PIA plane crash, misreporting, and race of ratings – A new low for Pakistani media
While the rest of the world is offering condolences to Pakistan, and the families are mourning, Pakistani news channels are doing their old thing.
In the mad race to be the first ones to ‘achieve’ exclusive footage or to report breaking news, Pakistani TV channels have not only crossed the boundaries of professional journalism but also of basic ethics.
Within two hours in the aftermath of the crash, no one, in reality, knew who was alive or dead. In the same time frame, BOL had declared everyone dead within minutes for the sake of ratings and to increase their viewership.
Rights were violated as families were being subjected to misinformation and conflicting news regarding their loved ones.
The news channels posted the victims’ private information and pictures without consent. One such news channel told viewers that they had obtained the list of passengers on board and were trying to contact their relatives to ask them about their thoughts on the crash.
Classified communication between The ATC and the plane was also publicly aired within a few minutes of the crash. This lead to uplift the panic.
Not only was most of the reported news violative and incomplete, but a good amount of it was also false.
Pictures from a ‘live simulation’ of the crash on a social media platform were also repeatedly shared by news channels, including ARY. Not only was that simulation fake, but it also had a trademark showing that it was made in the year 2016.
The airline company and the pilots were the primary targets of the anchors, who had started their blame game just to spice up the news and further stir emotions.