However, how Qamar
Zamar found out about his son’s death is what really is not okay. He was
informed of the accident during a press conference by a reporter, in front of
everyone. After it was said, the cameras kept rolling until the senior politician
was out of view. You can watch the video right below.
This is the level our media will do to for ratings though.
Forget compassion, you got yourself a good shot. A video that will be played
again and again. And this is part of the problem with Paksitani news channels.
The truth is this isn’t the first time our media has gone to such a level. If you grew up in the 2000’s you all must remember Maya khan, who used to run around with her camera crew and shame couples on television? This all in the name of journalism. Then they are those investigation shows, which “raid” places to discover something or another, getting the place shutdown. While this type of content has been curtailed, it’s just spilled into new media. Just go check out Waqar Zaka recent 6 part investigation into the rape of a young girl in Karachi. Or all the electronic media channels that kept showing Zainab’s dead body in a dumpster. Or the time a reporter asked a grieving and traumatized child about the murder of his family, after the Sahiwal incident.
If you haven’t seen where I’m going with this, it’s simple.
Just because we are the media, or someone is in public or a public figure, it
does not negate that we are all human. Show some compassion.
I don’t really blame the cameraman or reporter, even though
I do feel they hold some responsibility of their own actions. The problem
exists not because reporters are out of line, but because they don’t have a
line, mostly. The media as a whole runs on profit. Their job is to earn the most
money, like any company. More viewers means more advertising revenue, which
leads to more profits.
You are not someone they need to educate. You are a
consumer, one with needs and wants that they know how to take advantage of. So
the orders, usually from the top, are to get the most watchable shots. Stories
that people will run to. And this hampers the professionalism of journalism.
The truth is that if the cameraman had not gotten those shots, or the reporter
hadn’t informed Qamar Zaman Kaira, their livelihood would have been on the
line. They would have been punished for showing human compassion, because that
got in the way of the best shot.
If you hadn’t noticed, all I talk about is the supply of
this type of content. But the truth is, there’s a massive demand from this type
of content, and it’s weirdly natural. But why is it?
While studying the reasons people watch true crime, they
noticed a certain trend within humans. We are instinctively more inclined to
more violent or shocking content. It is literally programmed into us to see tragedies.
That’s why you can’t take your eyes away from a train wreck. Your mind is
trying to understand what has just happened, so you do not make the same
mistakes yourself. It is trying to learn, the most basic of human instincts, to
protect you. It’s self-preservation.
Another factor they noticed was that watching content like
that made people feel better about their own lives. People felt weirdly good
that something like this didn’t happen to them. In a weird way, this sensationalized
content makes people more grateful for their own lives. And media channels know
all of this. They hit just the right chords to make us tune in. I’ll be honest,
I wanted to see the video of the press conference. Even though I am mad enough
to write a whole article about it, I still saw it. I am their consumer. I
helped them. Just like you did.
Honestly, it’s a little confusing. A lot of people would
justify yesterday’s action with a simple, “He’s a public figure, so fair play.”
However, public figure or not, he is still a person. Cover the story, but don’t
make a spectacle out of it. Inform, don’t sensationalize.