February 07, 2013
Z B Saigol
KARACHI: Some individuals who brazenly call themselves journalists but are more interested in pleasing the big bosses of their news channels, getting their salaries bumped up and attempting to get their program ratings improved, will stoop to any level to do so. In Pakistan, know this has become an acceptable practice. The viewers and public, it seems, either have short memories or simply couldn’t care a flying f---!!
I’m sick and fed up of these charlatans and opportunists, ‘pious moralists’ and televangelists who are mucking up what is an honorable and straightforward profession.
I was so pissed recently that I told my friends Steve Manuel and Imran Naeem that I might as well quit the profession. When a female anchor, who notoriously ended up benefitting to the tune of Rs1.8 million per month after having taken full advantage of the clout and influence of her powerful politician men friends to escape from what should have been a ‘live’ career-ending fiasco, it is time for real journalists to think about hanging up their gloves.
Shamelessness seems to be the flavor of the time. It also appears to be extremely lucrative.
For example, take the latest scandal to emerge from Pakistan’s media mire. It includes masseuse, women, policemen, ‘prostitutes,’ izzat/honor, morals, money, etc.; all the necessary ingredients to excite and thrill perverts or fire up the narrow-minded and self-righteous.
The previously small time anchor, Dr. Maria Zulfiqar Khan of Express News who recently came to the fore during an episode of program, Baat Say Baat, in which a group of transvestites got into an onstage ruckus that saw them tearing the clothes off each other, seems to have made ‘scandalous’ a niche her own.
And it is from such cheap and unpalatable fare that she has continued to gain notoriety, relentlessly chasing down and exposing what she considers ‘taboo’ material and generally benefitting from the suffering of others.
Her latest ‘raid’ which was conducted a la Maya Khan is a case in point and sadly reflects the dilemma of the mindset we find ourselves trapped in. What is it that we really want?
Maria leads a bunch of goon-esque police jawans into so-called illicit massage parlors. What ensues shocks indeed and dismays. While Maria bosses over the police into taking women at these parlors into custody, at the same time she ignores all human and personal rights, searching through their handbags, calling them prostitutes and much worse and generally putting on a pretentious better-than-thou attitude that genuinely offends the sensibilities.
Who gave her the authority to do such things and since when have the police been reduced to take orders from two-bit anchors?
Is this journalism?
Do journalists have the right to trample on the rights of others in the name of their profession and, worse still, pass judgments?
What is the outcome of such endeavors?
It causes more outrage than genuine concern. Somebody could get killed. It’s happened before and can happen again.
Frankly, the way I see it, all she is doing is playing with fire. Is she that naïve or blinded by ambition that she does not see that she is doing more harm than good?
Surely somebody has to pull the plug on this.
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A study conducted by JournalismPakistan.com and Communications Research Strategies on the economic situation of slain journalists' families and journalists displaced due to security threats.