Pak Media Profit From Political Campaign Spending
|Pakistan Elections 2013 Signs|
Insiders say that politicians are using money to buy support of media owners and journalists. A TV journalist told AFP that his bosses were favoring Imran Khan by ordering staff to cover all of his public meetings and rallies, because PTI had paid so much more money for ads. "Special teams and the best equipment has been deployed for this purpose," he told AFP on condition of anonymity. "When we cover other politicians and send reports, they are trashed," he added.
Another popular TV anchor, Sana Bucha, quit her job at Dunya TV saying she would not sell her integrity. "This elections in Pak, every1 - channel and anchor - is up for sale. I refuse to put a price tag on myself,"she tweeted.
|Source: BBC Pakistan Survey in 2008|
In addition to the use of television, there is a lot tweeting, texting and facebook campaigning being done to appeal to the younger voters who could turn out in record numbers to tilt the elections in Imran Khan's PTI's favor.
The 2013 elections will be the first to see the full impact of Pakistan's media and telecom revolution which began on President Musharraf's watch. The number of TV channels rose from one in 2000 to over 100 in 2008. In this period, the cell phone penetration exceeded 50% and Internet access became available to over 10% of the population.
To conclude this post, let me share with you an excerpt of a report by BBC's Lyse Doucet:
"Pakistan can be an unpredictable place. But in a chequered history that has kept lurching from crises to coups, one event has kept coming back, with reassuring certainty - elections. I've covered almost every one of them since 1988 when martial law abruptly ended and a people who fought for democracy directed their energies and enthusiasm towards the battle for ballots. What boisterous campaigns there've been - massive rallies that packed stadiums and fields, convoys of vehicles snaking, horns blaring, through villages and down highways - a chaotic carnival in every constituency. But elections in Pakistan can't be like that anymore. It's simply too dangerous. Not a day goes by without a report of an attack by one of many armed groups on a politician, or a public space, or the police".
As the onslaught of Taliban's bombs and bullets against people's ballots unfolds, their main targets in ANP, PPP and MQM are continuing to affirm their faith in the ballots by defying the Taliban terrorists.
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