Yellow-journalism

By: Wasdev Hemnani

After being licensed by a dictator in 2002, there came a flood of private channels in Pakistan one after another. Almost overnight, mainstream media swelled with colorful reports and news. Ptv was nowhere in sight, it turned into a forgotten territory. Today, roughly 15 years since the inauguration of the first ever private channels, rest of the colors are dimmed by the color of yellow.

In these last 15 years much has been changed. Among them, the easy access to the internet stands foremost. The internet was supposed to bring the revolution in the media. Well, it did but with a slight difference.

Revolution is symbolically attributed to the red color and while the internet might have brought the revolution in true sense of the word at other things, but the revolution brought into the department of the media through the gateway of the internet was yellow as yolk. The availability of news became cheap and it lead us to a cheaper journalism and the news that had nothing to do with public interest or public awareness started to surface on channels. The more insight the media was fed with the intimidating it grew.

All this gradually helped media houses in successfully harboring a market that would show interest in eye-catching news rather than eye-opening ones. Consequently, the media, which was set to expose the social evils of the society, has injected a nuisance into it in the name of yellow-journalism, which could singlehandedly wash away all the good gathered by the media.

Just a couple of days back from now, we saw the yellow-journalism as its extreme when Imran Khan’s personal life was unnecessarily dragged into mainstream media. The news of his alleged third marriage was broke-in by a specific media group for whom Imran has liberally shown his disgust. From then onwards till next 24 hours the channel remained glued to the topic as if, god forbid, it was not his third marriage but the third world war that is being imposed upon us by some foreign powers.

This and few other channels remained unmoved in its agenda even after the killings of two Hindu brothers in Mithi and spared the incident little to no coverage, which had taken the whole province by storm. So much so, the occurrence caught the international glare and was reported worldwide. Even India found it mandatory to cover it but sadly a larger portion of our media was occupied in their rat race of ratings.

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