Stories about pemra

Bhoja Air crash: Where are our media ethics?

Hit by one colossal tragedy after the other, the people of Pakistan are heartbroken and disappointed. What could have been an averted disaster became the inevitable when Bhoja Air decided to fly its 40-year-old Boeing 737-200 for Rawalpindi on April 20, 2012. Boarded by newly married couples, children and their parents among others, at 5:05 pm from the Karachi airport, the inaugural flight came hurtling down towards the outskirts of Rawalpindi at around 6:46 pm on Friday. While I checked channels for updated reports and alerts on any survivors, I couldn’t help but notice how rash and obscenely inappropriate the local ...

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What is the worst thing about Pakistan’s media?

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) deserves a pat on the back for its bold move towards greater transparency in their online complaints section – they’ve given the public access to the complaint log. To be frank, a pat on the back for Pemra and a cold shiver down one’s spine is unfortunately the order of the day. Let us delve into this treasure trove of the Pakistani complainant’s mindset. First of all, the top 10 list of offenders: No Name Complaints 1 Samaa TV 450 2 Geo News 147 3 Geo Ent 95 4 Express News 32 5 AAG / Geo Aur 26 6 ARY Digital 21 7 HUM TV 13 8 Dawn News 11 9 Dunya TV News 11 10 AAJ News 8 That is a total of over 800 complaints; again, an ...

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Why Slackistan and Harry Potter are not in the cinemas

I remember watching Dostana in the DHA cinema. I was probably the only person in the audience  grimacing more often than laughing. There were couples, groups of friends, entire families and aunties with kids in tow. A few seats away there was even a three-year-old. I don’t hate all Bollywood movies. I usually enjoy whatever Amir Khan is in (except Ghajini). I liked Namastay London, Jab We Met, Umrao Jan (the one with Rekha) and Devdas. Yet, I hated Dostana. Aside from the song “Desi Girl”, it did not have one redeeming quality. It represents the reason I shy away from watching Bollywood movies; the ...

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Say no to Mathira: Ban vulgarity not art

A few days ago, someone forwarded me a video of the very famous VJ, Mathira. The clip showed her being abused and harassed by live callers. At first, I was quite annoyed with the live callers, but when I watched closely, the live callers weren’t the only ones to be blamed, were they? After all the lady does dress very cheaply and at times, uses indecent facial gestures during her live call sessions. The only thing I can praise her for is the way she bashes rude live callers very confidently. Some media people tend to drop offensive live calls the moment ...

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Media bias: Upon land almost dry

“Nothing can describe the confusion of thought which I felt when I sunk in water; for tho’ I swam very well, yet I could not deliver my self from waves so as to draw breath, till that wave having driven me, or rather carried me a vast way on towards the shore, and having spent itself, went back, and left me upon land almost dry, but half-dead with the water I took in.” Daniel Defoe in Robinson Crusoe defines a very pertinent human condition. A condition we can sympathize with, but can not fathom. We need not fathom it. Our ...

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Quacks with advertising budgets

Here is a shout out to cable viewers in Rawalpindi – everybody who knows who Dr. Adnan Aziz is, say ‘I’. He claims to be the family doctor for the wazir-e-azam of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. (Don’t ask how he can remain the family doctor of the PM for the last three years when AJK has seen quite a few changes on the ministerial throne.) In fact don’t ask anything, just marvel at the amazing messiah–like powers the good doctor possesses. He can cure anything from kidney stones to infertility. And not just that! He will do it all in the environment of a discotheque. (I haven’t ...

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A ban on common sense

On Monday, the government of China passed a law forbidding online dating for its soldiers. The logic behind the measure was that lonely hearts might let sensitive information slip to conniving spies posing as love interests. In the words of a Chinese military official, “People with ulterior motives may make use of the soldiers’ personal information and pose a threat to the safety of the army.” So essentially the Chinese military is assuming that an online date will involve questions like: “So what are your likes and dislikes?…What do you like to eat? …What can you tell me about the ...

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