With This Frequency Of Fake News, Pakistani Media Will Soon Loose All Its Credibility
Apparently, every state institution has a discipline and an authority to hold accountable or punish it for its misconduct, for media in Pakistan there’s PEMRA.
But every time a media outlet or journalist is held accountable for its misconduct by PEMRA, all of a sudden it is turns into a Free Speech debate, even if the disciplinary action is for legit reasons.
Recently, PEMRA has been too easy on media despite rampant fake news. Since this government came to office, it has debunked several dozens of Fake News stories against it. How many you can recall did PEMRA punish?
Not even four or five, I personally don’t recall even two. The fake news once published or aired, does irreparable damage, even if clarifications from government or by the channel itself is aired later.
This government came to power with a reform agenda and many actors beneficiary of status quo has been feeding fake stories to media, and media itself too was in a way beneficiary of the current set up,
So media is intimidating government with fake news every single day and when the government will take any disciplinary action, they and opposition will conveniently dub it of fascist rule. This apparently seems to be the pattern and Modus operandi.
While we all remember how the previous PMLN government had a strict PEMRA under Absar Alam. How Geo was attacked and taken off air for months in violations of the code of conduct. This government hasn’t been that hard on media and it seems to take full advantage of that.
What is the solution?
The answer is there should be a mechanism which prevents fake news even before it is aired, it is possible when a sense of responsibility and accountability is inculcated into the journalists and media outlets, so they maybe are more cautious before even filing a story.
Some fear of punishment in case of filing a fake or made up story should be there, maybe in terms of a monetary fine or something as such and its implementation should be made robust. There should be a certainty of consequence in the minds of journalists in case of an outright false or fake story once filed by them.
We have recently seen many such fake stories which were simple plain ill intended lies and the channels still got away with it so easily. All government could do is later give clarifications while damage was already done. Such false stories were often about currently volatile Pakistani
They translated very negatively on the overall economic environment such as the probability of foreign investments, rumors about dollar price hike’s upper limit and stock exchange as well. In short, all those fields of the market that are highly affected by positive or negative speculations. Such fake news was of criminal nature when the sensitive economy issues were at stake.