Pointless Journalism?

Tahira Khan
In Pakistan, countless social, political, and economic issues require immediate attention. But, social media platforms are either not equipped to deal with the gravity of the situation or not taking the situation seriously. On the other hand, there is an accumulation of unnecessary information in form of news articles, TV shows, or blog posts which deal with the situation but doesn’t understand why the crisis or problem emerged in the first place. In addition to that, it doesn’t provide a solution and focuses on who is the victim and who isn’t.
Earlier, people used to wait for the newspaper to get news around the globe. They were habitual to discuss issues with their fellows. But, time is changed now. Digital media has occupied the space which delivers the news within a minute. At the same time, people think they are provided with information that is useful but it turns out to be worthless many times. Every day, people may read many national and international newspapers and call it a routine. They may also feel it is their duty to be informed and this has made them curious as well. However, all this information, duty, and work don’t deal with what is happening in Balochistan. This also doesn’t define what are the issues of Kpk and Sindh. Similarly, when it comes to economic issues, there is a dearth of financial literacy. Thereupon, the news outlets even define the economic crisis with some pointless positive future trajectories or religious jargon/ interpretations.
Consequently, the need to have speedy delivery of news has impacted its quality as well. For example, an incident such as a bomb blast occurs in any province and some proscribed group claims responsibility for it. Within a few minutes, the digital media platform starts publishing blog posts or feature articles regarding the incident. No human can write something thoughtful about such incidents within a few minutes. As a result, it has reduced the worth of digital platforms to mere surface opinions and some isolated topics. The same is the case with Balochistan. More recently, two bomb blasts occurred which took the lives of innocent citizens and police officers. Within a due course of time, countless posts and articles start surfaced on digital mediums regarding what is BLA and how these attacks are linked with CPEC. In the context of terrorist attacks, for which BLA claims responsibility, a similar version with added emotional context surfaces on the internet and condemns the attack. Likewise, China and CPEC are both viewed through a view of hypernationalism context where logic and rationality are mostly ignored.
Consequently, what people read and observe is not routine or work but a useless activity that has hijacked our lives. The material is almost pointless and insignificant for the decision-making process as well. Moreover, it is neither helpful to make sense of the actual gravity of the situation nor meaningful to connect with the people. What it does is make superficial observations that further worsen the already beleaguered situation. It is due to the same pointless coverage of blasphemy cases which makes the response of the public more emotional and less reasoned.
Nicolas Carr, an acclaimed writer who works on different topics including culture, commerce, and information technology, once said;

“We are surrounded by so much information that is of immediate interest to us that we feel overwhelmed by the never-ending pressure of trying to keep up with it all.”

The writer holds an M.Phil Degree in South Asian Studies from the University of Punjab. She can be reached on Twitter @TahiraGhilzai.
Click here to read previous articles of the writer.
DisclaimerViews expressed in this article are those of the writer and Balochistan Voices does not necessarily agree with them. 
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