Power of Media

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Media is regarded as the most powerful weapon of the 21st century. In the words of US president, Roosevelt, “Freedom of conscience, of education, of speech, of assembly, is among the very fundamentals of democracy and all of them will be nullified if the freedom of press be successfully challenged.” It is as lethal a weapon as a nuke. It has the capability to convert day into night and night into day, a hero into a villain and a villain into hero. Media has brought revolutions in the world and has transformed the globe into a global village. It has virtually erased the geographical boundaries and removed the barriers of social, political and cultural differences and as a result, this diversified world has been reduced to the remote control. Media’s role in education, awareness, opinion formation and entertainment is so diversified in its horizon and domain that one thing is clear and decided the tides of media cannot be reversed, however, they may be altered in nature and composition. The status of freedom of the press in Pakistan, ever since independence, has remained semi-independent, despite adequate safeguards and provisions promised by the constitution. “There shall be freedom of the press. Freedom of the press means freedom of expression i.e., speech, writing and thinking. It also ensures the liberty to think and act without any restrictions and pressures. A free press and electronic media are essential attributes of the democratic polity as both work hand in glove with each other. If democracy is the government of the people, media is the voice of the people. But it is a matter of grave misfortune for Pakistan that due to one factor or the other, ever since independence, the media could not breathe independently and one of the factors that could be held responsible for this sorry state of affairs is the obstructed and failed democratic form of government.

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