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Media vigilantism a dangerous trend, warns journalist Zahid Hussain

 JournalismPakistan.com |  Published January 28, 2017 |  Daud Malik

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Media vigilantism a dangerous trend, warns journalist Zahid Hussain

ISLAMABAD: Veteran journalist Zahid Hussain (pictured) Saturday deplored that a section of the media was labeling the missing bloggers and all those demanding their recovery as “blasphemers and traitors — something that could sound their death knell”.

In his weekly column in Dawn, Hussain said the media was trying to be both judge and jury in such cases. “Those who embark on a witch-hunt labeling people who question their credentials and rival channels as anti-state and accuse them of working on a foreign agenda are playing with fire. Everything then becomes ‘right’ in this no-holds-barred war of the channels.”

He added that this new and dangerous trend of media vigilantism raises questions about the misuse of freedom of expression endangering the lives and freedom of others.

He also questioned the values and professional ethics being spawned by channels that have provided some anchors the platform they need for often pursuing their own agenda. He warned that the flame of bigotry can also burn down media houses.

He termed the rise of electronic media a double-edged sword. “While being the most effective means of disseminating information and for inculcating social and political awareness in all segments of society that are within its phenomenal reach, it is also often used as an instrument for disinformation and falsifying the facts.”

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