Divine Revelation

A blog with an Islamic perspective

If you watch TV, listen to the radio or read the newspaper there is one thing that stands out quite clearly: some issues take an unfair precedence over others .

Media is part of society and reports what it sees but it has an additional responsibility. Media has the power to set the agenda for public consumption and discussion and should therefore act more responsibly for the good of society at large. Media can be broadly classified in 2 types. State owned enterprises or private businesses managed by a family or by shareholders.

It is obvious that state owned media is never completely free and hence tend to become the mouth piece of the government. There are very few exceptions to this expected and accepted phenomenon. This media tries to project itself as serving the national interests and mostly site achievements of the establishment with lack of genuine criticism and investigation into irregularities and improprieties. There is a further risk of this media coming under totalitarian control and mis-used to spread lies and deceit to serve the selfish interests of its masters; thus degenerating into a propaganda tool.

Private owned media is more independent but the editorial policy sways with the ideological leanings of its editors and owners. It is definitely a lot better than the state owned media both in terms of content, presentation and the scope of critique and investigation. The problem with private media is that it is completely commercial. As a business enterprise a healthy bottom-line becomes the ultimate objective resulting in an imbalance in the amount of focus given to certain issues and stories that sell while the real and critical ones face relegation to the background. For private media the TRP and ABC ratings translate into advertising revenues and act as their bread and butter. All other things acquire secondary status.

So where does that lead us to a people who want to promote an ideology and a way of life that is for the good of one and all. Alternate media has to be tapped in a big way. Advertising in the mainstream media for targeting people and redirecting them to alternate media and direct interaction by mail or telephone seems to be the temporary work around till we have enough resources to start and run mainstream media outlets. A lot of hard work and determination is required. Planning with commitment is the need of the hour. Setting the agenda is not easy. Media control is only the first step.

Posted by Arshad on Saturday, August 26, 2006.

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