“I think these news channels earn a lot more showing these -ve news items 24/7 ….surely there are good things about the country too. …. bloody idiots are leading the population to extreme frustration and depression i think .”

Wait! Before you start bashing me with your hate comments, these are not my words. This is a status update my friend put up a couple of days ago. The two below are follow-up comments on the same status:

“U r right! Specially living away creates such a negative vision. One should launch a campaign against them. I have stopped watching them atleast”

“i dont like watching , …but nothing to do at office ( saturday ) , just turned CNBC on , and its been an hour and all they have been showing is innocent killings , firings , quetta , liyari etc etc … i think the women are justified in watching the star plus dramas , they are atleast better than this”

So what do you guys think? Is this true? I liked this status update actually. I share my friends’ views a 100 percent!

The difference between international news channels and Pakistani news channels

Across the world there is a clear difference between entertainment channels and news channels. In Pakistan news has become entertainment. You don’t believe me, I swear to God I once heard a news channel play the news that a ”bhens” had fallen in a canal somewhere in Punjab!!! Still a non-believer? Remember the infamous ‘BLAST near the Press Club‘ news item that GEO broke? Of course we all found out later that it was a truck tire bursting. It’s like, these channels have suddenly been infected with the foot-IN-mouth disease.

The programming has become even more utterly useless. Every night all you have is one anchor with three stupid politicians arguing over who among their leaders is responsible for Pakistan’s current state.

What is the objective of these news channels?

The thing is, by calling these people on their show all that these channels are doing is adding to the people’s frustration and sense of hopelessness instead of solving anything. If they were serious, the questions to be asked would be something like:

‘Tell us whose money is it in the Swiss bank accounts? If it’s not Zardari’s then why aren’t you writing the letter?’


‘One of your low-level workers gets killed; no doubt it is condemnable, but what about the 8 to 10 innocent people that get killed during the “Sog” you observe?

Yes, the media should have freedom, but that freedom should be handled responsibly. The responsibility is nowhere to be seen. It’s all about getting more TRP’s.

Another example: remember Salman Taseer’s son? Yes, the one who got kidnapped.  The day he was kidnapped all we could hear was his name on all the channels. Well, guess what? He’s still waiting to be found! Does any news channel give you an update on this?

On the other hand, these same professional news networks consider Shahrukh Khan’s detainment at an American airport for 2 hours worthy of being prime time news fodder for Pakistan! Yeh baat kuch hazam nahi hui?

If you still think I’m exaggerating, watch the late night Shahid Masood program on Express News (is it even still on?). During the last episode I watched, the Dr. Sahib essentially gave a lecture for the whole first section of the program (that’s like 10 mins!). He didn’t even introduce his guests till the last 5 seconds.

He was went on and on about ……I don’t know really….. because he used words that I’d never heard before. One thing was for sure, he made my heart beat faster because his tone and body language were clearly meant to stir a sense of panic in the viewers.

Almost every other day my mother asks me how everything at work is and is everything outside okay? I say ‘Yes, but why do you ask?‘ She replies that according to our news channels it seems that there is nothing right and we live in Afghanistan. People living abroad think we are being shot at every day and there is a war going on in Karachi!

I agree that all the major incidences – good or bad – need to be reported, but the main objective should be to inform and create awareness, not to shock and sensationalize!

I don’t know how many more times we’ll need to say this before these channels actually start reporting in a more responsible way and not just to fill their coffers.