Biased reporting | Pakistan Today

Biased reporting

The news media plays a vital role in keeping the public informed of what is happening in the country and around the world. However, when it comes to reporting the matters of political nature, it becomes a bit complex. For many reasons, media outlets tend to have a bent for one party or the other. As humans, it is natural to have likes or preferences for people, parties, and events. However, it is expected from the media persons to rise above their personal likes and report the truth. Unfortunately, the truth can also be spun in many ways. The bias or bent for one party or the other runs to the top in media houses and it only permeates their reporting in two ways. First, it can be spinning the truth to present the facts in a way that makes one side or the other look good. For example, one group would report the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and the other would report the number of survivors from the deadly virus. Yet another group would mention the number of deaths from Coronavirus. Now all three might be reporting the correct number, information is spun in a way that confuses and create bias among the masses. The second case is more disturbing where biases tend to cloud the judgment of media persons from different channels and newspapers. For example, Liaqat Bagh in Rawalpindi is used for political gatherings and public rallies by political parties. While this ground has a fixed capacity of the maximum number of people it can hold, the reporting by different media outlets of a political gathering is clearly biased. A rally by a political party at this venue would be reported by one media house to be in millions and another media house would estimate the number of participants in thousands. Both estimates are extreme and wrong as the ground has a fixed capacity which is way different than either of the estimates. This type of biased reporting only strengthens the divide among masses creating confusion and at times anarchy. The media houses globally tend to have their bent for one or the other party in their country. However, media outlets in our country have reached another level. Given the level of frustration and anger among people due to deteriorating conditions and rising inflation, such bias in reporting can work as fuel to fire. Our media groups should realize this and stick to honest and truthful reporting. They should try to work to bridge the differences than confusing the already frustrated and divided nation.

Raja Shafaatullah