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An Open Letter to Journalists

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In nearly the last decade, Pakistan has seen an immense boom of what it calls independent free media and in nearly a month, this free media is behaving like savages in turning no stone unturned in ripping one another’s integrity and conduct. The intolerance and xenophobia has skyrocketed in this short span portraying a chaotic situation wherein pushing every media channel to pull the other down.

This downward spiral seems to sink deeper and deeper with no beacon of hope. Every other day one witnesses a new fable unfolding with its ends in a chasm, accusing and bashing with no legitimate sense. Is this the pride that we take in as free media? To me we have gone berserk forgetting our values in the editorial line of the platform we have adopted.

Jinnah was a champion of democratic principles with freedom of thought and expression, as a Pakistani nation we have done everything we could do ingloriously to malign and mock his values. Nevertheless; the value of lives on the land of pure that Jinnah had fought for so desperately has depreciated to the price of a bullet.

What I fail to understand is that at this critical stage, journalists have become judgmental transcending one another in the race to ratings. Their ultimate goal of being responsible, unbiased and honest to the public is somewhere down the lane while running before the wind. The unethical slander campaign of mudslinging from a media house to a state institution to political leaders to foreign agendas culminating on journalists.

This is exactly not what the public looks forward to when they pick up the morning paper or switch on to prime time shows. Unfortunately, they are served with pathetic sense of journalistic views putting up a disturbing image of the industry. As media professionals, battling on petty issues and perceptions is hurting the freedom that you have fought for from so long. This is actually pitting your freedom of expression in a quagmire with no course climbing up.

In all the mess that has been created since a month, has anyone bothered to question the state of health our dear colleague is in. The trauma his family must have been going through while seeing the ghastly saga taking severe terrible turns. In a rush to be the most audible, we have wiped our hearts of human values and feelings.

Is this really the paradigm of media?

“Television is the church of modern authority”, these words of wisdom come from Michael Ignatieff. They echo into my ears every time I switch on the idiot box seeing the absolutely insane unprofessional standard of content displayed. The church instead of preaching chapters on peace and love is inciting hatred and bigotry into its followers. It’s making it fight among them, confronting situations of making a mountain out of molehill.

And the worse anyone would expect out of this churches is passing sermons completely irrelevant and naïve to religious conducts. No one has any right to defame and blacken a comrade’s vision. The myopic mindset which is getting intravenous would in fact damage and agonize the very person whose promoting it. This rhetoric zilch access into the public psyche is leaving them bereft of authentic credible news.

There’s a way to propagate things, bring them forward and prove them. But the draconian method our media has adopted will hurt its own image. It’s extremely dangerous to it in the long run. There no harm in questioning an authority, yes there should be a way to it but the dismal turn of events that has been taken place in Pakistan is what every responsible journalist would be ashamed of.

We have made a joke of ourselves and we hardly seem regretful to it. Our future generations are going to curse us for this. Journalists need to behave in a responsible ethical manner imparting ideas and news that are humanly acceptable. The volcano of hypocrisy and lies can burst at any abrupt moment putting things in black and white; and that unforeseen time can be very embarrassing and upsetting for those who are adding fuel to the fire now.

It would be a blessing if our journalistic brethren join hands to eradicate the media dichotomy by inoculating some positive and conclusive thoughts into our common man. Let’s act more responsible by painting some magnanimous values on to our hearts. There still seems light at the end of the tunnel, let’s not lose our beacon of hope and lift ourselves out of this downward spiral.

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