Aug 3, 2010 - Uncategorized    20 Comments

Is journalism a blood sport?


Today, I have learned something that I knew all along but never wanted to admit – that we as a nation are a bunch of opportunists.

I just spoke with a friend who works for a TV news channel who sounded extremely dejected. When I asked him, he said that he is sick with the way things are prioritized. Apparently, the murder of Raza Haider is the top news at his channel and the floods story that affected a good 3 million people is a distant second lead. Most of the flood stories were dropped because the bulletin was crowded with Raza Haider story. When I asked him why is that he said that the channel heads are more concerned with increasing the viewership in Karachi and that would be attained with focus on Karachi. Viewership in Karachi matters most because it is home to the biggest middle-class population. More eyeballs in Karachi means greater advertisement revenue.

I just wonder why these people try to take moral high ground and talk about upholding the high standards of journalism when all they are concerned about is ratings and greater advertisement revenue.


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  • Could one try and guess the channel?

  • The problem is, I think, how preoccupied with sensationalism our so-called journalists have become. Journalism in Pakistan, be it media or the papers; is all sensationalized. Tragedy. The question, I feel, is how do we change this growing tendency? That’s something we, at TMS (The Missing Slate) will be covering in our inaugural issue. Jes, jes…shameless pimpage, I realized. Did you see how cleverly I worked it in there? Lol! Entirely unintentional.

  • It seems to be the same story the world over. Not that that makes it excusable. 🙁

  • Come on TJ,didn’t you know that?

    That’s what media runs on, heartless and shameless people. They have no sympathies or loyalties to anyone except their own business.

    What you expect from them? Standing up for the right cause?

    Forget it

  • Although Media is not a corporate entity, but some of the channels are still trying to make it one. Journalism is a public service that should focus on highlighting the issues concerning the population, but sometimes the focus is changed based on increasing the viewership or profits.

  • i feel ashamed although i am not a media person

  • Very courageously written indeed. Media work is more like social welfare. When media becomes a profit-oriented organization, malpractices will follow. For this reason the concept of a free, independent and responsible media is very important.

  • Sensationalism runs wild everywhere…and Indian media isnt running shy of topping the world list.
    Every news channel has been ‘bought’ –
    apna zameer chod, paisa phenkh, tamasha dekh…

  • Ah well…

    I hate Geo and how they sensationalize every bit of news. However most of the budget that I allocate for advert go to them. I hate myself for doing it but I just dont have any choice here…

  • well thats the story with each & every part of the country…

  • Pakistan… The Land of Opportunity!!

    Wesey baki dunia main movies, dramas, music n dance shows ke demand hoti honge … per hamarey haan to kuch or he farmaishi program chal raha hey.

  • I wrote a mail yesterday to one leading Indian news channel where they are showing some unnecessary content about sun being hit by Tsunami. I was extremely disappointed with the content scaring poor people here in India. I havn’t got any reply from them. If they think that they will increase TRP by showing such content, they are fool….

  • Pakistan’s media is highly irresponsible, however,

    …Raza Haider was leading an operation against an entity that is a grave threat to our stability. his murder deserves to be headline news (at least on the day of).

  • I think of you tazeen a lot in these difficult hours which crosses your country.
    I know that you are shaken by the disappearance of your friend in the crash of the plane but that you devotes you so a lot for your fellow men at the moment.
    I kiss you friendly great Tazeen.

  • Are you surprised Tazeen? Because I’m not. This is what I see these days all over the world. This is not typical of Pakistan, it is a global phenomenon. TRP IS the ultimate goal in journalism in this capitalist world. Everything else come later.

  • I sometimes think that state-controlled media may not be such a bad thing!!

    At least it wont be based on private-interest journalism.

  • The independent media has to be commercially viable and therefore playing to a target audience and yet balanced in its news coverage. It is a difficult task and very easy to fail.

  • Bonjour Tazeen,

    Just to tell you that I remain your faithful reader. But I refrain from commenting.

    This is purely Pakistan stuff and this person Ham. Mir you mention is totally unknown to me. But what a portrait.

    Here the flooding is mentioned every day and we are asked to donate. However, a country equipping himself with costly atom bombs and financing parts of the war in Afghanistan, should it not be able to do something for his own people??


  • That is big bad corporate world! They are here to make money of course. Who thinks about ethics and morality.

  • Nice write up Tazeen.

    But media is no more the fourth estate, it is big business…draped and disguised as the voice of the people or for the people, they run on ‘so called TRPs’ which manifests itself as ‘breaking news’ or sensationalism.

    Here in India to, as it is world over, Media is as puke inducing as a rotting corpse, and I am talking about the leading english and hindi news channels. They fester and forment discussions aimed at provoking sections of people and community.

    But, what can we do..beyond this seething anger that keeps building up and trying to find an outlet. I admire people like you who use this alternative medium to like minded people across the world.

    Keep writing.


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