. It was the time when Indian channels ran such ludicrous stories and sensationalise the news to get ratings and to make inroads into mind and hearts of people. Pakistani channels are not up to anything dissimilar. Cutthroat competition may have enforced them to showcase unwanted material and senseless programs. But it’s time that they must come up with a better strategy to deal with the issue and improve their moral structure.
PEMRA has been ineffective in controlling and laying down the rules to ensure sensible viewership. Unconvincing, and objectionable programs go unregulated. Everything sells in this country. When crusaders taking pride in being face of the change and considered the most sensitive species of the society play immoral, it is extremely worrisome.
Media has a moral obligation to demonstrate utmost honesty and integrity. Because, with increasing population and high illiteracy rate, and even among educated, news and commentaries, if compromised, it can make a huge impact on thought processes of general public. People tend to get influenced, when they are continuously kept under a same impression over and over again.
Information has tendency to subjugate opinions and behaviours. For example, media is influencing the consumerism to an unheard level. The clothing industry is booming in Pakistan. The epic rise of brands can be traced to the surge in social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook as well as the electronic media promoting consumerism by airing such programs which tempt and persuade the public to adopt new trends in fashion. This augments the fashion sense and spark cravenness as firms’ rope in big-stars to cash in on their popularity to pursued the buyers to get into spending frenzy. The lavish weddings and shows to mark special occasions like Eid and other festivals are run in persuasive way to tempt the viewers to spend big chunks of their income on ever-changing new fashion trends which pushes the household budget to brink.
With partial inability to restrict and control false information on social media, government must act swiftly to regulate the electronic media by restricting the content shown. No leverage should be given and heavy fines should be imposed on anomalies.
Other than class room learning, in-home nurturing & development, more of the influence comes from the society, & primarily from electronic and print media as average human being is spending more time attached to these medium of education and entertainment. If learning is replaced with only entertainment to attract more business via advertisements, it could leave a huge void in the personalities of future generation. Since, new generations spend more time online & society gradually becoming alien to literature and books. If these sources of education are not controlled to shape more balanced minds, future of this country can be murky and sensitivities may get replaced by cold-hearted & un-caring approach potentially dismantling the balance of society further which already looks perplexed and divided.
With certain media groups showing allegiances to particular political parties of their choice, it gives unrealistic and compromised information to the public which could seriously damage the political prospects of the future electable. Impartial news coverage could only serve the purpose for this divided nation. If divided media outlets based on allegiances with different political will continue to implode society with compromised news, it could prove ominous. Media houses and regulators must put their act together to show true greater allegiance and commitment with their homeland.