Indian media came under attack from an unlikely source; the Government of Pakistan’s Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA)!
A press release signed by Fakhar-ud-DinMughal, General Manager (Media and PR), of PEMRA has advised the Pakistani journalists to cover the Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi incidents with ‘professional responsibility’ so as to not jeorpardize National Action Plan. So far so good and no problem with the advice, but then it tells the Pakistani media to follow the international journalistic standards and the international media and to not follow in the footsteps of the ‘Indian media that is driven by crass commercialization.‘
While it shows Pakistani establishment’s displeasure with the way Indian media operates, does it also hint that Indian media’s freedom scares it as well?
We don’t know, but this is rather insulting for the Indian media and also a wake-up call for the over-the-top journalists as to how the international audiences actually sees them. This is despite the fact that Indian media is perhaps one of the most pro-peace body in India with journalists in their individual capacities siding with Pakistan in the times of disasters and terrorist attacks. Many showed their support by using the hashtag #IndiawithPakistan during the Peshawar blasts. But seems it still has not warmed the Pakistani establishment hearts. Perhaps, instead of trying to win over new batch of supporters from Twitter and Facebook, Indian media should try and again go back to the basics. Sensationalism and the itch to telecast news first, or the phenomenon of the ‘breaking news,’ has actually led to the demise of serious journalism with lazy journalists happy analysisng and over analysing one story through out the day while trying to play the game of one-upmanship by targeting other journalists.
Pakistani move may raise eyebrows in India, but the fact is that many Indians themselves are unhappy with the Indian media and rely more on social media these days. So, we really cannot say anything.