Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Disastrous Reporting

Tragic air crash in Islamabad this morning. More than 150 people died when Air Blue's Karachi - Islamabad flight went down on the Margalla Hills while coming in to land. Fog and rain suspected to be the culprits, though obviously exact causes yet to be determined.

No tragedy, however, is big enough that a few misguided souls cannot subvert through their unmitigated idiocy.

Exhibit A: ARY reporters take away identity cards from crash site to show on camera as a scoop. Geo reporter threatens that his cameraman has two ID cards of the deceased as well. So what if we can't show bodies anymore?

Exhibit B: Someone wonders on a blog if the crash could be a conspiracy to turn public attention away from the fake degrees issue.

Exhibit C: Geo believes it's important that an animated loop of a plane crashing repeatedly into hills and going up in a fireball is important to drive home the story. Particularly for friends and relatives of the deceased. (Thanks to alybaba who recorded and sent us this video.)


Umair J said...

The point where i felt like chucking my remote at the telly was when the ARY news anchor asked his field reporter to describe the condition of the dead bodies at the hospital. In sync with the already prevailing level of brainlessness, said field reporter then proceeded to give a graphic account of what he saw (charred bodies etc etc).

Something really needs to be done about this.

Lover said...

Yup. It's now official. This nation, especially its media, have truly gone psychotic.

And about that blog (Pakistan Spectator or whatever the fuck).

What do expect from a blog that glorifys Zaid Hamid and the Taliban.

And that piece is written by a psycho cunt. This is what happenes when one lets Zaid Hamid jerk off in front of you.

God save us all from these heartless fuckheads.

Anonymous said...

Exhibit D: Geo's squawking female reporter reaches one air hostess's house. Tells the audience that the poor mother is not in the condition to "talk." Yet, we will try to get some answers from her. Thrusts the mike to the poor almost fainting mother and screeches "what kind of a daughter was she?"

Anonymous said...

Exhibit E: Another moron for a reporter at geo narrates her ordeal to and fro the margalla hills. That she lost her shoes, had to walk miles bare feet and that there were body parts scattered every where. Camera focuses her bare feet and muddy trousers and as you are about to appreciate her courage and commitment to work she screeches, hamara jazba tha kai sub se pehlai hum geo pe kahabr ku break karain. sub se pehlai hum wehan pe puhanchai.

Anonymous said...

Can't we just introduce and make mandatory a 6 months course on reporting ethics?

Anonymous said...

Can't anyone notify to these screeching squawking reporters how disgusting, how tormenting it is to see them harassing mourners for quotes? To see them chasing with their cameras the mourning women who are crying their hearts out on airports while trying, in vain, to avoid the lense?

Anonymous said...

And can't anyone tell them that how disgusting and nauseating it is for the audience to see these reporters bragging about their hardwork, their success in breaking the news, standing just by the dead bodies and the people who are mourning over them- Dear Cafe Pyala, I believe that the Electronic Media in Pakistan is in dire need of a crash course on journalism ethics. Please advocate for introducing such a course through your blog. We all would be really thankful to you.

Anonymous said...

Some people had hope when it was announced that there were five survivors who had been sent to PIMS - was this another moronic news item or did these survivors succumb to their injuries?

A condolence message on shows that some people in the media do have sense.

Magnum said...

Can't there be a law that Geo, Express, Dunya, et al, be blocked every time there is a bomb blast or a tragedy like this plane crash?

Electronic Media is the pits in this country. Seriously. Enough.

Shahid said...

The media, much like the political landscape, is a reflection of the society.

We don't have Einsteins and Edisons reporting from the field, these are "educated" middle class people who represent what the society is, very insensitive, highly sensationalist and with fairly low moral standards.

Ugly Shoelace said...

Not only did the idiots at Geo show animation repeatedly, the idea that "12 people did not board the plane and were lucky to survive" was more important than focusing on giving some relevant information about the crash. All they care about is drama to soothe their fucking curious heads.


Taban Khamosh said...

Yeah, that plane crashing into the mountain in a 15 second loop was a real nice touch!

You stay classy Geo!


Averroes said...

Exhibit F: Express 24/7 started the rumor that 40 injured have been evacuated. This was later quoted by other news media organisations.

Exhibit G: Reporters describing to audiences on Live TV in complete graphic detail how horrific the death of the victims was.

Anonymous said...

At the risk of being lynched by the majority of posters here, can I say that the coverage of the crash on Geo was generally restrained and sane? Okay, the plane animation and couple of lapses apart, what I have seen so far starting this evening has been pretty good.
Perhaps you should have seen the conspiracy theorists go berserk on some other channels (Shahid Masood on ARY being the worst) to know what grossly irresponsible TV really looks like

Komal Ali said...

-sigh. May their souls rest in peace.

Somebody needs to give electronic media a piece of mind.

Newton said...

I decided to watch CNN for news to avoid the local drama. CNN were playing footage from Geo and this stupid loop of a plane crashing into hills kept showing.

The anchor, I only caught the first name, Adrian, if I am not mistaken; can’t find him on CNN website) apologized to the viewers at one point and explained that this "rather tasteless animation" is from their affiliates in Pakistan and not their own. "We can't seem to get rid of it" but were trying. A few minutes later, they covered the animation area with the strip 'breaking news." That's about the time the animation disappeared from Geo as well – probably before 2 pm.

It is a time of great distress and heartbreak even for those of us who are not directly affected by the tragedy and the reporters and cameramen need to be slapped for their newslust.

i request CP to guide me where I can start or contribute to a meaningful discussion on media ethics? the PFUJ website has no discussion boards.

Also want to share some other thoughts. I would take this time to join my people in mourning, silently try to feel what it means to be together, as a nation, even if only in grief. Bomb blasts and terrorism related tragedies invoke a different reaction in us somehow – we get busy trying to figure out whom to hate, point fingers at or provide explanations from history. This crash is a different kind of tragedy with little hand of the morons who make policies and run governments, or of the Taliban, the media and other bodies we love to hate. We are up against the elements, an enemy not of our own making.

Cursing the country at this time will only add to the anguish. Remember the great efforts made by the people during the big Earthquake, another tragic time. No rescue efforts of that scale are being mounted or needed this time, I know. But just try to feel this collective pulse, drink in the sadness that pervades the environment. That makes us one country.

We are fine, I say, fine as people. We need to love each other more since our enemies are great and many.

WTF. said...


Nadia Zaffar said...

It's sad. It's depressing. There used to be a sense of responsibility when news used to go on air. An understanding that you as the anchor and the reporter have to live up to the trust the aggrieved viewers have put in you. They need to know what has happened to their loved ones, and they need to be told gently.

By and large all the reporters today have proved that they have no idea what it means to be a reporter. As has been reflected in each of the comments above, its shocking what some of them have done on live television today. At a time of such tragedy in the country.

The worst moment for me, a reporter describing in mutilating details the fate of all those aboard the plane. The excruciating descriptions of how each body had suffered and was being collected. He went on and on and on, and even though I had no one I directly knew on that plane, it felt he was killing me over and over again.

Editorial Integrity? Perhaps a thing of the past. Or maybe it never was, and some of us only believed in it enough to strive for it nevertheless. A few years ago news in Pakistan was taken up with interest, passion, talent and responsibility. Now, to me, it just seems a game of numbers, ad rates and cheap labor.

The Me. said...

Exhibit I: I don't recall if it was Express News or another channel. But they kept on showing the wedding picture of a couple that had gotten married only a few days ago. The reporter then went on to inform us about the date of the Shaadi, the Valima and the other places (Kaghan and what not) that the newly married couple intended to visit for their honeymoon.

I'm glad someone pointed this out. It's sickening, all of this. It really is.

Anonymous said...

First of all, thank you for Cafe Pyala. Secondly, I whole heartidly agree with you. I'm really appalled at ARY, pulling ID cards off people WTF! Secondly, Geo, seriously WTF are you doing. I was also watching CNN, in which they kept apologizing for that f'ing animation that geo pulled off. Journalism in general is pretty bad the world over (especially in the subcontinent), but nonetheless the pak media needs to know better.

Anonymous said...

Words cannot express the level of ignorance and insensitivity the media brazenly displayed yesterday. Everyone should turn their television sets off, you are part of the problem if you tune in. These media people have done something unforgivable. People lost their family and friends, to add to their grief in the pursuit of higher ratings is sub-human behavior. I hope the cunts responsible for the media spectacle get their comeuppance soon. Once we've moved forward from this tragedy a little, everyone should raise their voices and demand change.

Anonymous said...

What about the News' headline: 154 die in a CAPITAL plane crash?

ishaque said...

what else these so called journalist whom i call vultures has snatched and stolen from dead bodies

Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is why there is a like button on geo website for such stories and on top of that 3000 people have clicked the like button!!

What is there to like about such a tragic incident???

Clearly the use of technolgy lost in this case.


Anonymous said...

I switched off my telly when I listened Dr Shahid Manhoos saying "qaum ko mubarik ho Rehman Malik nay tasleem kar liya hai kay tayara no fly zone me tha. Shukar hai unno nay ye maan to liya". Later, the media vultures who fed on conspiracy theories tried to kick off a rumour that the plane might have been shot down in no flying zone or what they called it red zone.

Lamenting on Pakistani media's callous approach to human tragedies is a useless exercise but what has appalled me more is PILDAT's 'tazeeti reference' the next day of the tragedy. Bereaved parents of the deceased members of PILDAT's youth assembly were invited to the function to see pictures of their flesh and blood. (See the report on VOA Urdu site What a pathetic nation we are overall, we are zombies, and we are grave diggers. Please leave the bereaved families bear the loss in private. You people would have ample time to do your dukandari. Please

CP reader said...

Here's's quite sensible take on the crash coverage:

Vanguard said...

A few hours ago, I saw on GEO a clip/campaign making a pitch that yesterday GEO was first on the site with all the breaking news and they will continue doing so in future. What is there to be proud of? Its not that they have made a journalistic scoop. Simply pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Exhibit (it's Z, I believe?): GEO feels the need to say "badqismat jahaaz" a lot. Have they no sense at a? And showing interviews of crying relatives on TV.

And the first line of that Dawn Blog post mentioned above is entirely true.

The people just want answers. No patience, no ethics. No sense whatsoever.

geosucksass said...

THAT animation is HORRIBLE! what. the. hell. is. wrong. with. geo.