Media used for trial of politicians: Ahsan Iqbal
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal has said that state institutions have used media for 35 years for the trial of politicians in a systematic way.He said that good news was no news and 90 percent talk shows were driven from past anger. He said four out of five headlines were of negative news.
He was speaking at a seminar organised by his ministry titled, ‘Media Role in National Change’. He said that the media is a pillar of the state and remained a power in the past which now had been divided. He said dialogue was needed on media development. He said Indian politicians were more corrupt than Pakistani politicians.
He said that 44 percent children suffered from food shortage and the country could not meet Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by 2015, adding that 15-20 more years were needed to meet these goals.
He said that the highest number of children was out of school in the country and condition of those in schools was not satisfactory. He said no doubt sacrilegious films and sketches were blasphemy and posed a question if adulteration was not blasphemy.
He said that media was not giving proper coverage to Vision 2025 but if he talked against Imran Khan and used abusive language against a politician, it became breaking news. He said mechanism for reforms in civil service would be laid down in the coming five to six months.
He said efficiency of the government departments was 45 percent in 1999 and now it had come down to 12 percent. He said funds were being set aside for capacity building of the journalists in Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).
Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) Executive Member Kamaluddin said that media violated rules and regulations of Pemra in general. He said barring a few channels, no one had editorial boards.
Senior journalist Ziauddin said relationship between media and the government had not been pleasant and private sector worked only for minting money.
Senior journalist Hamid Mir said journalism had become a business. He said that good journalism could grow in a good democracy. He said a channel in November 2013 issued alert of long march next year and reported that the army chief would seek resignation from the prime minister.
Journalist Absar Alam said that the nation had not developed aptitude to accept that the media should give space to the reports pertaining to development.He said the office of the editor had almost been abolished in media. He said the trends would not change unless media owners were changed. He said that attention of the government was focused only on APNS, PBA and CPNE whereas many journalists were not paid salaries for months.
Jang Editor for National Security Wajahat S Khan said media could not be brought under pressure by Pemra. He said media was moving towards self-censorship.TV anchor Farukh Pitafi said media is a business and Geo TV is selling itself the most. He said Pemra members fought between themselves in the fight of two channels. He said if two channels fight, the government should arrange reconciliation between them.