The Pakistani Media – Freedom With Responsibility?

From a government controlled TV channel and highly censored entertainment programs, to a modern day plethora of information and entertainment that stands up to international media, the Pakistani Media scene sprouted up in recent years as government pressure and censorship decreased and “Freedom of Expression” increased.

The last few years have been a turning point for the Pakistani Media. Changing trends and liberal mindsets have allowed the media to operate at such an open scale as never before seen in the country’s history. From scantily dressed models in music videos to live discussions about taboo subjects, the Pakistani media has undergone a transformation and has now become a top notch competitor with foreign media. Needless to say, the media itself has played a pivotal role in changing the perceptions of the conservative masses. As conservative as it may be, cafes and clubs have sprouted up in all major cities with dance parties being common place now.

The media has grown tremendously, not only in the entertainment sector, but in the news and information sector as well. Several new news channels have been started up by the leading newspapers and they are broadcasting news as it breaks. From uncovering evils prevailing in a metropolis such as Karachi, to broadcasting live video feeds of violence erupting anywhere in the country. However, this freedom comes at a price. The media became a bit too comfortable showing graphic images on screen and in print, leading to new laws governing the showing of graphic imagery on-screen.

The question that comes to mind now is what’s next? What’s next for the Pakistani Media? From the looks of it, the media is expanding onto the next frontier of broadcasting. Recently, a leading cellular telecom company in Pakistan launched a service in which they are streaming TV channels through their GPRS or mobile internet service. Regardless of how successful this service is, it is a step in the right direction. Cellular telecom companies all over the world are broadcasting television content through their 3G networks. Webcasts or Online Telecasts of major events and news are also becoming increasingly popular among consumers.

In lieu of this, this is the next big thing for the Pakistani Media, as the concept of Web TV is already quite popular among the more tech savvy population. On the other side, the Government has started inserting some more red tape and regulations into the industry and its operation. This will no doubt hinder the development and freedom of the media but has also shrouded its future. Only time will tell where the media is headed now.

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