Is media truly society’s watchdog?

Published: December 26, 2010

Does the media fulfil the responsibilities it claims to?

In present times, Pakistani media is known as a vibrant, revolutionary and overwhelmingly powerful tool in shaping society’s opinion on a host of issues and for serving as a watchdog of government actions.

However, the question remains whether the media fulfils the responsibilities it claims to or does it only look after its monetary or political interest.

On July 28 Airblue Flight ED-202 crashed into the Margalla Hills in Islamabad, killing all 152 passengers and crew members, as the entire nation looked on in horror. Instantly, the electronic media paid unprecedented attention towards the incident the entire day.

The Prime Minster expressed his grief over the incident and did not hesitate to announce that he would make the inquiry report of crash public within three months.

The following day saw front pages of all mainstream newspapers flooded with stories regarding the tragedy.

The same day, newsrooms focused on reporting another tragic incident – the devastating floods.

Rescue efforts were initiated nationwide and the media, without a doubt, played a tremendous role running campaigns on the TV as well as in newspapers for the support of flood victims.

However, at the same time, distressed families who lost their loved ones in the crash expected that the media’s attention would soon return to their plight and press demand for the inquiry into the crash.

Unfortunately, this did not happen. With time the crash was forgotten, leaving many questions unanswered. Requests for an Supreme Court suo motu action also went in vain.

If we think we can get the same sort of justice from the system as is available to the first world, we would be fooling ourselves.

Qaiser Zulfiqar

Qaiser Zulfiqar

A reporter from Islamabad on the national desk of The Express Tribune.

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

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