Switch on the television and tune in to any news channel after 7 PM, there would be mayhem, three to four guests and an anchor trying to prove each other wrong. As the debates rage on emotions will boil over and you will see participants hurling allegations against each other and trying to out-shout other participants. This is the usual practice on Pakistani media were current affair programs are in general restricted to debates on just political matters, with occasional debate on foreign policy related matters.
There is no doubt that the issues of the general public are inadvertently linked with politicians and their will to solve these issues. However, the issues of the general public need to be highlighted in a better way. In this regard it is important to mention that the print media particularly the English newspapers are doing an excellent job of bringing forth the issues that are of vital important apart from political issue. You’ll see excellent reports on economic matters, issues of minorities, healthcare and education sector but when it comes to electronic media there is very little coverage of such issues.
In fact professionals and experts from the health, education and economic sectors are rarely invited to talk shows. Even if a program takes up some health or education issues the participants are likely to be politicians or some ‘electronic media analyst’.
There is an urgent need that the electronic media realizes its mistakes and sorts out its priorities. Unless the countries actual issues are highlighted there is little hope that they will be fixed. There is no denying the importance of political matters and debates but there has to be some balance. In a country where education and health sectors are in abysmal condition, unemployment is rampant and economy is stuttering there is need to highlight these issues.
The problems of the general public are rarely touched upon by the media.
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