The annual anchor awards
By: Elf Habib
The glitz and glamour splashed by the renowned media accolades like the Oscars, Cannes and Emmys as well as the pageant of local Lux laurels have long faded and the year itself is ending but no awards unfortunately have so far been instituted or conferred upon our TV anchors despite their ceaseless prattle to inform and incite the viewers about what they are required to believe as their most crucial concerns.
Recognition of anchors’ role and rants has also been long overdue for the pain and predicament endured by them. Some of them certainly must have been seeking some salve to soothe their throats and vocal chords as their viewers wander for an anodyne for their frayed nerves. Even PEMRA, their purported boss, has been quite indifferent to their plight and public consternation.
So have been the superior courts, which they helped to revive and glorify far beyond their constitutional stature. Some of these frothing brigades have been rumoured to be the spin doctors of the spymasters but even those unrivalled masters and movers of our fate and fortunes have not issued any patent ranking for the services of these surrogates. Imran Khan, the born-again political bowler, has also not bothered for any investitures despite their desperate drive to drag him out of his long ignominious toil and despair. In view of this stark sad pervasive apathy of their mentors, the creation of a Viewers Forum and founding the anchors awards by it have already been quite overdue.
The forum certainly has to be non-official comprising some eminent luminaries with known liberal and rational gravitas. It must not, however, include any mandarins, party pundits and activists. This would, nonetheless, be properly registered and well represented to scan and collate its annual appraisals.
Its evaluation would be based on the viewers’ feeds and opinions ascertained through an appropriately designed questionnaire supplied to systematically selected samples of the audience. The Forum can also sponsor related salutary steps such as founding an Academy to improve the anchors’ competence, conduct and performance. Initiating an annual anchors award bash, in this context, would certainly become a popular national event.
The awards called the Anchors Academy Awards (AAW) evidently would be given for various aspects and categories of the anchors’ adage, demeanour and the content, tilt and thrust of their programmes. This can subsequently lead to a cumulative summation, reflecting the best overall annual performance of various anchors and channels.
The actual details of these awards would obviously emerge when the forum actually evolves and assumes the much needed work, following elaborate consultations with the connoisseur and the concerned. Some skeletal suggestions, however, seem quite pertinent as a prelude to its emergence. First, given the peculiar character of the programmes there ought to be two broad categories: the first covering the collective characteristic commitment, attributes and the endeavours to impart a particularly fantastic outlook, angle and thought to the audience and the second related to the personal style of the anchors and their presentation.
The first, for example, can include a Fantasy Nation Award based on the contribution to create a special make-believe fantasy nation by inseminating, emphasising and reinforcing the belief that we are a very special nation that does not have to think, plan or pursue the path other advanced nations have followed.
These endeavours are evidently vital to our existence and preservation and promotion of our psyche and success. Actually Allama Iqbal, the poet credited to have conceived this country’s creation, also averred that the nation of the Prophet (PBUH) has been vey uniquely designed (‘Khaas hai tarkeeb mein Qaum-e-Rasool-e-Hashmi’). So we being a part of this broader nation, i.e. the ummah, have to retain its most unique distinct pinnacles. Some kindred honours for the efforts to accomplish various parameters of this uniqueness can be similarly spawned.
The Magic Creation Award, for instance, can be reserved for the anchors sweating most to instill the notion that we can create colossus monoliths out of nothing, contravening even the most incontrovertible scientific rule that matter cannot be created out of nothing. The anchors’ labour to prove that one is equal to seven, i.e. Pakistan is equal to its seven times larger neighbour, are equally commendable.
So is the illusion that our problems of hunger, housing and health can be solved without making any appropriate allocation for them. The Strategic Depth Award, similarly, can be reserved for the wizards proving that the establishment in Pakistan must be granted an inherent right to control the conduct, composition and policies of the Afghan government the way it has always orchestrated its own governments.
A Martial Nation Award can be designated for the best unequivocal advocacy that a martial nation actually exists for the martial laws and martial lords and all its assets and resources primarily belong to them. The image, honour and authority of our security and spy masters can be best boosted by devising a Defence of Dignity Award. Our elected governments and prime ministers often have to be sacrificed at the altar of martial will and power. For this the representative governments have to be systematically maligned and destabilised.
The Accountability Award can thus be offered to the most passionate anchors asserting that the entire decadence in Pakistan has been caused by the corruption and bad governance of the occasionally emerging elected governments surviving on about one-fifth of the national budget. Democracy Dryclean Award can similarly go to the most ardent exponent of the drastic overhauling of the government by the judges and the generals.
A National Assets Award can be earmarked for articulating that our nuclear arsenal is in very safe hands and raising a storm at the slightest untoward utterances about it in some remote foreign press, particularly an American paper. Resisting everything American except its arms, dollars and green cards actually makes the most fundamental media mandate and an American Phobia Award subsequently must encourage the anchors most striving for it.
The style and presentation genre can similarly involve the Most Pugnacious Anchor award celebrating exceptionally contentious exhortations. The Grand Eloquence one for excessive impatience, not allowing the guests to speak but matching a continuous competitive monologue, Hot Shot for excessive shouting and screaming, Most Fixated for the inveterate fixation on a particular theme like dislodging the government and the Doom Diggers for the perennial conspiracy theories may likewise be launched. These awards would certainly spur the anchors to turn us into a unique martial nation hurtling the honour and dignity of our armed might and nuclear assets to Himalayan heights and drowning the entire socio-economic aspirations to the deepest shelves of the Arabian Sea.
Source: Daily Times