How a simple question eluded media professionals
ISLAMABAD: A flurry of resignations from Bol News – an upcoming television channel and partner of Axact company – has sent shockwaves through Pakistan’s buoyant media and thrown into disarray the plans of its owners.
Over the last year and a half, the company had created a big stir when it managed to lure some of the country’s leading broadcast journalists and TV executives with unrealistically high salaries and other hitherto unmatched perks and privileges.
Unfortunately even before its actual launch, the television channel found itself embroiled in a massive diploma mills scam that tainted the work of its sister concern Axact. Pakistanis have witnessed many huge scams but Axact’s enterprise appears to be far bigger and seedier. However, what appears strange is that such senior journalists could be duped into joining such a venture. And it was these senior names that compelled the common media workers to fall into the trap.
Even these famed journalists confessed they did not know where the money was coming in from. Bol’s owners had claimed that they would run the organisation even without taking advertisements for one year. But that very claim raised troubling questions.
How would such heavy expenses be borne without any income? That was one of the foremost questions which eluded those who chose to be a part of the project.
For its part, the government was also aware of the new channel’s imminence but nobody bothered to find out where the money was coming from for such huge investment. However, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan deserves much praise for promptly responding to the report published by The New York Times about the fake degree scam run by Axact.
Media management experts had also raised valid questions and objections.
According to them, Bol could not possibly bear its huge expenditures even if it acquired the lion’s share of advertisements. However, this question was answered after The New York Times unveiled the multi-million dollar fake degree scam allegedly run by Bol’s IT affiliate Axact.
After emergence of the scandal, Bol’s owners, instead of giving any solid explanation, rejected the allegations as a conspiracy. However, the Federal Investigation Agency’s investigations are under way and more revelations are expected in the coming days.