“Media is more powerful then nuclear devices”
I believe above quote is worth taking. Jawed Jabbar who worked for PEMRA has quoted well. The electronic media has touched every sphere of the human aspect. In the present times, information and technology are interwoven with the society’s economic progress. The evolution of electronic media has had an overwhelming impact on the society. The Opportunities of communication have broken all barriers across national boundaries and have led to the germination of new ideas through the cross pollination of cultures.
The role of media especially the electronic media in Pakistani society is tri- dimensional; that is informing the public, educating the unknowledgeable and providing entertainment. It can be termed as Fourth pillar of the state. It has recorded tremendous growth in a limited time period in Pakistan.
The electronic media in Pakistan has made rapid progress. Only three or four decades ago, radio and state owned TV was considered to be the main sources of information. Today, we have more than 77 Satellite TV Channels, 2346 cable operators, 28 landing TV Channels from abroad like BBC, CNN, Sky, Star etc. and more than 129 FM Stations (on air and in some cases licenses issued) including 46 Radio Channels.
The media can give direction to social change, and positively guide the society towards the desired goals. The electronic media may be successful in stimulating the change in the tightly held ideas and rigid attitudes to bring desired change. It is also used by the state / society /organizations to promote educational activity. AIOU uses media for education. Mainly it serves the public agenda. Media has given voice to the public.
Along with this we have seen the Pakistani electronic media have made some progress towards the area of consumer awareness, especially in the case of television, there are movements underway to enable the television viewers to beam a mere educated and more aware and critical user of programming with the help of radio and television discussion programs, talk shows, morning shows, where a progressive discussions have been took place on such subjects as death, violence, drugs , morality, human relationship, the women liberation movement, politics, religion and culture.
Mobilization of public opinion in support of a cause is the prominently known feature of the electronic media in Pakistan as we saw in Cheif Justice Iftikhar Ahmed Chaudhry's termination by the former President Musharraf, created a storm in media scene as well, the media supported the movement and played a vital role in creating a favorable public opinion for the movement, they mark this struggle for the sake of democracy and reinstatement of Cheif Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.
The electronic Media was primarily and popularly used by our previous regimes as tool of self propaganda, the quality of news poor, unreliable and un-imaginative presentation of events and stories, ultimately losing the confidence of general public. Introduction of Satellite TV, Cable and Private Channels and Dish widened the scope of awareness of people. The Government of Pakistan realized the sensitivity and potential of private electronic media which could not be avoided through State controlled TV only. The governmental policies regarding electronic media took a different direction, to regulate this sector.
The objectivity of media is becoming increasingly questionable, the coverage of issues of national interest demand care and restraint. The media in Pakistan is devoid of objectivity, and just telecast such incidents that sometime are not factual. In order to improve their ratings and enhance viewership, the tool of sensationalism is used. What is important is to think as to what is being done to own sensibilities and social and moral values.
Moreover, Media has taken away the sense of hope from the masses and has made them over sensitive to their surroundings. A moral Vacuum has been created through the dramas, programs etc shown on media which glamorize everything they depict and our younger generation is going away from religious, social values. It has not shown native genius in innovation, it is applying Indian model of entertainment and a western model. Our country lacks a defined policy to promote national image through media.
We remain fixed to TV screens at the cost of socialization. We cut short our social activities just to watch some favorite program on TV. We are not undertaking socialization / giving time to our kids, parents, etc because we are glued to TV etc. This is developing a generation gap.
Pakistani media is following the saying, ‘We have no obligation to make history. We have no obligation to make art; we have no obligation to make a positive statement, to make money is our only objective.
We are a highly polarized society, segmented along ethnic, sectarian, ideological and gender issues. Without achieving economic solvency and the promise of a better future, our national cohesion will remain under stress. We need to launch a sustained media campaign to bring this pressure down. This is one area in which media can play a pivotal and non-partisan role”.