Radio: reasons for decline in Pakistan -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Radio: reasons for decline in Pakistan

THIS is apropos of Hajrah Mumtaz’s article ‘A giant in decline’ (April 9) , which was about services of Radio Pakistan rendered in the past. The topic got new impetus with your editorial ‘PBC in dire straits’ (Feb 26). It seems the winds have started blowing in favour of Radio Pakistan.

Radio throughout the world is still the strongest and fastest medium of communication as it is convenient to tune in for programmes, news or infotainment even during travel and driving.

However, in Pakistan, its popularity graph has certainly declined and the reasons of its being dysfunctional are not difficult to ascertain. I remember the days when a broadcaster would never bother about better pay scales, perquisites or luxuries of life. He was concerned only about production and if a couple of his listeners praised the programme, it was all that the genuine producer needed. That was the biggest reward for him.

A few good words about the programme gave them pleasure beyond description.

But then the rat race of pecuniary considerations started everywhere and professionals too were seen standing in the queue. This trend of materialism overshadowed professionalism.

But this, to be honest, is not the sole reason for the decline. After the advent of TV, particularly news channels, the functionaries and especially the top brass of every government became more interested in viewing themselves on large screens rather than listening to their talk on radio.

Many heads of government or state continue to address their people on radio every month, including the president of the United States. It is specifically termed ‘radio broadcast.’

So one must ponder over as to why the most powerful medium abroad has become a feeble voice in Pakistan?

It is, therefore, time the government convened a high-level conference of broadcasters and media managers to find out a solution to overcome the financial crunch being faced by the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation.

The government should take measures to save the medium that gave Pakistan vocalists like Noor Jahan, Mehdi Hassan, Ghulam Ali, Abida Parveen, Roshan Ara Begum, Zahida Parveen, Pathanay Khan, Faiz Muhammad Baloch and newscasters like Shakeel Ahmad, Anwar Bahzad, Anita Ghulam Ali, Mahpara Safdar and many more, besides drama artistes who can now be seen on PTV.

INAYAT BALOCH
Ex-Director Programmes, PBC
Hyderabad

Dawn