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Pakistan Observer

Published Date: May 8, 2012

SPEAKERS CALL FOR FREE MEDIA TO SERVE PUBLIC INTEREST

Although media have become one of the powerful factors in term of its impact and ability to shape the narratives, it is simultaneously facilitating the overall change process as well as promoting the status quo in Pakistan, speakers at a seminar said Monday.
The panel discussion on ‘Media: a catalyst for change’ was organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here.
“Media have a weak reformist role as its functioning and internal governance are largely dominated by the commercial interests as oppose to public interest,” said the speakers. Dr Moeed Pirzada of Pakistan Television (PTV) said Pakistani media, in terms of its impact and ability to shape the narratives, has become one of the powerful factors today.
Talking of critical internal governance of media industry, he said people had expected change in the favor of public especially after 7th March 2007 but media could not due to a number of reasons including media’s expanded commercial interests and absence of regulatory code. “The space which media has been able to create for public is now been taken over by the business people’ he went on saying.
Fahd Hussain of ARY television was of the view that strengthening of institutions in Pakistan has been uneven and currently the traditional society is in the transition phase.
He said now power is depleting from state’s powerful institutions such as military, bureaucracy and ruling elites to people.
He said that media had shattered the power and monopoly of state over information, however, pointed out that in many ways, media is also promoting statuesque of powerful institutions.
Ejaz Haider of Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) said media is significantly contributing in the overall process of evolutionary change in Pakistan.