Impact of globalization on Media in Pakistan

By Farman Nawaz

(Unpublished Article)

In simple words globalization means that everything is becoming global. Culture, politics, science, trade, religion and even terrorism are now becoming global. Basically global science has the ability to change the world alone. The invasion of culture, trade and religion has always been opposed by the nations while in the last two hundred years only science has the credit that it kept its steady pace and today it is ruling the world.

Today media is ruling the world using the scientific method of propagation. Science is wrapped in infotainment and brought inside minds and homes. Global politics and trade using media and scientific approach is penetrating into societies. Pakistani media is not an exceptional case.

In the late 70’s Pakistani media was hypnotized by the global effect of Cold War and a planned propaganda was launched against communism to support global Jihad. Not only the national press supported Jihad against Russia but even the ideology of Syed Abul A’la Maududi of Jamaat-e-Islami crept into Pakistani army barracks. PTV Prepared a special drama ‘Panah’ on Afghan war. As this drama was very successful on PTV so its sequel ‘Panah 2’ was prepared by the special recommendation of President Zia. Different documentaries were also telecasted. It was the first strong effect of global politics on Pakistani Media.

Even today Pakistani media could not come out of that Jihadi era. The present affinity of Pakistani media with extremism is the part of old Jihadi fantasy. The roots of slogan “it is not our war” against the war on terror can be found in global Jihadi era of the past. As a whole it can be said that Pakistani media played a supportive role in promotion of Jihadi culture to lend a hand in global capitalism.

 Similarly Pakistani media tried its best to create consumer market by advertisements of multinational products. For example Pakistani media never promoted the idea of digging the vast reserves of natural gas and petroleum. North Waziristan is called a second Riko Diq of Pakistan. It is estimated that only the production of oil of this region is enough to meet its demands. But Pakistani media never promoted the national interests in this sense. Saudi oil is always welcomed in Pakistan.

Although Pakistani media tried its best to deprive Pakistani public from cultural invasion of Indian media and global liberal views but the advent of new technologies compelled Pakistani media to revise its policy. Turkish dramas were dubbed in Urdu and telecasted on local channels to attract people and compete with Indian channels. Various Urdu entertainment channels were started for the same purpose. My article “14 Pakistani dramas that ruled our television screens in 2014” better explains how different ideas were used to attract the people towards Pakistani channels.

Jang Group of Pakistan was trying hard to start news channel in Pakistan since 90’s. It was the period when only state owned PTV was broadcasted in Pakistan. It was during former president Musharraf period when private news channels were given licenses to compete with foreign news channels. The main reason a dictator became the Godfather of modern Pakistani media was the inclination of Pakistani people towards international media during Kargil Episode.

Globalization has also brought changes in the outlook of the media managers and readers. Ideologies like feminism are now openly discussed in the media. The theme of western feminism is more dominant on the Pakistani media as compared to Islamic Feminism. Women like Mukhtara Mai – a victim of Gang Rape – was given due coverage.

The internet has compelled the newspapers to launch their websites and Facebook and twitter accounts. The concept of blogging is introduced in online editions of the newspapers. Most of the newspapers post their news and views on Facebook and twitter accounts. It has started a competition among newspapers to attract online readers and so on advertisements.

But instead of all these profound changes still Pakistani media is conservative in nature. Antiterrorism, Anti- sectarianism, liberalism and secularism are the no go areas for Pakistani media.




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