Responsible media

It is unfortunate that few private TV channels have failed to exercise their freedom with responsibility. Nowhere in the world, even in Europe or America, where media enjoys immense power and freedom, would they telecast live 24/7 incidences involving extremism, terrorism, ongoing crime scene and hate speech exploiting religious sentiments, while security apparatus is trying to enforce law and order. Media should never be seen to incite people, leading to chain reaction of chaos, lawlessness, loss of human life and private property. Even after SC had advised media to exercise restraint, few of them continued to cover these incidences live, which directly incited more protests by few hundred extremists all over the country. Such irresponsible acts have caused innumerable suffering to millions of law abiding citizens, whose freedom of movement has been hindered, depriving even sick from seeking immediate medical treatment.
Media’s right to project news of public interest, and differing political opinions should never be used as a cover to give space to extremists and fundamentalists who want to take law in their hand and blackmail majority through brute display of street power. The protesters who laid siege to Islamabad carried batons, sticks, slingshot for stone throwing etc and did not qualify as peaceful protesters. While it is democratic right to protest peacefully, nobody has right to infringe or deny majority citizens of freedom of movement and passage on roads built by state at taxpayer money for convenience of citizens. Few irresponsible media outlets and anchors have in past given prime time coverage to TTP spokesmen, who abused this to spread fundamentalism and extremism, motivating others to join their ranks and today they pose a threat to this state.
MALIK TARIQ ALI
Lahore

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