“Is banning GEO ethical?”
– by S Roman Ahsan (May 21, 2014)
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GEO TV is the voice of the average street person of Pakistan. Is it? Maybe it is because the channel’s programs are done in ‘bhaand’ style just like the two humor cracking uninvited men who used to get inside wedding venues of Pakistan 30-40 years ago. In one of my emails, I shared a video of a program done on GEO TV with Hassan Nisar. The video site was dailymotion and the video was shared on Facebook basically which caught my attention. Otherwise, I had stopped watching GEO TV some years ago. Considering that a meeting was held in PEMRA recently about the prospects of a ban on GEO network, we strongly support that GEO TV should either be banned OR the authorities concerned should seriously pay attention and improve the quality of their programs as they are destroying ‘any’ good virtues in the nation.
Let’s start with Amir Liaquat. GEO TV has been presenting that man as an Islamic role model who a couple of years back staged one of the episodes of his program “Alim online” in the middle of a graveyard at night with search lights on and his audience sitting all around the graves. That was very much against the sanctity of graveyard. Last year in Ramadan, he gifted babies to couples in a program as well on the same channel. Let’s not discuss his leaked video as it would be more meaningful to talk about cases where we are 100% sure. His conversion from “Alim online” to “Inaam Ghar” where he performed very stupid gestures was very shameful considering he has mostly tried to present an Islamic image all along on GEO TV. We should not be always critical but by doing so, he harms the image of Islam in the minds of a common Pakistani, especially youth. And in any case, it is not just the producers of the programs but the authorities of GEO TV who are responsible as well.
Pakistan Television (PTV) always followed a code of conduct and one of its policies was to never show killings of people in real life in their news bulletins. GEO TV broke all records. In 2010, an ugly incident took place in Sialkot. Two boys, both brothers were killed very mercilessly openly while public watched. GEO TV showed the actual scene of killing repeatedly on screen thus spreading chaos and panic in the society. I stopped watching GEO TV then though I was never a keen viewer of the channel before as well. In later years, I watched the channel only while changing channels but never on regular basis.
Though other TV channels also need to improve but again blaming ISI chief for an assault on journalist Hamid Mir without any concrete evidence is an extremely irresponsible act especially since the picture of ISI chief was directly shown on GEO TV linking him with the attack.
What about giving coverage to Indian programs (celebrity shows, songs etc.)? Let’s forget it. Our nation does not bother about such issues. We are more Hindus than Muslims and we should sing songs of peace while gangsters molest our sisters in Kashmir (even if in the past). It is an undoubted truth that GEO has been giving ‘excessive’ coverage’ to Indian shows compared to other channels. We do want peace with India but a program like ‘Aman ki Asha’ did not measure up with our eastern ethics.
I have not seen many programs on the said channel otherwise I would do more commentary. But suffice to say, the account above conveys ample concerns about the level and quality of GEO TV. The other channels are also not adhering properly to many ethical concerns it is admitted, but if we honestly analyze, GEO TV network has collectively done more harm to nation due to conforming to cheap tactics and derogatory practices to entice the average Pakistani viewer.
In the end I would like to add here that in 2012 I was asked by someone whether I was interested in working in the magazine section of THE NEWS. I refused to submit my CV because of the overall policy and trend of JANG GROUP in the previous years. The job would have been to my liking depending on my final selection since I had previous experience in a magazine section of an English Daily. But I was already disgusted by the trends of the media group!!
LAST WORDS FOR GEO TV – EITHER SHAPE UP OR SHIP OUT!!!