Stories about television

Saleem Shahzad: Murder most foul

The first television image shows a telegenic journalist confidently looking the camera in the eye, the second, a battered swollen lifeless visage. His distraught wife Anita says: “My handsome husband! Just look what they have made of him…” An agitated online reader comments: “Some say Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan killed him! Others shout security establishment killed him! One question: what is the difference between the two?” Bright, well-read and a journalist in the true sense of the word, Saleem focused on stories linked to ethnic and sectarian terrorism. Years of reporting on al Qaeda and other terror organisations based in Pakistan had convinced Saleem ...

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Video can’t kill the radio star

I was talking to a friend about my favourite means of entertainment and told him I prefer reading books and listening to the radio. To this he said that television and the internet have made the radio obsolete. Despite all my attempts to convince him otherwise, he failed to accept the radio is a mainstream means of entertainment. “How many people listen to the radio these days?” he argued. “About 100? Two hundred, at most?” Though his ignorance astounded me, it made me think: is this really what people think about the radio today? In the early 1950s or so, before the advent ...

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Butt, where is the shame?

“I am not playing in the event, I thought it was worth participating as an expert,” said Salman Butt when he was asked to comment on his recent decision to appear as a cricket commentator for the World Cup on a local news channel. I am outraged at his decision, and my anger is the result of a bruised cricket-loving ego. Salman Butt lost the right to associate himself with cricket the day the ICC proved him a liar and cheater. His cockiness regarding the matter is appalling; it’s almost like he’s telling the world “they were just no-balls, it’s not a big ...

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Fashion police: 68th Golden Globes Awards 2011

The Golden Globes are unique in that they represent both worlds of television and motion pictures in a relatively intimate affair with round table dining and champagne, leading to some movie and TV stars exhibiting, shall we say, more entertaining behaviour than at other black tie events. Here, pre-Oscar accolades are awarded to outstanding film categories, and post-Emmy recognition is given to the finest in television.  The Globes are also about fashion on the scale of fairytales—dramatic couture, dazzling diamonds, gowns with trains, upswept hair, exquisite shoes, beautiful clutches, all worn by some of the western world’s most captivating actors. When ...

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Telefilm: The true story of Naseem Hameed

I applaud a tele-film “Bhaag Amina Bhaag!” which was recently aired on Geo Entertainment. The play is a tribute to Naseem Hameed, the Pakistani athlete who became the fastest woman in South Asia when she won a gold medal in a 100-metre event. Amina, played by Amna Sheikh, is not like any average teenage girl growing up in a low income area. She is bold, gutsy and naughty as hell. She grows up surrounded by boys – three brothers and her childhood friend and neighbor a handicapped boy – and gains all the traits of a tomboy. She is completely unaware ...

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What advertisements are doing to our children

“Bubloo tumhara sabun slow hei kia?” chants an arrogant, animated girl character in a liquid soap ad, teasing the poor boy who has been silly enough to not know that soap bars are useless compared to liquid soap. Such is the shallowness being imparted on  children during their formative years through advertising. They develop a narcissistic attitude towards what they see as  “me and my things.” As ad filmmakers are formulating the most effective ways of enticing consumers to buy their products, they have found children are good targets. Younger minds are easy to manipulate and are seen as long-term potential buyers. ...

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Sapna Babul ka Bidai soaps it up, Star Plus style

Question: Ever wondered how someone can stretch the lamest concept to such heights that it can span over 5,000 episodes? Answer:  So did I, till I had to go through the horror of watching a soap on Indian television called “Sapna Babul Ka Bidaai” (Marriage, the dream of a father). Narrated below is a scene between two sisters who apparently love and hate each other at the same time and yet they claim to be one big happy family. Rag-nee: What is up? Sad-henna: Nothing much, you tell oh dear cute lovely sister of mine? Rag-nee: Well, just waiting for my lovely, cute husband ...

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Rakhi Sawant and Aamir Liaquat: Whither media ethics?

What do Rakhi Sawant and Aamir Liaquat Hussain have in common? Both are given to hectoring, passing arbitrary judgements and being shameless to the core. Perhaps the only difference between the two is that while the holier than thou TV anchor uses the religion card to ensnare the indiscreet and undiscerning viewer, the brassy Rakhi Sawant resorts to shock and awe tactics. Now, both have another point of similarity: murder allegations. With this Bollywood item girl’s messy track record, it is indeed surprising that NDTV thought it appropriate to hand her a reality show on a platter. Rakhi is seen in the role of a ...

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The voice of (un)reason

What happens when you put three political leaders on a standardized panel set with a confused looking anchor and throw in the word ‘pithoo‘? A bar room brawl that would put fraternity boys to shame. Leaders on a local talk show recently became highly emotional when the issue of secret loyalties to the US came up. The entire situation descended in politicians childishly echoing “No, you are” at each other and ended with one leader picking up a glass of water and flinging it across the set at his colleague. Thankfully, he missed. The Tehreek-e-Insaaf and Pakistan Peoples Part ...

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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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