Panama case and media

The honourable Supreme Court hearing the panama case on daily basis. The lawyers argues the case in the court but political leaders of both sides talk to media everyday and gave their opinion on the case. Both sides claim daily that they are winning the case and opponents have nothing to show and argue in the court.

When politicians come out of the court then media rushed to get their opinion. The press conference of PTI and PML-N leaders have become permanent feature to repeat the same argument again and again. It seems that the case will be decided in the media then in the court room by the honorable judges of the apex court.

In the evening, current affairs program run commentary and politicians again gave the same arguments again. One wonders why the media spend so much time on this issue and ignore all other important developments in the country and around the world. The media also gave sensational coverage to the observations made by the judges during the hearing everyday.

The news channels failed to keep the balance and started to loose audience. When the private electronic media emerged in this country, then the news channels were the most watched. Now the entertainment channels have taken over as the most watched. 63% Pakistanis now prefer to watch entertainment and sports channels. Just 37% glow to the news channels.

if the media continue to behave in this manner, it will loose more audience to entertainment channels. The impartiality, credibility and independence of these news channels exposed in front of the public. The majority of anchors, owners and leading analyst of these channels are more interested to safeguard their own interest then the interest of the masses. They are pursuing their own commercial, political  and personal agendas and interests.

There is no editorial control in place in the private news channels to stop malpractice and wrong doings. The owners and top executives of the news channels control the editorial policy and newsrooms instead of professional journalists.

The other disturbing trend is the appointment of the political leaders and spokesmen of different political parties as anchors and analysts. As the sitting office bearers of the political party, how they can go against the policy of their party to keep their impartiality. They are biased and involved in one sided propaganda. There is clear lack of investigative journalism in the country. The mad rush to get the breaking news and to declare itself the number one news channel, the journalistic ethics and good traditions been compromised.

News channels need to change their policy and strategy to produce quality journalism. The slanders, personal character assassination and false accusations must be stopped. The public platform should not be used to settle personal score.The credibility, integrity, reliability and trust on the media is at stake. The senior journalist should intervene and stop this madness.

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