January 21, 2015
ISLAMABAD: M. Ziauddin, columnist and veteran journalist, has criticized what he says is media's lethal role in trying to ‘balance’ the story by taking or highlighting version of terrorists after each terror attack.
In his article, “Our side of the terror story,” published in The Express Tribune Wednesday, he said the terrorists are intentionally vying for more and more media coverage to convey their message to people across Pakistan.
“The thinking behind this approach is that territory would automatically fall into the hands of these ideologically driven terrorists once they have succeeded in achieving their key objective,” he wrote.
In order to get terrorists’ version as well, the media has been highlighting the terrorists’ viewpoint in talk shows and different programs that is a toxic game altogether.
Referring to attack on Malala Yousufzai, he said the media did a blunder by highlighting the attackers’ viewpoint as well just to ‘balance’ the story.
He regrets that even after the announcement of 20-point National Action Plan, the media has accorded a hero-like welcome to Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, an accused in Mumbai attack case.
“Thus, the media, without perhaps knowing what it is doing, has been playing a significantly more lethal role than the automatic weapons in the hands of these terrorists or their suicide jackets, in winning the hearts and minds of our misguided youth,” he said.
Ziauddin urged the media houses to stop giving coverage to ‘other’ side as “there is no other side. There is only one side and that is our side.”