Role of media | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

Role of media

Pakistan Press Foundation

Pakistan’s political elite need to end polarisation among the masses, especially when floods have ravaged the country, destroyed crops and displaced millions — leaving nearly 1,500 people dead. Given the sheer magnitude of the floods, Pakistan faces tough times with food shortages and inflation, making life miserable for those who have lost their homes. There is thus a greater need for the media to play its due role.

Democracy is all about serving the people and upholding the rule of law, not just to gain power. The intensity of the damage inflicted by recent floods and melting glacier could have been curtailed if the previous government, led by PTI, and those who precede them had taken concrete steps to prevent the damage. Organisations like NDMA should have been prepared to meet challenges and their priority should have been strengthening emergency infrastructure. Moreover, emergency services should be equipped with proper tools required to cater for such crises, instead of wasting them on a few “executives”. These floods were forecasted beforehand and so was climate change-induced high temperatures that have resulted in melting glaciers. To curtail the threat, NDMA needs professionals qualified in Environmental Science, not bureaucrats or retired officers. Emergency Rescue is also a separate specialised field that can be of importance.

The media should focus on the need to motivate and unite people so that they are able to face this adversity collectively. Freedom of expression and right to protest are not absolute and have to be exercised within the framework of laws and the Constitution. In such times, the media must pause and realise that they need to play a more positive role instead of blindly pursuing ratings by indulging in needless political rabble.

Source: The Express Tribune (Editorial Writer: Malik Tariq Ali)

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