We have received this email from PPP’s Information Secretary, Fauzia Wahab which talks about an experience in a program on Samaa TV called “Faisla Aap Ka”. The host of the show was Asma Shirazi while the program was telecast on Sunday, October 24, 2010. The program was different in the sense that it had an involvement of an audience which was allowed to ask questions for the first time in a town hall meeting style.
It was a discussion which ranged between the recent decision to boycott Jang Group and Geo TV, the incompetence of the government as well tax evaders and willful defaulters in media. This is a must watch program for all those who feel that when the PPP and government criticizes the role of media, the questions asked by the audience would give you an indication how fed up people have become. The program is a must watch and can be seen on http://awaztoday.com/playvideo.asp?pageId=11313.
I thought I must share this experience with you. The other day I was at a TV talk show called “Faisla Aap Ka” on Samaa TV, where the topic was “Media and Accountability”. The host was Asma Shirazi and the panelists included stalwarts like Hamid Mir, Mohammed Malick, Kashif Abbasi, Pervaiz Shoukat, Fareeha Idrees, Afzal Butt, while I was with them from Karachi via satellite uplink. As you can see, the media was powerfully represented while public representatives representation, as you can see, was nominal. But the difference was made by the presence of the general public in the program. I thought my battle would be lonesome, but my assumptions were wrong. After the usual back and forth between the media representatives and myself, the floor was opened for questions.
Following are the questions that were put up by the general public:
1. Question to Hamid Mir: “If Fauzia Wahab is a liar then why don’t you sue her?”
2. Question to Hamid Mir: The role of the media is to cool down temperature, but you are creating frustration among the people?
3. Why don’t you expose the black sheeps in your fraternity?
4. If the foreign press publishes something adverse or negative about Pakistan, why do you publish it and use it as reference? Isn’t this de-motivating and demoralizing people?
5. Why good news is no news for the media, why do you highlight the negative aspects and ignore the positive sides?
6. Media can be described as free but it is not impartial, why is it not fair?
7. Why are the media targets government-specific, why don’t they expose the secrets of the opposition?
8. There were senior anchors who were aspiring to become MD PTV or DG APP, when they were refused they started criticizing the government and counter alleged the government that prove us wrong that we have defaulted in tax payment. If you are true than why don’t show your tax receipts and documents that you are regular tax payer?
These questions are a reflection of a change in people’s mindset and what they think about the over biased media in Pakistan.
None of the questions were managed or planted as I was in Karachi and the program was in Islamabad. The audience consisted of students from the Islamic International University, Qauid-e-Azam University and the Fatima Jinnah University.
TV Program Link: http://awaztoday.com/playvideo.asp?pageId=11313