There was everything wrong with the unrestrained, live electronic media coverage of terrorists attack on the girl students and the subsequent storming of Bolan Medical Complex by the terrorists in Quetta. Our electronic media has yet to grow mature and decide what can and cannot be shown on live TV!
While watching the live coverage on TV, I had no doubt in my mind that our electronic media was playing into the hands of the troublemakers. How else would you justify them showing minute details of the commando rescue operations? Why let the terrorists know we have a rescue helicopter, the over-eager anchorpersons, on almost all TV channels, ‘informing’ the terrorists that the helicopter carried commandos and that two APCs have been dispatched (coupled with live images). It would go on to show the positions of the security forces' personnel who were closing in on the terrorists.
Above all, in their impatience they tried to extract operational details from the head of operations, who was leading the anti-terrorist operation, doesn’t it sound strange? Why should the head of security operation divulge details of rescue operations, that too on live television? We must ask ourselves; do we really need ‘LIVE’ coverage of such dastardly attacks, which could put more lives at risk?
The "C" word, i.e. media censorship is considered a taboo. Since it would be difficult for any government to take on the media by banning live coverage of such events, can’t the people at the helm of the electronic media put their heads together to chalk out a line of action in case of such acts in the future?
M. FAISAL SIDDIQI,
Karachi, June 21.