In recent times I have observed a new kind of mindless debate and accusation growing in the social media where many have accused the media of not giving enough space or preferential treatment to Gaza or the atrocities that are being committed there by the Israeli forces. Being an anchor, I normally get to have a close look at how different stories are placed in order in the rundown. Since the day Israeli forces have started this operation in Gaza, this story has mostly been part of the headlines and the bulletins on at least my channel. I know that after reading this blog I will be accused by many of simply defending my channel but the reason for writing this blog is not to defend my channel but to let the readers understand what is called ‘news placement’.
Gaza being a city with a Muslim population has an automatic affiliation with the people of Pakistan but when so much is happening in my own country and when so many are suffering due to terrorism, poverty, corruption and illiteracy; I am sorry but I will first definitely feel the pain for my own people. It is a natural phenomenon that when a bomb blast takes place, a family member will always try to locate one of his own and then look at others who have suffered even though both are victims of the same incident. Gaza has seen bloodshed which is not just painful and depressing but it has also been an agonizing journey for many who live there who have to suffer this after every few months or years but is the case for Karachi, Peshawar or Quetta any different? People in Gaza at least even know who the aggressor is but my people don’t even have an idea who is killing them. For the last decade or so my country still suffers from this question if people who are killing us are Muslims or not? Terrorists who are killing me or you are foreign funded or locally funded? Do we need to talk to these terrorists or do we need to start an operation? Was Malala a pawn in the great game to start an operation against these terrorists or was she targeted just because she wanted to give the strongest reply to these terrorists through education? Where people of Gaza know who to retaliate against; my country fights for its survival with its body bleeding and the eyes still searching for the person asking who did this to me? For me my country and my people will always take preference because my fight continues with the mind and not a physically present entity.
If you still want to see any proof of how ‘news placement’ takes place and how it is always affected by close proximity of the incident; I suggest you should keep an eye on Al-Jazeera and Arabic channels and newspapers also and see if bomb blasts and terrorists ‘activities that take place in my cities are preferred over the killings in Gaza? I am sure it wont because people of that particular area/region are more affiliated with Gaza. Media in both the regions is doing its job by trying to report the cruelty of the oppressor and baseless debates like these about giving preferences to news is just going to defog the aim rather than highlighting it.