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TV channels: checking contents

May 06, 2013

TELEVISION in the private sector has achieved much in a decade. It has forged a measure of national unity and reintroduced Urdu as a lingua franca in Pakistan.

As an expatriate in the US, when I see reporters holding a mike and speaking from Loralai in KP or Kark in Balochistan or Dadu in Sindh in their accents, I feel proud of the enterprise.

In addition, it has created hundreds of jobs for anchors, actors, writers, technicians and gofers. Particularly, it has opened doors to women for new opportunities. I wish the first government had allowed electronic media in the private sector. Rather they monopolised the information through Radio Pakistan and Pakistan Television. They also controlled print journalism through newsprint quotas and issuance of government advertisements.

The Pakistani electronic media, however, is in a nascent stage from the point of view of western standards.

Programming is sometimes full of technical lapses or errors. There should be rules to regulate the quantity of content and commercials in a given programme and they should be enforced.

AKMAL SHAH United States