Published Date: May 8, 2012
SPEAKERS SAY MEDIA FACILITATING OVERALL CHANGE PROCESS, PROMOTING STATUS QUO IN PAKISTAN
Speakers said on Monday that media has become one of the more powerful factor in term of its impact and ability to shape the narratives as it is simultaneously facilitating the overall change process as well as promoting the status quo in Pakistan.
Speaking at a panel discussion on ‘Media: a catalyst for change’ organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here, they noted that media has a weak reformist role as its functioning and internal governance are largely dominated by the commercial interests as oppose to public interest 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. He said media focuses on governance that affects society and state. He said Pakistan’s media, in last 10 years, has played important role in shaping the narrative especially about the historical events such as 7th March 2007, 12th May, 3rd November, and restoration of judiciary.
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.
Fahad 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 shift in power has taken its root from state to individuals as they have become powerful voter, customers and citizens claiming their human rights through legal safeguards.
“Earlier state was talking down to people without any bridge, now media has emerged an entity between the state and people, and people are talking back to state through media,” he maintained. Media has shattered the power and monopoly of state over information.