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A Source Of Information Entertainment Or Manipulation Media Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Media
Wordcount: 3795 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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This research papers purpose is to understand the role of Media in Pakistan. Media is a giant organization in Pakistan, and is as free as any other media in the world but is it informative, entertaining, or manipulative? Pakistan’s media gives head to head competition to international media. Media has been discussed in two broader terms in this paper, News Channels and Drama industry. I have pointed out how the media in both terms has evolved overtime. My research basically compares recent times with previous ones and discusses the social and cultural impact that media has over its viewers. I conducted a survey to analyze what people from different ages and genders have to say about the media. The analysis of the questionnaire provides us with a better and clear understanding as to where our media currently stands.


It’s the twenty-first century and everyone has not one but many television sets in their homes. Due to this our media is a very important part of our lives. But is media a source of information, entertainment or manipulation? I will be discussing two branches of media which are very influential in our society, news channels and our drama industry. Both have a wide variety of channels. There are many news channels available with a huge variety of spicy gossip political talk shows. The popular ones are Geo, Express, Dunya, Samaa and many more. There are many popular talk shows like Capital Talk, On the Front, Live with Talat, Meray Mutabiq etc. The political talk show format is to have people from different political parties sit together and debate like illiterate people. What are they trying to show about Pakistan? These talk shows don’t bother with what kind of image they are portraying of Pakistan in the world. They have forgotten their responsibilities of being “responsible” current affair providers. Media has been more dramatic instead of sincere, it has become a dirty business where news channels just compete with each other for who arrived first at the scene or who gave the spiciest gossip. The media of Pakistan although very strong are misusing their power and have become a mafia.

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Our drama industry is also growing rapidly, with many new dramas, more modernized and advance in culture. There are many drama channels present like Hum, Geo, ARY Digital and the newest one Urdu1. But it needs to be thought about, is the drama industry flourishing or going to ashes? The 80’s and 90’s was a golden period for the Pakistani drama industry with epic dramas like “Waris”, “Tanhaiyan”, “Dhoop Kinare” and “Alpha Bravo Charlie”, these dramas were not only popular in Pakistan but also across the border in India as well. Not only this but these dramas also showed the true culture of Pakistan. Today’s dramas like “Humsafar”, “Zindagi Gulzaar Hai”, “Mera Naseeb”, “Bilqees Kaur”, “Kaafir” and many more, may be very popular but do they show the true Pakistani culture? They don’t, all they show is wealthy households with glamorous women wearing inappropriate clothing. Where one woman is plotting against the other and drinking alcohol has been shown openly! One thing that old dramas had which these dramas don’t have is a moral!

What made me write regarding media

Talking about news channels, the prime time is from eight to ten pm, with all the spicy talk shows. This is also the same time all the dramas are aired. So basically as soon as the clock ticks eight pm, the elder male members of the family want to watch the political talk shows and all the rest want to watch the drama. But nowadays even the elderly male members want to watch dramas over the talk shows as the talk shows have become very monotonous, the same old debate and format. Another reason that people don’t want to watch the talk shows is because the standard and quality of the shows has been reduced. Fractured language is used which is highly inappropriate. Gone are those days when proper Urdu and English were spoken on PTV. Now slang is used and it is considered cool. Our young generation doesn’t even know what proper Urdu sounds like, even though it is our national and first language. The use of Hindi words is very common which is very upsetting for us, sometimes very abusive and derogatory language is used to suppress each other. There is no proper code of conduction for these types of shows. It’s an insult that these shows are aired internationally and are seriously undermining Pakistan’s image. India has so many social issues but they portray their image as “Shinning and Colorful India”, but our media shows all the negative aspects of the country. Nobody relies on these shows anymore, they know it’s all a hoax and all for the ratings.

Coming to dramas, we can’t exactly be sure whether the drama industry has revived positively or negatively. It is true that some of the recent dramas are very good, especially “Meri Zaat Zara e Benishan” and “Humsafar” which were also aired internationally, but are they really portraying our true culture? Showing wealthy households and their lifestyles, this is only 10% of our society. No one shows what happens in the middle or lower class. Every hit drama is that drama which shows the rich people. It has become a trend that people only like these type of dramas, and somehow they get very inspired by the lifestyles they show. Another issue is the language issue which I mentioned earlier. It is surprising that I learned many proper Urdu words after watching “Waris” and “Tanhaiyan”, dramas these days use slang and loose language, whether it may be English or Urdu. Dramas are also showing vulgar things like youngster dating and alcohol is shown openly! Do these producers and directors have any idea that when these dramas are shown overseas what kind of an impact they leave on those viewers. Currently a new scenario has come up where the Pakistani actors and actresses are condemning the Turkish dramas which have been translated into Urdu and is being aired in the prime time which is eight pm. They say that these dramas are threatening the sovereignty of our local dramas. Because if people like watching Turkish dramas over Pakistani dramas then the industry would be under threat. Talking to Daily Times, Samina Ahmad said, “By dubbing Spanish and Turkish soaps in Urdu and bringing them into Pakistan they are competing our own drama industry and destroying it. The Turkish soaps are not only a threat to the country’s drama industry but also to our culture.”

She said, “Bringing foreign dubbed content is cheating and injustice with our own Urdu drama industry. If things go like this then the day is not so far when our own Pakistani actors will be jobless. We had faced Indian dramas for a pretty long time and have not got rid of that properly yet but another foreign content had been brought here to compete our own local production and to destroy Pakistani industry,” Samina further said. Mirza, A. (2012, December 19). Daily Times. TV Artists protest against Turkish, Spanish soaps. Retrieved January 10, 2013, from http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20121219story_19-12-2012_pg13_6>

They gave the argument that these dramas are showing vulgar things which are not a part of the Pakistan culture, like alcohol usage and revealing clothing of the females. Someone should give them a reality check that these things are being shown openly in our dramas. Late night parties, alcohol and revealing clothes were shown in “Band Khirkiyon Kay Peechay” which was aired on TV One. Youngsters were shown in a private late night party in “Ghaao” which is currently being aired on Geo TV. Instead of protesting they should have seen their own dramas first. The new dramas have disturbing topics like a young girl marrying an aged man, a man having an affair with his sister-in-law and etc. What kind of deeds are they trying to promote in our society? It wouldn’t be wrong to say that instead of providing entertainment it is manipulating the minds of our young generation.

I took a survey from random people varying in age group and from different genders to find out what they think about our media and whether their opinion matches mines or not.

Questionnaire analysis.

Here is a sample of my questionnaire



This survey is being conducted in order to find out about the general view the public has for our Media, i.e.: Political Talk shows, Drama industry, other miscellaneous talk shows and morning shows.

Name: ____________________ Occupation: ____________________

Please select one option and color the circle next to your desired answer.

Which age group do you belong to? Are you

13-18 O Male

19-30 O Female


41-50 O Single

51-65 O Married

65- above O Divorced

How often do you do these? Every day Weekly Monthly Never

Watch talk shows (Political) O O O O

Watch talk shows (Morning/random) O O O O

Pakistani Dramas O O O O

Entirely Fairly Neutral Fairly Entirely

agree agree disagree disagree

Political talk shows are close to reality O O O O O

New actors are talented O O O O O

Morning shows are over-rated O O O O O

Entirely Fairly Neutral Fairly Entirely

agree agree disagree disagree

Senior actors are better than new O O O O O

News channels are commercialized O O O O O

Old dramas were more decent O O O O O

Political talk shows are a scam O O O O O

Political talk show anchors are

sincere to the public O O O O O

News channels exaggerate news O O O O O

Morning shows are fun O O O O O

More drama, less news in news channels O O O O O

Please write any comments that you have for our Media, any suggestions or opinions.


Thank you for your time and cooperation.

Questionnaire analysis and general view

A survey was conducted by me to aid my academic paper. In the survey I asked different questions regarding media, in context of news and drama industry. I wanted to have a general opinion that the general public have about media. This is the analysis of my survey.

This survey was taken from 10 people.

Age group: Male: 6

19-30: 4 Females: 4

31-40: 1

41-50: 4 Single: 5

50-65: 1 Married: 5

Watch Political Talk shows:

Everyday Weekly Monthly Never

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1 4 4 1

Watch Random Talk shows:

Everyday Weekly Monthly Never

0 2 4 4

Watch Pakistani Dramas:

Everyday Weekly Monthly Never

2 0 1 7

Political Talk shows are close to reality

70% Fairly Disagree

20% Entirely Disagree

10% Fairly Agree

New actors are talented

50% Neutral

40% Fairly Agree

10% Entirely Agree

Morning shows are over-rated

50% Entirely Agree

30% Neutral

20% Fairly Agree

Senior actors are better than new

40% Fairly Agree

30% Neutral/ Entirely Agree

News channels are commercialized

70% Entirely Agree

30% Fairly Agree

Old dramas were more decent

60% Entirely Agree

20% Fairly Agree/ Neutral

Political talk shows are a scam

40% Entirely Agree

30% Fairly Agree

10% Neutral/ Fairly Disagree

Political talk show anchors are sincere to the public

60% Fairly Disagree

20% Neutral

10% Entirely Disagree/ Fairly Agree

News channels exaggerate news

50% Entirely Agree

50% Fairly Agree

Morning shows are fun

30% Fairly Disagree/ Neutral

20% Entirely Disagree

10% Fairly Agree

More drama, less news in news channels

40% Entirely Agree/ Fairly Agree

20% Neutral

Even though the survey was taken from age group ranging from 19-65 all came upon one opinion that media in the form of political talk shows is manipulating and misguiding the public, the drama industry is also promoting vulgarity and immoral deeds instead of our cultural values. Many people agree to the fact that Pakistani media is responsible for the bad image and frustration among Pakistani people. Media has been more dramatic instead of sincere, it has become a dirty business where news channels just compete with each other for who arrived first at the scene or who gave the spiciest gossip. The media of Pakistan although very strong are misusing their power. They have become mafia and threaten politicians for money. The international image of Pakistan has also been ruined because of our media exaggerating on bad news; they never show the positive side of Pakistan. Our drama industry is also getting “modernized” in terms of vulgar clothing and dialogues. They are promoting more of the western culture instead of our own Pakistani eastern culture. The use of proper Urdu language has also been reduced. This should be kept in mind that dramas are very influential on young generation as well as middle aged audience, so the drama industry should keep in mind our moral values when making a drama.

My analysis

The opinion of general public matches mine. The news media is promoting more sensationalism instead of research based news. They exploit the viewers by promoting themselves as the most authentic and swift news providers. They also give misleading headlines, they are often not sure about the news but just to be the first ones to give the breaking news they give ambiguous headlines which they later have to alter. A recent discovery that I made was that the word “Zaraye” which is given next to the breaking news is actually a name for an unknown source! Therefore this proves that these news channels give unauthentic news. As we know that special reports are the crux of a news channel as they are issues which deal with the normal citizen of Pakistan, such as people living in the villages and the lower class living in huge cities like Karachi, Lahore etc. most of these reports are stunts! It has been seen by many of the general public that these news channels set up a place where they pay people to make riots and then they show this as their special report as to what is happening in Pakistan. Every news is not a breaking news, when will these news channels realize this and stop exaggerating different events in order to get the highest ratings? The only thing our news channels are good at is promoting scandalous and dramatized news, some people say that these talk shows shown on news channels are more dramatic and entertaining than the dramas themselves. The female hosts wear extremely glamorous clothing, the time of Zia-ul-Haq was good as he forced all the female anchorpersons to cover their heads as per Islamic traditions, but these days everything has been modernized. There is no accountability of the false information which is given by these news channels by Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA). It is very disappointing as this greatly damages Pakistan’s image in the international media.

The drama industry is also a great issue in Pakistan as many of the viewers try to copy what is happening in these drama serials. No doubt that some of the serials were very nice such as “Humsafar” but what about the rest? The only thing they show is a glamorous lifestyle. There are no boundaries to what they are showing. Drinking alcohol and wearing in appropriate clothing is not a part of our culture as this is an Islamic country and I believe that Pakistani women are the most conservatively dressed women in the world after Saudi Arabian women. In the 80’s and 90’s we had some blockbuster dramas like “Waris”, “Tanhaiyaan”, “Dhoop Kinare” and many more, these dramas were not only decent but also showed the true culture and lifestyle of Pakistani people. These dramas addressed various important issues of our society in a very appropriate manner. They were popular without being glamorous. There is no check and balance on the content shown by these dramas. Artists from our drama industry protested against Turkish dramas saying that those dramas are socially inappropriate and unacceptable for the conservative viewers of Pakistan because they showed alcohol and open dressing. These artists included senior artists such as Samina Ahmad and Asif Raza Mir, someone needs to open their eyes and show them that these things are also being shown in our own dramas, so they have no right to blame the Turkish dramas. “Fatmagul” is a Turkish drama which is currently being aired on Urdu1, that drama addresses a very sensitive issue of every society which is rape. The drama is not glamorous as it shows struggling middle-class villagers. They have been very decent with the topic and have not shown any inappropriate content. Therefore it is totally wrong to protest against them, if they really do endanger our drama industry, as said by Samina, then we should probably start making better quality dramas. Our dramas are showing vulgar things which are not according to the mind-set of our viewers. The political instability is also causing a lot of tension among the Pakistani citizens, in these times we need light and humorous dramas instead of serious dramas in which people plot against each other.


Media is no doubt playing a great role in politics and entertainment, but they are misusing their power. In terms of news channels, they are using their powers to manipulate the political parties by threatening them. They are not at all sincere with the public and whatever they show in their programs is just a political stunt. They are always competing with each other on who reached first to give the breaking news and on who has the most glamorized female anchorperson. They also exaggerate the news and make it look ten times more than it actually is. They try to offer more money to each other’s anchors. They have made this a dirty business instead of realizing their responsibility of providing accurate and true news to the viewers. Two things are of importance to these news channels, power and ratings of the programs. Because of these news channels the image of Pakistan has been destroyed internationally. Other countries try to hide their flaws and give their best image internationally, but our media thinks nothing of the sort.

Talking about the drama industry, they think that by becoming “modern” and more “open” they are advancing towards a better future. They need to stop and think that whatever they are showing in their dramas is leading to a very negative impact on our young generation. These dramas have promoted the concept of girl and boy friendships and dating. Being an Islamic country these things are not a part of our culture and therefore should not be a part of our dramas. There is a very thin line between modern and vulgar. Being modern doesn’t mean wearing improper clothing and promoting smoking and alcohol use. Therefore our media needs to wake up and realize what kind of improper content they are showing. Also instead of showing dramas which are serious and only show people plotting against each other, we need humorous dramas to lighten our mood.


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