As the Federal Investigation Agency filed the final charge-sheet against the chief executive officer and other senior officials of the infamous software company, Axact, the sage comes to an end – for now. When the New York Times reported on May 17th that the company was running the largest fake degree mill in the world, the owner, also the CEO of BOL News Network from Karachi immediately resisted the charges by describing it as a defamation attempt. What followed however was an uproar of massive proportions as to how corruption as widespread and blatant, how this had evaded the Pakistani authorities in the first place, and how the Pakistani media itself had missed one of the biggest scandals of the year.

Some of the famous journalists, including esteemed journalist including Kamran Khan, who had newly joined the network emerged as the defenders of the new channel against the NYT report on broadcast and social media. These journalists were given pay packages well above the market rate and that should have raised suspicion in the first place. But the story itself was backed with so much evidence that it was hard for them to ignore the obvious; the money was tainted and it had to go. Soon the journalists began to dissociate themselves from the network and the media network collapsed in the matter of a few days.

The predicaments of these journalists remain such that the top journalists who walked away from the network were still able to find employment despite the taint of corruption that plagued the employees of BOL. The middle tier journalists and those below were not as fortunate. They all cited journalistic integrity, commitment to the truth and opposition to corruption as factors that influenced their decisions to leave but the fact remains that as journalists it was their duty to find out where their hefty pay cheque was coming from.

This incident will serve as an example for future journalists and all employees to know their employer before they join any company. This should be a reminder to the industry, that it must work for the truth, to reports facts- that is the true calling of the journalists. If the aim is to make money, there are other fields to join. This profession, once noble, has been tainted by political corruption and greed.