President Mamnoon Hussain offered a scathing critique of the country’s news media Thursday and said that the news television talk shows are playing a negative role and spreading despondency amongst the youth of the nation. The president urged media to instil confidence and hope in the younger generation.

“I meet the youth and students at convocations,” President Hussain said. “I am noticing that they are feel depressed and dejected.” While joblessness and corruption were one of the several factors that had led to the state of despair among the youth, the president stressed that the media was also responsible for aggravating these feelings. 

President Hussain made these comments while having an interactive session with leading journalists and editors of the country at Aiwan-e-Sadar in Islamabad. 

The meeting was originally intended to discuss the role of national press with reference to the teachings of the country’s founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah. But it quickly turned into a broad repudiation of the Pakistani television talk shows. “I don’t watch talk shows,” the president said. “But whenever I do watch TV, I find that they are mostly spreading negativity and pessimism.”

President Hussain said instead of focusing on the negatives and picking holes with everything, the media should focus on the bright side of whatever is happening in the country. He said the media should highlight the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, CPEC, project as it would transform the country and usher it into an era of great economic progress and prosperity. 

(Read detailed story in Jan.1, 2016 issue of the newspaper)