Madiha Javed Qureshi
The reason I entered the world of Television in Pakistan was to Inform and educate people by using this powerful medium of expression. I took immense pride in my field but those were good times and the comfort bubble got burst.
Not so long ago, I realized that everyone on TV is like a salesman, trying to hard sell his/her product and sometimes the salesman or woman goes to any extreme to make his/her living out of the product he/she is selling.
When you go to a market to buy a product, every salesman tries to get your attention and aims on convincing you that his product is the best (even if that product can kill you) that is exactly how our television Industry works.
Every television journalist, anchor, cameraman, editor, director, producer is out there to get your attention (and Yes, they don’t care if you like them or hate them. The agenda is “to get Attention” and some of them will go to any extreme without realizing the aftermath.
Let’s take an Example, The Maya Khan Show when she was out there to bust poor couple in public parks, we all hated her for it, but admit it she got attention. She had the perfect recipe for good TV or trash TV.
Aunties and mommies brigade running after couples in public parks, morally policing them, checking their note books and so on. The more drama, the more attention. It’s a Hit.
If we all think that Most of the television producers analyze the aftermath of any telecast than we all need to wake up because unfortunately that’s not how it is anymore. The only aim is to Sell, Sell and Sell!!!
I prepared a list of what Hard Sells on TV, you’re most welcome to add on.
1: Religion especially Moral Policing In our Country sells like S** and Violence
(Example Mullah Maya and Aamir Liaquat)
2: Showing poverty in any form is the emotional pornography of Private Televisions (Example: Shabbir Tou Dhekhaye Ga)
3: Depicting Reality as Re-enactment, doesn’t matter how exaggerated it is (Example: Meri Kahani Meri Zabani). Sooner or later we will have a channel, which will just show re-enactments.
4: Exploitation of Women sells in all forms whether its poor innocent woman at the mercy of rich Husband and Mother in Law ( Eg. Humsafar) or poor innocent women in farms or seeking jobs gets raped by landlords or directors. Rape Is Extremely hot topic for TV even in Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
5: Horror Shows all over Pakistan Television are Big Hits no matter how fake and staged they may look like. ( WKH, Pur Sarath and so on)
5: Outdoor one sided shows purely based on VOX POPS of people bashing government of being corrupt. According to these shows, the government is responsible for each and everything going wrong in this country.
6: The Morning Shows. Gaudy Clothes, Loud makeup, tagged with all the emotional drama and staging of people to get married shows. Every morning show’s favorite topic is SHAADI SHAADI and SHAADI.
7: Late night Political shows. Our very own senior Journalists cum Nostradamus wannabes to whom Pakistan is coming to an end the next day ( Example, Aaj Rath Kamran Khan Kay Sath, Kal Tak,Jasmine, Meher Bhukhari and the never ending list).
The writer is a former TV journalist and her blog is reproduced here with with permission.