Thursday, August 26, 2010

How Much Money Has Your Channel Raised Today? (Updated)

A little (well connected) birdie told us something quite astounding.

Apparently a very well known businessman in Karachi received a call from a TV channel asking him to pledge a donation for flood relief during the channel's live telethon to raise funds. The gentleman demurred, saying that he had already given all that he had planned to give (and he has given quite a bit). In response, he was told to go ahead and pledge something anyway even if he was not going to give it. When the gentleman expressed incredulity at how this would work, he was told the channel would not hold him to his word. Under such 'assurances' that he would not actually have to pay up, the man pledged 500,000 rupees on live television.

It sure made for exciting television and a feel good time for all, except of course for those in actual need. Shocking and sad but kind of like all those international pledges that never materialize. Is anyone keeping tabs?

In case you're wondering, it was NOT Geo.

::: UPDATE :::

I have been pondering quite a bit since this morning about reader sabizak's rather spirited response to this post and came to the conclusion that she is absolutely right: I should have named the channel. In my defence, the only reason I omitted the name was 1) out of a journalistic instinct against potentially libelous claims, even though I admit that it would be difficult to prosecute us (as opposed to blocking us via court order ala Facebook) and 2) to protect our source. Being a blog does not absolve us of basic journalistic ethics, contrary to what sabizak implies later on, and we have always at least attempted to uphold such ideas in their spirit.

But I think she was essentially right because 1) if someone is being unscrupulous, they should be named 2) and even if our claims are challenged, they can only lead to the pledges made good on, if only out of embarrassment, which is ultimately to the flood affectees' benefit. A third reason, which arises from looking at the other comments is the speculation that resulted which tarnishes even non-dodgy efforts to raise funds.

So, yes, the channel was ARY. Kudos to those who guessed it / figured it out.

Meanwhile, another reader sidrat_a has told us (via Twitter) of a landowner friend who has not been affected by the floods but who is sheltering flood affectees from neighbouring villages on his land being approached by TV One to set up tents on his land. According to her, when he pointed out that he had adequate shelter to house the people on his lands, TV One refused to hand over food for the affectees as well unless they could set up their own tent city. Anything to get your logo out there.


sabizak said...

and why the eff would you not name the channel? this is a blog not a newspaper. even more disgusted by pyala than by the channel, because i had serious hopes from Pyala.

Anonymous said...

Babizak, he is selling the idea, most tonga channels are involved.
Pick your poison.

Qausain said...

Geo walon ney to auditor bhe appoint kia hoa hey, A.F. Ferguson & Company.

lakin merey khayal main yahan "PTV" ke baat ho rahi hay. :D

Magnum said...

Nope. It is either of the four main private channels. my guess is either Geo, Express or maybe even Aaj?

nayyares said...

even "flood relief fund raising" SPAM emails has been increased, i am not sure if Pakistan Telecom Authorities are doing something tangible to protect national interest.

Anonymous said...

This isn't something new - some years back, friends volunteered at a well known social welfare organization's fundraiser. According to what they said, most of the people would go live on air and pledge loads of money, but once off air, when the volunteers asked them for their contact and account information, they would hang up.

Don't go for the pledges you hear during a telethon. It's pointless.

Anonymous said...

It was AKD, on ARY. Happened to catch it while flipping thru channels.

Anonymous said...

It was AKD, on ARY. Happened to catch it while flipping thru channels.

sabizak said...

Oh, that was extremely decent of you.

Why I said 'this is a blog, not a newspaper' is not because a blog does not/should not have any ethics, but because in a blog you can say things without the fear of getting commercially hit, because there are no strings pulling you, no agendas. Unlike in newspapers where we are constantly being told not to name channels and call every channel 'a private channel' much like PTV used to perpetually call India 'dushman mulk' as if taking the very name would somehow bring demons upon you.

Can totally understand the reason being wanting to protect the source.