Their intention may be good, but in my humble opinion, most TV Channel anchors are doing a disservice to the nation, only creating a panic rather than a hope.
If you are one of the following TV hosts/anchors or regularly watch or have watched any one or more of the following TV shows, please read the complete article.
Note: If you forward this article to your contacts there are more chances that it will reach those who matter so kindly forward as much as you can, of course if you agree.
- Adil Shahzeb Bari Baat
- Aniqa Nisar Capital Live with Aniqa
- Arif Hameed Bhatti Khabar Hai
- Arif Nizami, DNA
- Arsalan Khalid Goya with Arsalan
- Arshad Sahrif Power Play
- Asma Sherazi Faisla Aap Ka
- Ch. Ghulam Husain DNA
- Dua Kanwal Experts
- Ehtesham Amir-ud-din Sawaal
- Faisal Aziz Khan Ab Baat Hogi
- Fiza Akbar Khan Aisay Nahi Chalega
- General Amjad Shaoib Defence Matters
- Habeed Akram Ikhtilafi Note
- Hamid Meer Capital talk
- Hayder Waheed Agenda 360
- Imran Khan Clash with Imran
- Ishtiaq Gondal Defense matters
- Javed Chaudhry Kal Tak
- Kamran Khan Dunya Kamran Hhan kay Saath
- Kamran Shahid On the Front
- Kashif Abbas Off the record
- Kiran Naz Bas Buhat Ho Gaya
- Mahmood Sadiq Aaj Din News kay Saath
- Maleeha Hashmey Analysis by Maleeha Hashmey
- Moeed Pirzada Hard Talk
- Muhammad Malick Breaking Point
- Muneeb Farooq Aapas ki Baat
- Najam Sethi Najam Sethi Show
- Rana Adeel Aak kay Akhbaar
- Rana Mubashir Aaj Rana Mubashir kay Saath
- Rehan Tariq 10 Tak
- Rehman Azhar Centre stage
- Rizwan Razi Controversy today
- Usama Ghazi Ab Pata Chala
- Saad Rasool Ikhtilafi Note
- Sabir Shakir The Repoprters
- Sadia Afzal 92 at 8
- Samar Abbas Pakistan Tonight
- Shahid Masood Live with Shahid Masood
- Shahzeb Khanzada Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada kay Saath
- Shehzad Raza Awaam
- Sumayya Rizwan Aaj ki Taaza Khabar
- Syed Ali Hayder Awaaz
- Ume Rabab Ikhtilafi Note
- Waseem Badami 11th Hour
- Zaryab Arif Views Makers
And I am almost positive that I must have missed a couple of dozens, and some programs may have stopped, so I apologize to those that got missed.
From the above list, it is evident that Pakistanis have a great appetite for keeping them informed. Also, the popularity of these talk-shows proves that Pakistanis have a high interest in knowing how things are being done, rightly or wrongly, by the ruling and opposing key decision makers. From above one can comfortably conclude that the electronic media is doing a great job of keeping the people informed (read alarmed) of the situation.
But is that enough? I think they can do better.
Knowing the situation and asking the questions is good. At a common individual person’s level may be that’s all one can do. However, the same comment is not applicable on the news channels, their talk shows hosts/anchor persons and production teams. They can make a more positive contribution.
Their intention may be good, but in my humble opinion, most TV Channel anchors are doing a disservice to the nation, only creating a panic rather than a hope. They are spending hours on informing the patient, and their loved ones, of what is happening inside their body and its consequences, that their condition is worsening every day, that necessary medical equipment is not being available or not being used, that the medical professionals are not competent etc. etc. All above is good information but the most important thing the patient and their families need is first a hope that yes, patient can recover and second what needs to be done to improve things.
Sure, there can be difference in opinion on the right course of action, but at least bring something constructive at the table to be discussed.
On the other side are the viewers to these shows. Viewers have a love and hate relationship with these talk-shows. These talk shows are watched regularly. Every day and several times a day, in almost every gathering these talk shows are discussed and criticized that they just gather few big wigs and help starting a dog fight to get TRP and nothing good comes out of these shows. People would laugh about it, would make fun of these shows, would complain they are waste of time, BUT would not stop watching the same. Logically if one feels something is not valuable and is waste of time, they can send the strongest signal to the channel by easily switching the channel and by watching something more informative or constructive or even entertaining, but they do not do that. Obviously, the talk shows continue churning their garbage (sorry for my French) and continue getting good TRPs and continue getting the advertisement and people continue making complains but continue watching the same, and the show goes on.
All above is counterproductive!
Any discussion of a problem or criticism of a situation without offering a solution, however simple or complex it may be, is a waste of time and actually is demoralizing, demotivating and destructive.
- No wonder the nation is so demoralized, devoid of hope and have lost confidence in local government, local system, and local people
- No wonder we look outside for finding solutions of each of our problems however local they may be
- No wonder foreign solutions never work as neither they are local nor customized to local situation and circumstances.
So, what should be done? (Hosts/anchors, this is for you)
- Continue having the talk shows
- Continue inviting knowledgeable people and industry leaders to these shows
- Continue talking about problems and issues and analyzing the same
However, just do not stop there:
- Do not just ask questions, ask for solutions too
- Spend less time on asking questions and more time on asking for solutions
- Reduce discussion on politics
- Increase discussion about economic, industrial, social issues
- Invite experienced, local Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) groups from each area
- Ask the group and/or panel to come up with practical and local solution(s), both short term and long term, that is based on local resources, local infrastructure, local work environment, local culture and uses local human resources.
- Establish formal think tanks of these knowledgeable people
- Give them homework before hand
- Assign them specific issues/problems being discussed in the programs
- Give them target timelines to come back with their solutions
- Ask them to do research
- Ask them to formally present their solutions that are practical, not hypothetical
- Ask them to identify desired objectives
- Ask them to list actions to achieve those objectives
- Ask them to provide numbers to justify actions and numbers to show current situation and projected results
Though through the TV shows this information already reaches the key decision makers, please formally submit these recommendations to relevant ministers and secretaries (both separately):
- Let your viewers know what was submitted to who and when
- Follow up with the decision makers on what happened to the proposals submitted, and
- Keep your viewers informed of all above
- The above will not only support the sitting government in their decision making but also keep people informed
- Actions or non-actions of the decision makers will tell common people who works and who does not, and they can make an informed decision who to vote in next elections
This way you are not only keeping people informed but also making a positive contribution in improving everything in your country. You and your organizations have power, influence, and resources to do all above, and “with power comes responsibility”. With your experience, knowledge, and skills I am positive that you can still keep the business good and TRP high.
I know there are exceptions and during your talk shows some of you already keep all above in mind but let us all of us contribute to making a positive change.
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April 07, 2021
The writer is a professional marketer and engineer with good work exposure to governments, and businesses and industries in the private sector in several countries. Idea is to take the first step in adding value to anything that one gets exposed to instead of just complaining about the same.