‘Fourth Pillar’ in a weak state

Nazar Muhammad Jumani
MAN communicated, reported and transferred the information to others. With the development of societies, the process of communication also developed. Considering the importance of communication in the welfare and development of societies, a system of communication and reporting was formally introduced. Good communication resulted in good-relations, well-being of humanity and over-all development of society. On the other side, weak communication brought no desired results. Therefore, Journalism and communication was introduced as a separate discipline in higher institutions and universities to explore and highlight the effectiveness of communication.
Today subject of journalism and communication is offered by almost every higher institute throughout the world. Diplomas, graduations, masters and Phds are offered by universities in the discipline of media or Journalism. In Pakistan, almost every HEC-recognized university offers journalism, Media and Communication degrees and, resultantly, media graduates are produced in hundreds twice a year. With all this, there should have been no existence of yellow, unethical journalism as media education teaches fair practice of journalism but why all these negative things exist within our media industries. A media tycoon says ‘forget about journalism’ (as it/media are our business).
To continue their ‘business’ successfully, media organizations doesn’t care about media professionalism. From reporting to anchoring, there is a need to follow rules of journalism. Unfortunately, media organisations employee workers that have no education in media. It is in practice for years. There was a time when educated and literary persons were the part of journalism/newspapers. But now matric and intermediate qualified persons work as sub-editor in our local and Urdu national newspapers. The scenario is creating poor journalism along with unemployment in media graduates. Let us see scenario in media organizations in aspect of media professionalism, non-graduates, media-graduates and employment. If we view the situation of those media graduates, we get disappointed because, despite existence of big media organizations such as number of TV channels, newspapers, radios, FMs etc there is no appropriate set-up to adjust media graduates.
Employment ratio in our national or local media organizations, mainly Matric, Intermediate, B.A is found working there. Media graduates are hardly found. They, non-media graduates, usually work in double shifts or part-time in the media organizations at very low salaries. Matric and Intermediate ones are happy at low salaries. Media organizations in spite of being a big opportunity for media graduates, hardly pay a few thousands rupees to them. It becomes difficult to survive on the package offered by media organizations. If we take an example of sub-editor and reporter from very big conglomerates to local ones, sub-editor is not able to get more than 10,000 to 14,000 per month. There are a number of big media organisations in Pakistan that have income in billions but they pay not more than 7,000 per month.
In Sindh, there are twenty daily Sindhi language newspapers and five big TV channels in Sindhi language. Almost all the papers and TV Channels appoint reporters just for giving ‘Dawat’, gifts or for reference (except a paper). Usually ‘well-connected’ of their respective areas get successful in getting report ship jobs in Sindhi media. They don’t know about international scenario, media laws, ethics, privacy and many basic things about media that are required for journalist. The newspapers’ owners have no concern about the education and character of a person whom the important work of reporter ship is assigned. They are concerned with their business. Therefore media organizations give place what reporters send them. Authenticity of the news is rarely asked by organization from reporters. As a result, reporters earn using unfair means. Black-mailing by reporters and newspapers is the routine. Police, health and education departments give bhatta and kharcha pani to those reporters. According to authentic sources many a channels allow reporters ‘to earn’ for themselves and ‘organizations’ also. There is need to address all these issues to save very important fourth pillar of the state.
— The writer is Reporter of Pakistan Observer, Hyderabad

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