My CEO asked me to Blackmail Heno for Vehicle
I was really impressed with Neha Ansari’s bold piece, ‘Not Fit to Print: An Insider Account of Pakistani Censorship’ published at Foreign Policy magazine on 11th November 2014; in which she stated about the malfunctioning and simpleton journalistic sensed owners of some media houses today.
Neha and I had been working together as colleagues at a media house until former governor Punjab Salman Taseer murder. During our jobs, we both faced the most chagrined time either it was reporting or broadcast any story on the truthful and the rightful journalistic basis through all those years back. Sadly, things have not been changed until now.
Mostly new owners or CEOs of media houses are very feverish to get high ratings, over night increasing of viewership, and popularity by leaps and bounds by presenting futile, superfluous uncommon sensed content which is injurious to health and moral ethic.
During my beginning of the career in electronic media, I used to observe my senior colleagues who would complain personally about how they had been troubled in fulfilling childish demands—likes and dislikes of their CEOs at editorial level.
As doing job for me is necessary from both aspects; sustaining of a journalistic lifeline and supporting to my family; I might keep up things this way but at the stage of my peak professional career; one day my vague opinion about these new media-men got firm and clear. I now make my point about them stating; ‘they jump in media for seeking power, to get profit and advantages by blackmailing as well as imposing own political agenda, hedonism, and unsupported religious views.’
Today my opinion is invigorated by the fact of new media houses being launched whose owners have never been in serving journalism or broadcasting. Contrary, they have irrelevant background. The factor of mushrooming media channels is not healthy because these houses are/will being used as media tycoons’ commodity where journalism ethics will be disrespected and overridden.
Back in two years, serving at a TV channel; when I, first time, took executive responsibilities as a news editor or you can say news controller, I realized how difficult it was to take and act on simpleton directives in news department. The job becomes more stupid when the media house where you may find an opportunity to work—unfortunately—is not a sole [news] media house—in fact they do news just as part of a segment. During the investigative reporting of some private sector’s malfunctioning, I would come across lots of stupendous facts and information that were enough to make good exclusive stories for public awareness. Stories that should had been broadcast for public so that they could have known. But these stories were always held for bargaining by blackmailing.
Once, my CEO asked me to keep blackmailing a multinational automotive manufacturer so that he could get vehicle(s) by pressure threats. I tried to correct the US qualified chief executive officer and his sweet-talkers around him that we should have broadcast the story instead taking advantage of the situation. I knew the story might not broadcast if any deal would have been made. Later, the story was never come out until I resigned in meager health.
Sadly, let alone today’s media house executives foreign—or—local qualified with their charlatan advisors; senior and experienced journalists from the household name of state running TV, are supporting this unethical ways by-passing all journalistic ethics that they would once care and make dear above all.
And this is the reason why I strongly endorse the FT writer opinion that media groups in Pakistan are family-owned and make all decisions unilaterally — regardless of whether they concern marketing and finance or editorial content and policy — advancing their personal agendas through the influential mainstream outlets at their disposal.
I have personally surveyed and gathered general opinion as how much public relies on our media stories and broadcast content. The 8 out of 10 have opted that the media is stupefying and duping public.