Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Part 1 - "PTI: Media's game of Ratings and Rates"

PTI: Brainstorming for a better media campaign and to neutralize mainstream media propaganda
By @PTI_FATA (12 Sep 2012)
Pakistan's mainstream media scene is murky these days with all sorts of allegations and counter-allegations. Politicians cursing politicians, politicians cursing generals, politicians cursing judges, politicians cursing media, media cursing politicians, media cursing generals, media (implicitly) cursing judges, media cursing media and what not and what not. Sighhhh.
We have to understand that "news or current affairs media" is an industry or business which signifies that it is meant to earn profits for the owners. So however much some honest journos may brag about news media / journalism being a "holy profession", the truth is that at the end of the day the stunt is meant to earn bread for the owners and workers (journalists/anchors). Once this thing is clear, one can conveniently deduce that the media businessmen would like to have profits if possible. And what easier money than billions of Govt advertisements money (both federal and provincial especially Punjab)? Couple that with the culture of "Lifafa" promoted by the 2-time PM and Nuclear Bum fame "Gentleman" (translate to Urdu plz) and its not very difficult to understand why all things are being portrayed negatively in media about PTI.
Discussing PTI brings rewards; discuss PTI positively, you get "ratings" (and not ironically at all) discuss PTI negatively, you get much more than ratings i.e. "rates". In this media Buz-kashi of ratings and rates, PTI is becoming the ill-fated goat. Even a casual look at the behaviour of media in general and the conduct of anchors/columnists especially will give you an idea of the "Media Propaganda against PTI".
Take the example of a 10:00 PM show on a popular channel where two "gentlemen" (one grey-bearded and the other mustached) can be seen quarreling with each other for the last many years (just like the Noora-Kushti between PPP and PMLN since 2008). One fine evening the pair got the idea of bashing Imran Khan and PTI to improve their plummeting ratings in the rating-hungry media environment. The experiment proved fruitful and the show's ratings shot up when young and emotional PTI fans responded in the same coin on social media. Today the Twitter pages of the two gentlemen (??) and the facebook page of their show are some of the most visited ones; thanks to 90% of traffic / ratings got in response to their PTI-bashing. Roughly 8 out of 10 of their tweets / facebook updates are against PTI and they are successful in pulling emotional PTI youth fans into mud-slinging which gives them the opportunity to pose as "Shaheeds" (just like the PPP).

Then there is this female family-anchor of PMLN who always bowls bouncers to PTI leaders but bowls rolling deliveries (just like in blinds cricket) to the PMLN leaders. She bashes PTI in almost every other show but poses innocent and Shaheed when responded to by emotional PTI youth on social media; even begging the Kaptaan to save her from the wrath of the unrelenting "Trolls" (whatever that means :P).
Another intellectual-cum-anchor on a popular channel relies on birds (specifically a sparrow) to narrate the dark past, outline the shallow present and predict the bleak future of Imran Khan and PTI (from 11:00 PM onwards). All this time his spectacled junior buddy giving him timely "Luqmay".
Another host who poses to be a reincarnation of Allama Iqbal in wisdom (but only shares a part of his name, alas) bashes Imran Khan and PTI each time he gets to the studio. The Allama is aided by his theatrical group comprising of some great intellectuals of stage dramas (due to whom Punjabi theater is ruined today). The focus of their supposedly humourous (but actually disgusting) show seems to be telling the Pakistanis that you will always remain slaves of PPP & PMLN; that no change is coming to this ill-fated nation; that Maryam Nawaz and Bilawal Zardari are the next logical & legal heirs to Pakistan's throne (and that Pakistanis are actually dumb so can't differentiate propaganda from analysis).  
Many such examples exist among columnists too. 
Take the example of the spectacled "intellectual" columnist of Daily Jang who loves to travel on expense of the caring Sharifs and whose last name supposedly means truth (his pen writes anything but truth though). His job description probably includes bashing PTI and Imran Khan (loves to calls him Mushtael Khan) e.g. in the holy month of Ramzan he wrote more than a dozen columns against Imran Khan with full religious zeal and fervor (must have been due to the extra "Fitrana" expected on Eid).
Then there is the father-son duo (both self-styled satirical Jang columnists); the father being known for his ambassadorship stint at a European country and the son being "adjusted" in Sarkari Noukari??? (thanks to the caring Sharifs). Both try their best to bash PTI through their supposedly-satirical writings (although their attempts look funny instead).
The stock market has many other anchors (don't read brokers plz) and columnists (not Fifth-Columnists) but I guess the sample presented is enough. After all a popular traditional saying goes like
"دیگ کا ذائقہ معلوم کرنے کیلئے پوری دیگ کھانا ضروری نہیں۔ چاول کے چند دانے چکھ لینا کافی ہوتا ہے"

So my brothers and females (:P), rest assured the whole "Deg" is almost the same (barring a very few upright ones who have impeccable integrity) .
Reading is difficult? okay how about some videos on the subject? Following:
Media Coverage of large PTI Jalsas vs small PMLN Jalsis 

Is media biased against PTI? Some hints?

One very obvious moment when media's bias hit PTI most was the Quetta Jalsa on 20 April 2012.
Quetta Jalsa: PTI and Pakistan passed their test but media failed its test
Is Media being paid against PTI? Yes (Dr. Shahid Masood)

Who is paying the media against PTI? All parties who are afraid of PTI (Dr. Shahid Masood)

All this said, whats the way out for PTI?
Lets analyze the different options that we (PTI) have to get around this "media propaganda problem".
1. Do nothing; let it be the way it is.
Well that is not an option at all. Accept it or not; the media campaign against PTI is taking its toll on the party's momentum. The poor illiterate masses are getting affected by this media propaganda and PTI can no longer stand by, watching sand being pulled from beneath its feet. That would be tantamount to a political suicide.
2. Cry foul and still do nothing concrete to counter the propaganda.
Although this option may be helpful for retaining the support of PTI sympathizers or those who have already made their mind and aligned themselves with PTI. But what about the millions of undecided voters who are least enthusiastic about the "Kaptaan phenomenon" or the "Tsunami"? These undecided voters are mostly illiterate so its no use crying over social media to appeal them; they either only have access to good-old PTV or at most to Cable TV Channels. So we are basically back to Square-One i.e. crying foul alone which increases the number of our OPEN enemies while we get little benifit. So it is not a viable option either.
3. Easy Easy. You don't get the whole medicine in one dose. Option 3 is discussed in Part-2 of this article (link below).

Part 2 - "PTI Mobile Media Volunteers Scheme - the alternative mass media" - How to overcome anti-PTI propaganda?

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Disclaimer: This blog is not an official PTI webpage and is run by a group of volunteers having no official position in PTI. All posts are personal opinions of the bloggers and should, in no way, be taken as official PTI word.
With Regards,
"Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf FATA Volunteers" Team.

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