Pakistan needs a softer image and a Magic Bullet might help
The media industry helps portray society as it is. It does so while producing economic benefits, including employment.
It continues to grow at a fast pace every single day, as it develops talk shows, dramas, movies, cartoons and more. And now, social media is also joining tradition mediums. This industry creates impact and also assists defying movements globally.
It is important to look at how the media impacts the masses. According to the University of Twente in the Netherlands, the Magic Bullet Theory of mass media, states that mass media has a direct, immediate and powerful effect on its audience.
The theory suggests that “the message is a bullet, fired from the ‘media gun’ into the viewer’s head.” Likewise, the entertainment industry is more of a persuasion industry.It has manipulating power that can be used to condition the audience’s mind in a well-intended direction. Interestingly, this persuasion message passes into the audience members’ consciousness as a mass or single entity without regard for individual opinions, experiences or intelligence, and is used by the industry and government alike.
For instance, Hitler monopolised the mass media with the belief that he could use it to unify the German public in support of the Nazis in the 1940s. And most recently, the election campaigns of different political parties have been working to do the same.
Historically,word of mouth, stories,or print media were responsible for connecting legends with their fans. For example, the character of ‘Vassili’ in the movie Enemy at the gates became a legendary hero through the propaganda of Joseph Fiennes.
Similarly, speeches from Winston Churchill motivated and helped Great Britain in World War II. In the case of Pakistan, speeches of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Allama Iqbal and other leaders are hallmarks of freedom and nationhood. Apart from that even cartoons were created to target particular cause and entertainment. Particularly, ‘Popeye’ promoted spinach to enhance iron intake in children.
Similarly, our generation is quite familiar with ‘Commander Safeguard’, ‘Kachra Rani’ and ‘Dartoo’. Recently, the revolution of smart TVs and social media has become a powerful source of propagating new ideas, stories and propaganda.
These media and entertainment tools have also become a great source of revenue after commercialisation. The economic aspect of the industry highlights its significance.For instance, the Indian media and entertainment industry’s worth reached $22.9 billion in 2018, with a growth rate of 11.6 per cent CAGR (Compounded Annual Growth Rate) as compared to five percent of global CAGR. Similarly, in Europe, the UK’s entertainment and media sector is leading all other countries. The worth of the UK’s media and entertainment sector reached £62.8billion in 2017,followed by Germany at£58.6billion.However, in Pakistan,the industry is growing at a slowpace. The cumulative investment in electronic media is about $4 billion. After the revamp of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), this sector has improved significantly in the last four years and employed more than 250,000 people.
Hollywood and Bollywood are major contributors and beneficiaries in the global entertainment industry. In Hollywood, a lot of propaganda movies have supported the war and nationalist sentiments.Similarly, Bollywood is also using propaganda to propagate nationalist views.
On the Lollywood side, the theme of the majority of Pakistani movies focuses on love stories and social issues but doesn’t convey nationalistic ideas.
Despite numerous challenges, including terrorism and natural disasters, we are ranked as the happiest nation in the South Asian region. Challenges are old companions for Pakistan, but we need to share our stories and promote national icons in the international community, even if we have to do it with a Magic Bullet
We are blessed with political legends, champions in sports, honest workers, and brave soldiers serving their nation.Our filmmakers can get inspiration from true stories based on historical events that have taken place in Pakistan. Along with that, we have brave Pakistani women who have marked their contribution through national achievements.
Despite numerous challenges, including terrorism and natural disasters,we are ranked as the happiest nation in the South Asian region. Challenges are old companions for Pakistan,but we need to share our stories and promote national icons in the international community.
As Jinnah’s stated,“My message to you all is of hope, courage and confidence. Let us mobilise all our resources in a systematic and organised way and tackle the grave issues that confront us with the grim determination and discipline worthy of a great nation.”
This article was originally published at:
The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint or stance of SDPI.