Napoleon Bonaparte once said, I fear the newspapers more than a hundred thousand bayonets. In my view, the current shift of power in favour of media that has now taken place in Pakistan cannot be beneficial for the country in the absence of an institutional and regulatory vacuum. It is imperative for the sake of a democratic system that the media develops guidelines of its own and devises a code of conduct that is comprehensive. A mechanism has to be found also whereby such a code can be enforced. Media freedom we have in Pakistan today was earned after a long struggle which would doubtless continue in the years to come also. The media has proven itself to be the force for change, no question, but we must understand the need for media industryas it matures and reaches ever wider audienceto enforce robust and consistent standards upon itself. We are now seeing emergence of a television culture that imitates the culture of Pakistani political drawing rooms where politics, politics, politics is discussed ad nauseam and infinitum. Rare exceptions of issue-oriented talk-shows, when they happen at all, appear too bland in comparison unless their all-knowing hosts inject some political spice into the show. Expertise is taken for granted in everything our 'new age journalists do. They judge every subject under the sun, and occasionally some beyond it too. The only problem I have with them is that they take themselves just a bit too seriously. -SABA FAYYAZ, Rawalpindi, August 27.