The Pakistani Media – Freedom With Responsibility?
From a government-controlled television channel and heavily censored entertainment to a modern abundance of information and entertainment capable of withstanding competition from international media, the Pakistani media environment has emerged in recent years as pressure and government censorship and the weakening of ‘freedom of speech’ have eased. Increased…
The last few years have been a turning point for the Pakistani media. Changing trends and liberal thinking have allowed the media to operate on such an open scale as never before in the history of the country. From models barely dressed in music videos to live discussions on taboo topics, the Pakistani media has undergone a transformation and has now become a major competitor to foreign media. Needless to say, the media themselves played a vital role in changing the perception of the conservative masses. No matter how conservative it may be, cafes and clubs have sprung up in every major city, and dance parties have become commonplace.
The media has grown enormously not only in the entertainment sector, but also in the news and information sector. The major newspapers have opened several new news channels and broadcast news as they appear. From uncovering the perversity of a metropolis like Karachi to live video broadcasts of violence erupting across the country. However, this freedom has to be paid for. The media have become too convenient to display graphics on screen and in print, leading to new laws for displaying graphics on the screen.
I have a question: what next? What’s next for the Pakistani media? It seems that the media are reaching a new level of broadcasting. Recently, one of Pakistan’s leading cellular telecommunications companies launched a service that allows broadcasting TV channels via GPRS or mobile Internet. No matter how successful this service is, it is a step in the right direction. Mobile companies around the world broadcast television content through their 3G networks.
On the contrary, it is the next important step for the Pakistani media, as the concept of web tv is already very popular among the tech-savvy population. On the other hand, the government has begun to introduce more bureaucracy and regulations in the industry and its activities. This will undoubtedly hinder the development and freedom of the media, but also hides their future. Only time will tell where the media is going now.