Column by: Shah Nawaz Mohal
People trust us journalists. Sorry, they once did. They no longer do. Once upon a time, not long ago, we informed them, educated them, made sense of the events and accidents for them and treated them with respect.
Now all of that is gone, dear reader.
The roaring 2000’s of media are over, dead and buried, as I’ve written in these pages before. The only remnants of that time are falling prey to the onslaught of social media, reduced cash flow, dwindling government advertisements, massive saturation, advances in news gathering techniques, and newsrooms hooked on parasitism, monitoring, editing and rephrasing ‘news’ by other sources.
The first victims of this new reality are newspapers. Big, small, English, Urdu, regional, national, enjoying massive readership or catering to a fringe segment, quantity of newspaper readers is in a nosedive across the board. The online advertisements, although all pervasive, are yet to replace the traditional advertisement. The costs to print dailies are getting high by the day; the returns are not enough to keep organisations afloat. Resultantly many have perished and others are on life support.
We, dear reader, storytellers have transmogrified into heralds of anarchy. We pick and choose, edit and alter, deface and mar, cut and taint the world as we want you to see and never as it actually is. Fear of the unknown, of untold, of something terribly wrong is our weapon of choice. And we brandish and use it with wanton abandon.