Friday, June 15, 2012

The media capitalist relationship

A recent video leaked on YouTube has triggered one of the biggest media controversy in Pakistan. The video shows two Pakistani journalists doing a predetermined interview with the business Tycoon Malik Riaz. The off-air discussion between Mr. Riaz, Ms. Bukhari, and Mr. Luqman,shows how capitalism runs the media for pursuing its goals. The video is 30 minutes long. The two journalist act as if they work for Mr. Riaz:

Mehar Bukhari (B) : `Say what you want... what question should we ask. It will appear as though it is planted...
Mubashir Lucman (L) asks Riaz (R), `Give me a villa like you have given Hamid Mir [who hosts a show at Geo TV]`. 
During the program Luqman also gets angry, while Riaz tries to bring him back to the program. 

Mehar Buhkari and Mubashir Luqman in the leaked video

The video shows how capitalism controls every aspect of life in the society. It is capital which allows someone to buy journalist, judges, and generals. In a corrupt society like Pakistan, capital can do wonders. The leaked video is a test case example on how a capitalist use illegal means of power to influence the state. 

The journalist asks for a villa, proving him to be a lapdog of the capitalist elite. The market principles are what dictate the ethics of the journalists. The only unethical attitude, is the one which creates hurdle in the easy flow of capital. Mr. Talat Hussain rightly says:
"میڈیا کا سب سے بڑا احتساب مارکیٹ خود کرتی ہے"
"It is the market to which the media is accountable"
The only purpose for setting up a media industry - or any industry - is to make money. The biggest source of money in a media industry is through advertisement, which comes from large business tycoons. The owner of a media group can never speak against these tycoons, as speaking against them, only diminish their annual profits. No media group want this, and hence the bilateral agreement for the enlargement of market becomes stronger and stronger.

A question arises that why are many media groups criticising this leaked video? The reason is simple; Market principles force them to do so. The media industry runs on the public viewer-ship. If the viewer-ship decreases, this will automatically reduce the advertisement time; hence a decrease in profit would be registered. The money designated for the news media might go to other industries where people have a greater interest. Therefore, the internal critique by the media is an attempt to regain the 'trust' relationship with the viewers. This internal critique is not against the capitalist elite or media corruption; rather it is an attempt to strengthen the media-capitalist relationship.

The Journalist Judiciary alliance will also gain strength. The whole news media industry is supporting the Supreme Court's self-motivated action against the leaked video interview. Any friction is the mechanism of JJ alliance will cause inefficiency in the media propaganda mechanism. The journalists support all unconstitutional decisions made by the Supreme Court, while the supreme courts everyday suo-motto action allow the electronic media to develop sensational dramas. Secondly, a weak JJ alliance means a weak Mullah-Military alliance. Untrustworthy journalists cannot perform effective propaganda. In brief, the internal media criticism will strengthen the alliance between the judges, journalists, and capitalists.

In the coming we are going to watch prime time discussion programs related to the leaked video issue. At this point, the public should understand that private media is a capital creating machine. It has nothing to do with helping the society, or the weaker classes. This leaked video is not an aberration in the media industry. This is how the industry works. Mehar Bukhari comments:

 'ایسا تمام ٹاک شوز پر ہوتا ہے تو ان پر کیوں تنقید کی جا رہی ہے۔ ’یہ سب کرتے ہیں۔
"It happens all the time on talk shows. Why are we being criticised? All do this"

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