Monday, August 23, 2010

Media: One Man's Terrorist

The other day a I commented on a friend's Facebook status and a debate ensued regarding the freedom of media in Pakistan. I'm not a news addict and I, like many other people, hate the sensational news-casting style of Geo but we cannot shut our eyes and ears to what the world has to say about us and live in a make belief. That happens in countries like North Korea and Uzbekistan and up until recently in China. But even China has opened up now, maybe not entirely... but its no more a pure communist regime.

I'm not saying that we start believing that Pakistan is an "international migraine" like some have said but it is a news worthy story and the media has done its part by letting us know that. It now becomes the job of the foreign office and the government at large to cope with this news. You don't kill the mailman for the news he brings because he's just the messenger.

News is like the saying about terrorists, "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter". There are always parties with different perspectives of the same news. You can't just brand a media channel anti-state or unpatriotic because they tell you the harsh truth. Same was done to Al Jazera when it took up bold stories. Geo may have a sensational [disliked] style of reporting but their content is not entirely objectionable.
The first step in making a difference and being part of the bigger change is to know what the issue is. If we choose to turn away from the message we would never know what to fight for and what we are up against.
India's media in comparison has been very unforgiving towards issues and concerns of the state. There is far less unbiased coverage of the Kashmir issue for instance. Tune into PTV any day and you get to hear the same tune over and over again even when we are in the middle of so called peace talks with India. I call that lunacy.
There is a fine line between patriotism and denying the truth, we as a nation seem to blur it. Before we start clamping down on free media we should remember that it is the media that has
kept a check and balance on the government's actions. Never in Pakistani history has that happened before. It was the media that brought down Musharraf and I hope it will be the media that helps churn out the revolution we so badly need. Democracy has failed us again and again, we as a nation do not deserve a luxury as lavish as democracy. Democracy is meant for nations with at least 70% or above literacy rate, where people can decide who to vote for based on their knowledge base alone and not on pure political motivation [coercion]. Because although we do elect a government into power despite the rigging and the illiteracy and ignorance of our people, and that we can live with, but we certainly did not elect a "shoe magnet" president.

Thanks to the media awareness things are not the same as they used to be under the PTV era ... thank God!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Rehnuma - Website Launch!

Hey people its been a while. I've been busy with my status updates on Facebook :P and planning this year's expedition [postponed]. it is and its more than just a website. Its a start-up venture and totally changes the way I go about doing my alpine-ism.