Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Role of Media

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Role of Media

    {Part of this post relates to Pak Affairs and part relates to World Affairs, so its placed in General}

    The other day I watched with interest the press conference by Musharraf about nuclear proliferation. He made certain interesting points. One of them was to implore Pakistan's national media to use common sense and discretion when reporting and commenting on matters of national importance and national security. I think he made a lot of sense, although it sounded a bit odd, especially since he was talking in an international news conference, and when he said that even if your information is true, do not report it, if it may impair national security. The theory is that people's right to know and talk about the failure of their government is not supreme over the country's national interests.

    Contrast that to the current mess of its own faced by the US Administration about her severe failure of pre-war intelligence about Iraq's WMD program. The matter is certainly serious enough because it can rock US credibility around the world and the vibrations of this failure may reverbrate for years to come.

    How is US media handling it? Non-stop coverage (marred briefly by that Super Bowl controversy). I was just watching CNN, where Blitzer interviewed Zbigniew Brzezinski, NSA for Pres. Carter. Brzezinski ripped to shreds the political decisions made by the US government and declared that US' credibility is now at an all time low. The deep polarization of US society means that any and all issues are fairgame for political gains.

    So what is the right balance? In the present day and age of internet and where there are practically no boundries on information and world's distances have shrunk to almost nothing in terms of information, how realistic it is to expect a news media to close its eyes on certain issues, which everyone in the world is talking about? What defines responsible journalism and whether the people's right to know and talk about issues is subservent to what some may describe as failings of institutions and individuals?
    "Let your friends underestimate your virtues. Let your enemies overestimate your faults." - Godfather.

    #2
    Faisal: In the Pakistani context one has to remember two things:

    1) The Pakistani ruling establishment has no history of transparency or an American equivalent of the Freedom of Infomration Act (neither does Britain for that matter), as such people don't know what to believe. ase in point the Hamood ur Rehman Commission report that was declassified almost27 years after it was published. Another problem is Pakistani institutions are not even accountable to select committee's of the lower house or upper house (in the upper house partcipation of any senior governmental figure is rare) so push comes to shove our elected leaders have very little knowledge of the inner workings of the government and are left to do "favours" for consitiuency members.

    2) Pakistani newspapers are riddled with both pro and anti government lifafa journalists. The government when it feels the need, promotes someone like AQ KHan to a super human status and when it needs be again feels the need to discover swiss bank accounts. So the game is played both ways,....you also have reporters on the take or those with their own idealogical agenda who want to attack the government. Mainpulation happens everywhere...articles in the US press about US troops going into Pakistan were very obvious "plants" or information "leaks" and attempts to exploit the situation in pakistan.

    Lastly attempts to form a proper press council in Pakistan to govern the conduct of newspapers have been ruined by every government since 1973.

    Journalism is an inexact science, when done well it informs people and exposes those in the publics eye for what they really are...but being so amorphous it is impossible to control.
    How can a man die better than facing fearful odds for the ashes of his fathers and the Temple of his Gods?

    Comment


      #3
      Zakk...

      No doubt its unfair to compare Pakistan with US in terms of freedom of information. However, none of us are naive to think that US government does not occassionaly use pressure tactics on select journalists to spin news stories a certain way. Infact, I would say that US (and other advanced countries) have made media spin into a science form.

      How exactly, do you think the news media should behave? Should they lay off glaring lapses of error on the part of national institutions, because such discussions may impair national security?
      "Let your friends underestimate your virtues. Let your enemies overestimate your faults." - Godfather.

      Comment


        #4
        ^ Faisal: Should they lay off glaring lapses of error on the part of national institutions, because such discussions may impair national security?

        I don't think they should lay off... obviously in cases which deal with national security journalists editors MUST ensure a higher level of research and rechecking. Again I am weary of people holding back stories citing "national security"....it's not a good precedent. Sadly in the case of Pakistan and Britain..the reason for the press's hyperactivity is the lack of a proper opposition.
        How can a man die better than facing fearful odds for the ashes of his fathers and the Temple of his Gods?

        Comment


          #5
          Zakk,

          you mention Britain, what do you think of the handling of the BBC case regarding the Hutton Enquiry? For me it was a clear case of a cover up as I've seen in a long time and it makes you wonder where the line is going to be drawn when it comes to gagging the press?

          Comment


            #6
            why dont the mods split the thread and put em in appropriate forums,,,
            general is only for discussing how we could all come up with a super guppy, with the humour of matsui and the luck of sweetpie.

            Comment


              #7
              KAKA the mods are morons, just be glad they didn't delete your whole thread by mistake.

              Comment


                #8
                Now the reply to Faisal's question.

                I noticed that too? and was thinking? but isnt holding the truth back considered a sin when it comes to true journalism.
                I do think though, that when saying all that Mush was pretty emotional and a bit frustrated at the way the media had gone out of its way to create hurdles and in simple terms,, make life difficult for Mush and the government. He also gave the example of iranian media and the nation, asking them, are they crying?! because of the roll back that happened? no they are not! because they accept that hay this is the best for the country at this point. And thats what he was trying to get at. It was quite interesting watching the frank and open way he was speaking. And he looked genuinely hurt and frustrated at his own Pakistani media for being so negative and for having no sense of the seriousness of the situation. I do personally think that Musharaf was right, and that media should act a bit more responsible when matters are about national security. Although when he says even if you find something thats true and u fear that putting it out would threaten the national security, I think that is where one's own personal conscience and responsibility. If I got hold of a fact, which if published, would turn Pakistan upside down and would threaten to destabilize the country, I would rather keep it to myself. Its all about the seriousness of the matter and how one personally looks at it.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Mr Xtreme:
                  KAKA the mods are morons, just be glad they didn't delete your whole thread by mistake.
                  Yes, thank you for telling me that, Moron.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    That's ok my pleasure. Incidentally, If you want to hand out advice to mods it might be an idea to know where and how to put the complaint in the first place, esteemed member

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I appreciate your concern sir, but I think I know what the outcome of that would have been. It has been tried before, by other esteemed members, but not surprisingly, its always the esteemed members that are wrong. The honourable mods seem to know it all already and do not need correction.

                      And besides, who wants to see those lame threads anyway, when we have such interesting threads where we can all make up imaginary super guppies or discuss about what outfit to wear at a party where all the top eligible Italian and Pakistani bachelors are invited, or how many green lights my computer has, or what colour my underwear is.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Bhai log.. saari duniya ke maslay idher hi discuss karnay hein kiya? If you want to kill the discussion here, just say so. Why prolong the torture?
                        "Let your friends underestimate your virtues. Let your enemies overestimate your faults." - Godfather.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I'm sorry Faisal.
                          Xtreme ko daikh ke raha nahin jaata.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            The whole notion of silencing the press for national security reasons is immoral in my opinion. The government should only ensure that the press is not reporting false information ... truth, no matter how ugly it might be should never be covered up.

                            As they say ... "Truth shall set you free".
                            I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
                            - Robert McCloskey

                            Comment


                              #15
                              It could be worse, Nawazu had Najim Sethi abducted from his own home after he wrote an anti-Pakistan piece for an indian paper. If Mushy's just complaining about the press it's not so bad, although the electronic media still sucks if PTV is anything to go by, or at least it was a couple of yrs ago.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X