Why are Pakistani news TV channels so irredentist?
There is no reason for these broadcasters to ignore the lives and safety of the people of Pakistan. The ratings of these broadcasters are low, and no one is willing to acknowledge their failures. Hence, Pakistani news TV channels have become a laughing stock. There is no need to criticize the journalists or the channels, as there are many examples of these shows that abound in the country.
But censorship in Pakistan is more subtle today. The government and the media regulator have issued notices to 21 news channels, saying they violated their code of conduct. They cited a live, unedited broadcast of the opposition politician Asif Ali Zardari and a tweet from the regulator’s official account.
But is this sufficient?
The media industry in Pakistan has a long history of corruption, and a move to shut down a reputable news channel is bound to alarm the public.
In April, two broadcast journalists were beaten by security officials while covering conditions in a quarantine center in Chaman, Balochistan. The journalists were released three days after their arrest.
The media is still not responsible for the journalists’ safety. Moreover, they are also not required to report on the condition of the quarantine centre. But the media is obliged to report on this matter – otherwise, no one will see their stories.
It is not only the lack of moral standards in Pakistan that is the problem. This is not a case of corruption. It is also an issue of deception. The media and journalists are in business to make money and should respect the truth.
The only way to know the requirements of the audience is to do research. But that is far from reality. If you want to make your content more palatable, you should do audience research.
Currently, the media has no way of regulating the content of its programs. Despite the fact that they are not responsible, the government is trying to control their output. The media, in turn, has no way of regulating the content of their shows. Some of the channels are even banned from showing any political content at all. Several of them have been blacklisted in the past, but this is not a reason to be concerned.
Recently, a live interview with former president Asif Ali Zardari was suspended and later canceled after a few minutes. The media and the government are trying to censor the content of their journalists.
But that will not be enough. The media is responsible for the content they publish. The people of Pakistan are watching what they see. They are not blindly following the government’s directives.