Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience


Pakistan and world media

May 29, 2013

A WHOLE generation of young people in the US enrolled in journalism schools in the wake of the Nixon impeachment because they observed the power of journalism when it brought down someone as mighty as an American president. Bob Woodward should rightly be credited for this. That said somehow the international media disappoints those who look up to it, hoping to find news and reporting devoid of bias and laden with reality-based arguments.

The Economist magazine’s recent issue has an article about Iran and the elections there four years ago. There is an explicit mention of rigging done in those elections in a roughshod manner by the incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

That might rightly claim veracity. However, just a few days ago there were elections in Pakistan.

The people there are left disappointed because of being convinced of massive rigging in the elections. Despite unprecedented turnout in the history of Pakistan, the conduct of the elections proved to be not really unprecedented. The saviours of interests were very much active.

Pakistan, otherwise a centre of focus in the international media, failed to make any controversial news this time regarding the issue of rigging.

The Economist wrote of Nawaz Sharif as being the clear winner and also mentioned Imran Khan as being the other favourite candidate.

That’s all there is about him in the article. There is no mention of rigging at all. The rigging in Iran is mentioned as being believed by millions of people in Iran. The same standard is not applied to Pakistan.

In today’s world of journalism it does matter what is said, but what equally matters is what is not said. Everyone I know in the US knows Malala Yousufzai as much as they know Brad Pitt because the news gets mentioned. I won’t be surprised if a documentary about her will be released which will depict Pakistan as the most dangerous place.

Interestingly, rigging doesn’t qualify to become an international issue. Rigging translates in crude language as robbing the people of their right to choose who will rule. It also means that they will be forced to live in the old rotten system they voted against.

Kinship-based parties and politics can get away with any kind of corruption in Pakistan. That’s the very reason the people went out to vote despite the scorching heat. The desire to change the government for the greater good overwhelmed the fear of being killed in a bomb blast. Sadly, the people lost. As a regular reader of international newspapers and magazines, I find it difficult to continue reading them because they have lost the reason why I never missed any of their issues – the truth.

IMRAN JAN Houston, Texas, USA