Selective coverage: What the stories we never hear about mean

Published: December 13, 2010

The news that we read does not necessarily reflect the complete truth

Keeping an eye on how the media has been working in Pakistan, I have been confused about whether it is actually performing its role –  its real role as an unbiased observer to events – and providing masses with untampered facts and information.

Aside from its highly anti-government policies and the Zardari obsession, there are other reasons that makes its role suspect.

With reference to the Pakistan army, the media’s role remains ambiguous. For reasons that are obvious, there has been a serious lack of reporting on exactly how the army has been conducting activities in Balochistan and Fata.

But recent events are alarming. Last week a certain section of the media did not cover the International Youth Festival Conference 2010 (a major international event for the youth of Pakistan) at all, presumably because it was hosted by the ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Similarly, a few days ago, it was surprising to see a news channel hush up the news of a suspect being caught in Imran Farooq’s murder case by repeatedly airing the same report during prime time 9 o’ clock news of a youth who died in the Bahria Town car crash.

This was not enough; the following day, most mainstream newspapers falsely claimed that WikiLeaks said that the former US ambassador to Pakistan had sent a cable claiming there was “enough evidence of Indian involvement in Waziristan, Balochistan”.

This was termed by the Guardian as “the first case of WikiLeaks being exploited for propaganda purposes”.

The question that now begs to be asked is this: was there a deliberate move to keep the Pakistani masses ignorant and misinformed?

After all, this happened in such short period of time, one wonders if the media in Pakistan is actually free, or working under a specific agenda.

Ebad Pasha

Ebad Pasha

A first year 'A' Level student studying in Karachi. Pasha hails from Hyderabad.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.