It’s Personal!

It’s Personal!

The Maya Khan issue was waiting to erupt sooner or later, and I am glad it did. At least now people, and hopefully the media authorities, will realise that the attitude of “in the media everything goes” is wrong. Limits, rules and regulations should be enforced, and content should be screened. Interestingly, it took Maya Khan’s gang raiding a public park to make people understand that certain important limits are being ignored. But this is not the first or the last time limits have been crossed. This happens all the time in the electronic media, mainly because many people in this field have learned that sensationalism sells, even that bordering on yellow journalism.



True ratings are extremely important. But to give the viewer some credit, viewers now know what they want to see. They have formed their own opinions of news they want to watch and therefore, only follow those channels they have acquired a taste for. No amount of cheap shenanigans on other channels will get their attention.



It must be said that Maya Khan’s “park” show was also based on the popular demand of women writing in, as Maya said at the end of the show. If so, such shows should be shown on the entertainment channels catering to the viewers’ demand, and not on serious news channels.


Private TV channels are relatively new in Pakistan, which is why they are still evolving. That is why this industry has had to absorb a large number of untrained people who are thrust into the field without being given guidelines, and therefore they learn as they go along.



We must understand that not everyone who is working in “the media” is a journalist, and Maya Khan and a number of other anchorpersons are not journalists in the true sense of the word. They are not aware that their job is not only about ratings, but that those in the media are important role models for society, especially a society like ours which largely lacks role models. They are unaware of the responsibility they carry on their shoulders, which goes beyond that of imparting information to the viewer.



For many in this field, the “press card,” which is a badge of honour for this honourable profession, is a weapon that not only protects them but also opens many doors for them, making their lives easier in numerous ways.



Many media persons appear to lack the concept of privacy and boundaries; they have no idea that there are limits to a story being covered, no matter how important that story is. One is shocked at times to see reporters thrusting their mikes into the faces of grieving families, and sometimes victims of some crime, even of rape. Unfortunately, “prying” is an integral component of our society, which is why many of the victims and their families seldom restrict the media from covering their private moments of grief and are seen replying to the questions posed to them. In large part this is because they think that the media will help project their plight to the authority and they will get help, and often they do succeed.



Recently, a couple of female anchorpersons were seen screaming and shouting at rapists and murderers, which didn’t go very well with their professional personae. Showing emotions when exposed to extraordinary stories is only human, but hogging the limelight – which is what this kind of behaviour amounts to – instead of focusing on the story is unprofessional and reveals lack of training and exposure.



It is time media persons, especially anchors, are trained on how to do a story well, and, please, without theatrics.

Lubna Jerar Naqvi

The writer is a senior journalist and writes regularly on human rights and women issues with special focus on social media. She tweets @raiseqalam

  • Sadi

    Maya khan is a biggest cheap anchor I have ever seen.Her effort on that show cant bring any change in society at all.Her move wasn’t for good but fame.So public cant admire what a person is doing for herself rather for society.

  • Sibeye

    a friend of mine showed me the clip from the episode”invasion park” and i believe it is the same park where couple of months ago a young teen age boy was shot at point blank range by Rangers…the thn govt. spent like a billion rupees on this park which as never officially opened because of its vicinity to the presidential camp….Its very sad that the level at which these anchor persons can go to increase their ratings and for the channel to air such programs without vetting them. Its interesting that if using public spaces to show affection is such an issue then be ready to get them in cafe’s, why not sea view? what i mean to say its absurd to and for Mayakhan , dont try to act as a vigilante !

  • Kazim

    Sadly nowadays the concept of TV Anchors have become somewhat similar to those in the Sales occupation. They just need to sell their product and make it appear the most appealing and for that they use every way possible specially Emotional Appeal which is the best way to connect to the audience.

    Honestly, MOST of the media personal have no shame when they barge into homes of Victims of target killings & rapes and start exposing them on live television and questioning them like anything.

    Just put yourself in their shoes and think how those people will feel with how they are treated on our News Channels.

    As far as MK goes, she had this coming. I am not in favor of Park Dating but MK had no right to go around with her crew questioning those people. Just having a microphone in your hand does not make you the right authority to do anything you desire …

  • Ahsan_naeem70

    It is true that media should always work within its limits. However in this specific case, they actually did the right thing by exposing unperceived evil in our society; youngsters dating in the public park are compatible neither with our culture nor with ethics and religion.

  • Sachal mir

    totally agree this kind of presentations are highly condemable

  • Rizwan Ahmed

    Keep it Up Maya Khan

  • Haijaz_pk

    Ms. Naqvi, I appreciate your views, now please write something on “nudity” being spread on TV channels through advertisements, biscuits, GSM operators, drinks and what not, we as a family feel shame to sit in front of TV…….. “ghayoor” muslims should come out and record their feelings of dislike to pressurize “so called” govt. to put a BAN on such ads. Advertising Companies should also feel shame…why they are following jews agenda to damage muslim youth.

    • Ghinva Raza

      I thought I am the only one thinking the same view especially some Drinks adds & foam Adds..ppplll what have happended,itss absurdd,we cannot watch even advertisements now with our father and brothers aroundd on familyy channels…Insanee

  • Ashfaque Ahmed

    Maya/Media should have some limits! Its really personal.

  • rziiza

    We should know our directions are going in right islamic prospective or in the name of freedom of speech/freedom of every thing we are following west,almost all media personality are foreign influenced thats why when ever they do unethical activity by themseles like dancing in USA embassy,hugging with nonmuslims etc and when ever they been exposed they start shouting in the name of ethics and personal matters.shame on such people

  • Pakistantrade



  • Khurram

    Maya must have realized now that What media could do, being at the receiving end, right or wrong is another debate. See! how responsible one got to be with Mic/Camera.

  • kemal

    Maya is right. Why should young generation date like this in park in mornings when they should be at work/college/school?
    Besides, all this dating is laeding to a lower middle class people indulging in sexual misbehaviour, because they never experienced before. That can lead to problems as people never handled sexual freedom before. In pak culture, such situations push people to family honour extremes too. Madrasas and maulvis should condem such behaviour and support Ms. Maya. other Aunties involved must be praised also. All liberal bloggers want to show pak society as if it is european/american where no one is a virgin after 15/16.
    looks like society is going thru upheavals after mamo-gate. ms. Maya must be s’ported on this issue.

  • Ashfaq1

    I find it very strange that dating in public parks is wrong and dating in a five star hotel is fine.

  • Maryiam Safwat304

    look … dating is wrong we all know this..but going raiding the parks is totally wrong as well.. the moral values are taught at home .. on media and via print media.. i remember many children moral programes on tv in 80s and early 90s.. taleem-o-tarbeeat was a sensation.. where hav that all gone .. wat our children are learning from media as a whole .. lies, cheating , long unfruitful discussions wat else ..look we are a nation and we should build ourselves to become one truly .. lets mould each other rather than harras each other on tv

  • Tariq

    I don’t see any good in idiotic mornings shows and their out of controls female anchors.

    I fail to understand, where is privacy came when we are sitting in public places like parks.

    May be one can argue the manner in which that program was conducted was offensive, but it was never that big which i again fail to understand made so much fuss in media.

    Definitely, we all see our public places are getting bad reputation by people who uses these places for their immoral activities, even people living their complains.

    We have similar programs on other channel where anchor of program raid ice parlors, Huts, etc.

  • M. Saeed

    My father gave me a very simple advice when I entered the teenage. He said:
    “Any thing you do that you cannot tell your parents, you already know is wrong.”
    Then, he went on to further reinforce: “Some thing you know is wrong and still you do it, is disobedience to your own calls of humanity.”

    After that, there was no room for any violation.

  • Anonymous

    “Press Card” a badge if honour or a weapon indeed – In a commercial world when news channels boast at breaking the news first instead of the quality and authencity of news itself, the press themselves becoming the news is inevitible…

  • akbar hassan

    maria khan ,in which park u had been dating during your school and college days

  • Bamefalak

    banazeer bhutto shaheed park at clifton near bilawal house :p

  • iqra sarfaraz

    so true!! I myself studying journalism which I feel is a very tough responsibility over a journalist. I have always thought about the same thing that if there is a real scarcity of professional journalists in Pakistani media then there must be a proper guidebook for the media persons to inform them that what are the basic rules to run a media.