[TFT] A partisan media is biting the hand of democracy that feeds it, says Raza Rumi
It was hoped by many that the electronic media following its exponential growth during the last few years would take stock of its roles and responsibilities. However, the years 2007 and 2008 were not the best of times for such an introspection to materialise into a self-regulation process. Authoritarian or transitional environments are not conducive to a culture of informed debate and the evolution of sound regulatory regimes. Nevertheless, there have been scattered noises and appeals by many observers, analysts and concerned citizens even within the media community.
From the brutality of displaying dismembered limbs on television screens to creating a panic-oriented news culture and relegating the status of objective ‘anchors’ to partisan political players, the trends were and continue to be, disturbing. Against the backdrop of the events of March 2009 the role of the electronic media was far from gratifying. The self congratulatory hysteria that now pervades the various channels betrays their utter inability to look back and introspect. Continue reading
I thought I was used to seeing politicians bargain with each other. A few concessions here and there to influential voting blocs are part of the elections game.
But Afghan President Hamid Karzai — the “liberal” darling of the international community — surely wins that game by throwing women’s rights like bargaining chips at the feet of religious conservatives he’s courting for Afghanistan’s August presidential election. Continue reading
Crossposted from Sista’s blog with her permission. We at PTH endeavor to allow all points of view expressed which can enrich us – Pakistanis and others of Pakistani origin- as a global community. The cross-posting here does not necessarily reflect the point of view of PTH administration. -PTH Admin Continue reading
Filed under Religion, Women
When a people begin to believe they have been defeated they have entered a bottomless pit. They continue and continue and continue to live in defeat. It is a cycle that can cripple a people not for a year, not for a century, but for a millennium.
Thus we look at so many communities across the globe. These communities celebrate a distant, idyllic past, a past fueled with great heroes and accomplishments. They celebrate a past without which — they claim — today would not be today. And, these claims of the greatness of the past are to somehow bring these people on the same level as the conquerors of today.
Not to be.
That celebration of the past is fuel. It is fuel for the vicious circle of defeatism. It perpetuates a longing for something that never existed as a hope for a future that is not there or theirs. It is also an excuse, an excuse to continue this life of grief. Continue reading
On the flourishing ‘column’ industry despite the slow growth of readership’
What is so peculiar about the Pakistani media opinion factories churning out problems and solutions products day after day? Frankly, they are self perpetuating oligarchies and boring at best. The slightly discerning mortals who browse the daily newspapers in English and vernacular languages or bother to engage with the electronic media discussions are struck by certain repetitive trends. Let me map them out before rambling any further. On a note of caution, there is no intention of making generalisations here. Exceptions, they say, prove the rule!
The curse of self-importance
Nowhere else would you find brazen references to the importance of a writers’ opinion particularly among the Urdu language newspaper columnists. Despite the slow growth of readership, the ‘kalam-navees’ industry is flourishing. A few years ago, a new Urdu newspaper with a hefty advertising budget, ensured that a few big names in the column industry were under its wings. Continue reading