“It’s perfect. Blurry lines. It’s when reality and fiction become indistinguishable. Fantasy and reality merge into a gray thread color and you get tangled up in it and you can’t escape into the world of black and white that you desperately need as proof of the reality of life itself.
In order to gain credibility in any profession, or any type of business, it is absolutely vital that one lives by its cardinal principles. This will not only elevate personal stature, but also respect for the profession with which one is associated. But examples of such accuracy are rare, growing over time. It speaks of a monumental tragedy that hunts our time and everything we do in our business.
The media, which claim to be the fourth pillar of the state, has been under scrutiny for a long time, and for good reason too. This is primarily a serious breach of responsibility in dealing with matters which require exceptionally professional treatment. Unfortunately, personal likes and dislikes are allowed to distort and demonize the content by giving it an angle or slant that should be absent if reporting was conducted without violating the professional parameters inherent in journalism.
Next, the profession must be placed in an orbit that would bring it to espouse the qualities associated with professional journalism. It would be criminally inappropriate to let the culprits get away with it unscathed as they are forced to continue to contaminate the pond, thus paving the way for others to fall into the pit.
The problem does not end there. Very often, situations are shaped that have no relation to the reality on the ground. These are fabrications that serve the premeditated purpose of promoting one type of story or another which, in turn, is funded by one party or the other. In the recent past, a female journalist engaged in a similar practice where she unleashed her severely infected imagination while writing a column. All manner of journalistic aids, including innuendo, innuendo, downright baseless allegations and other similar tools were used to carry out the assassination of the First Lady who has no role in politics. When the journalist was in a hurry to show proof of her story, she tried to hide behind the veil of her profession, and to be a woman journalist too!
This is not the first time this particular journalist has engaged in such a loathsome practice. If one were to revisit its programs and columns over the years, one can draw a final thread of viciously orchestrated propaganda. Almost always, its journalistic enterprises alone promote a particular pitch. This is never backed up by facts and the illusion thus created continues to generate false perceptions on the targeted party.
In a situation she has now created, the onus is on her to present hard evidence to support her vile claims in her column under review (Bare Ghar Ki Kahani). No journalist, anywhere, even in the democratic world, would be able to get away with such nasty language designed to target a particular person. His attempt to wear journalism clothes to hide his grave transgression is also reprehensible. Such a poisonous business is neither tolerable, nor should it be.
It is the responsibility of the journalist community to hold it to account. Unfortunately, some of them have also joined the chorus that this falls under the broad realm of “journalism” and therefore the individual is not responsible. It’s nothing better than crass chatter. No one has the right to engage in such personal injury, and no one should be allowed to get away without having to respond to allegations that are alleged or implied.
We had a similar incident in the UK recently, where a certain Reham Khan had made baseless allegations against Zulfi Bokhari. When she was brought to justice, she not only ended up paying a hefty fine, but also had to publicly apologize to the person she accused of committing wrongdoing. Why can’t Pakistanis, journalists or not, also be held responsible for false and fabricated allegations? Why does the journalistic community not ensure that this contempt for the profession is held accountable, which will not only discourage this bad practice in the future, but also increase the stature of the profession?
I guess that would not happen as there are far too many journalists engaged in this infamous trade and their unions will feel wrongly obligated to defend their crimes rather than expose them. But, then, it is also true that this vile practice cannot be allowed to continue unhindered because it harms far too many people by weaving false and contrived narratives about them. The law must take its course which must be made more strict and effective so that those who transgress their professional limits are punished for their offenses. They cannot be allowed to continue to hunt down their targeted victims. The law should guarantee justice for the victim, not exonerate the offender.
I would highly recommend that this can be a test case to stimulate a reader to correct gray areas. It is not possible that when others do wrong they should be punished, but when a “journalist” commits a similar fault, he or she is allowed to hide behind the veil of his profession. And if such a person takes the position of being a woman, she must not forget that the person whom she accused without any supporting evidence also happens to be a woman. No, she shouldn’t be able to escape this time. She has engaged in this practice far too often in the past. It must end. The time has come.
Journalism is a key profession in the country, especially in a changing society where it must generate positivity and professionalism. But if he is taken hostage by the female author of the column, he is doomed to degenerate, which he has done over time. This makes the corrective task even more essential. First, this process of degeneration must be blocked by naming and humiliating the culprits who made it so, a list which should bear the name of this female journalist in bold letters.
Next, the profession must be placed in an orbit that would bring it to espouse the qualities that are associated with professional journalism. It would be criminally inappropriate to let the culprits get away with it unscathed as they are forced to continue to contaminate the pond, thus paving the way for others to fall into the pit.
The kind of journalism that is done in a degraded form of what it really should be. It stinks millions of miles away, like some of those who practice it. But there are also some in the profession, and I know them personally, who are ashamed to be part of this circus which has been hijacked by a gang of criminals who have no value and who are only there to sell their souls. . They do it for a price. In the process, they defile the name of the entire profession.
I also know of cases where, despite many reasons, the voice of the media remains deaf. For example, has there ever been a critical commentary broadcast from a television channel, or turned into a news article about a certain Riaz Malik who allegedly admitted one day to having bribed the journalistic community with a description of the gratuities, their value as well as the means of transmission to the alleged recipients? I have not seen any initiative by which the journalistic community could have blunted these accusations. Instead, inquiries in this regard met with a deafening silence that continues to this day. This attitude does not make them angels. The reverse would be more true. The journalists named would be considered accomplices as alleged.
Here is an opportunity for the journalist community. They should immediately proceed to identify the culprits among their ranks to clean up the profession. It’s time to learn and teach the art of distinguishing fact from fiction. The profession of journalist cannot be diminished because of the despicable conduct of some of its practitioners. It is not reduced to becoming an instrument to take revenge on your political opponents, that for a pound of flesh. If this practice continues, the future of the profession as a whole will be compromised beyond the prospect of recourse. He would also be completely stripped of the respect bestowed upon him, albeit reluctantly! The hour of reckoning is coming.