The growing influence of social media on Pakistani mainstream mediaBy Pakistan Voice Jul 28, 2012 7:30AM UTC
Pakistan’s mainstream media is under the growing influence of social media these days, and hence a change is being witnessed. And through this very change, the powerful social media is successfully rooting itself in the mainstream media of the country.
The most recent example in this regard is the cancellation of a religious show by the newly launched Hero TV of the Express Media Group of Pakistan.
“Pakistan’s very own controversial child Veena Malik, who has been donning headlines, recently found in the promotion of a special Ramadan program “Ashtaghfar,” has been dropped from the show’s line-up after a Social Media protest”, reports Pakistan’s topnotch financial daily, Business Recorder.
It is pertinent to mention here that Veena Malik is a controversial actress and model from Pakistan known for her bold and blunt remarks owing to which massive outcry was noticed on social media against the model’s association with a religious programme.
According to the Business Recorder an online petition was submitted to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority on different social media platforms in protest of her (Veena Malik’s) association with the program (Ashtaghfar of Hero TV).
“Can you imagine Veena Malik, who not so long ago stripped half naked with an ISI tattoo on her? She hasn’t got any right to be entering Pakistan, let alone being on a TV show that has such [religious] significance,” writes The Express Tribune newspaper while quoting a citizen, Hamza Imran, who said all this in a video uploaded on Youtube.
The report further reads: “From internet petitions calling for the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to ban the show, which had been scheduled to air during the holy month (Ramadan), to comments on social media forums, the anger was hot and unrestricted.”
Finally, the show was recently called off.
Similarly, off-air studio talk among Pakistan’s business tycoon Malik Riaz and anchorpersons of Dunya News TV including Mubashir Lucman and Mehr Bokhari had also attracted extensive coverage by media following the same was leaked on Youtube in June this year.
This particular episode, again a product of social media, has in fact led to a debate about accountability of Pakistani journalists and proper code of conduct for the country’s media. Seen in this context, the impact of social media is undoubtedly huge as well as welcoming.
And now, the latest in terms of impact of social media on mainstream media in Pakistan is a news item related to retirement of a renowned female English newscaster of Pakistan Television (PTV) Ms Shaista Zaid.
According to The Express Tribune, the news regarding Shaista Zaid’s retirement for many was “chanced on a clip of her last bulletin on YouTube.”
All this is evident enough to realize the impact and influence of social media on mainstream media in Pakistan and the good thing is that the country’s media is receptive and embracing the change.
According to a report of Pakistan Observer while mentioning a study stated that in December 2011 Pakistan’s total population was population approximately 180 million out of which around 30 million used internet, which count 15.5 percent of the total population of the country.
“Facebook is the most visited Internet site in Pakistan, followed by Google, YouTube, Blogs, Wikipedia, Twitter, LinkedIn and others”, it further reads.
The fact should not be ignored that Pakistan has discouraging figures vis-à-vis literacy as around 60 million people, out of total estimated population of 180 million people, are illiterate. Therefore, it is also evident that increased literacy especially computer literacy can bring a true media revolution in Pakistan in terms of getting maximum benefit of social media.