KARACHI - Financial meltdown has also hit the media industry and is currently under going crisis, said a report of the Asia Media Forum network. It reports that since 1970, there has been a stringent mark of chaos in the world market. Firstly, it witnessed the birth of the worldwide environmental movement, which was triggered by the hike in oil prices in 1973 and food crises. China encountered the rise of Deng Xiaoping and its emergence as a global force. Thailand was rocked by students rebellion movements. India witnessed the end of single-party dominance and the formation of multi-party coalitions. In Pakistan, Bhutto was overthrown by General Zia-ul-Haq, a move that changed the country radically. In that crucial stage, there was a crack or space emerged for civil society. The period concluded the emergence of a new culture of NGOs. The second sector, for instance, with the universally acclaimed success of micro-finance as practised by the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. The third major change, according to the report, was in the media. After undergoing the current rebooting, marked by closures and downsizing, and the decline of the mainstream newspapers and TV news channels, things will certainly never be the same again. The churning has left impacts on all the civil society and politics, which is why one has to locate these crises in history. In the 1970s, the media was influenced by the ideas of freedom and justice; the entire sociology was different with journalists who often see themselves as activists, and since then things have been changed. One has only to recall that in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, journalism in this country was largely inspired by the freedom movement. This sociology changed in the 1990s, with the emergence of what the report asserts, the Wikipedia generation. In other words, journalists didnt conduct original research, but were contented to Google everybody and use cut and paste policy while sitting at their desks. Worse still, advertising managers increasingly decided the content of the media. The report firmly asserts that the media in most Asian countries acquired their freedom during the anti-colonial struggle. The irony was that with heavy doses of liberalisation, such freedom has degenerated into license. It predicts that within the next decade, much of the institutional media would be eclipsed by the 'new media. The current economic crisis was, in fact, a crisis of democracy, where bankers, but not voters, decided the fate of millions of people, it clearly stated. One could extend the argument and draw the inference that the purpose of journalism is to make people aware of these choices and, where possible, criticise those who restrict such choices and publicise those who do. Joseph Pulitzer put it more bluntly when he said the role was to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. In Asian countries like China, which has some 300 million people using the Internet and 50 million bloggers could not do enough to improve things. And, one had to re-invent the role of public service broadcasting. For instance, Vietnam; doubtlessly influenced by its communist ideology, had a State-run TV station in each of its 60-odd districts, which lent an immediacy and authenticity to their broadcasts, in sharp contrast to the increasingly universal appeal of the globalised media. Whereas, in India, this medium is still entangled in red tape and not permitted to broadcast news for inexplicable reasons.