PTV: Plz Don’t Disturb

Pakistan’s largest television news network, with 6000 employees [World Bank has 9,000] and one of the richest budgets and pay scales in the Pakistani federal government, interrupted its normal programs a few minutes ago to report on the terrorist attack on the Pearl Continental Hotel in Peshawar.
The rest of the 4 or 5 major Pakistani news networks smaller than PTV in terms of size, reach and budget, did the same followed by the rest of the 50 or so TV news channels in Pakistan.
The only difference is that PTV News was without live footage from the scene of the bombing. Every other major channel had live coverage vans beaming real-time footage.
And then, SURPRISE! PTV cut its live coverage to join ARY News, a smaller TV news network that was covering the bombing aftermath live through its satellite van on the scene.
The country’s largest TV network, with a generous annual federal budgetary support, a long list of managing directors, directors, consultants and legendary war correspondents who published books about dodging missiles in Baghdad, and all it could do in Pakistan is to steal the hard work of other channels.
PTV buys the most sophisticated and the most expensive equipment every year. Government bureaucrats rake in high commissions. Then let this equipment rot in the warehouse so they can order replacements later. And take in more commissions. Some of this expensive equipment quietly goes to the private production houses secretly owned by senior employees of the organization.
And life goes on.
I know more. In the interest of full disclosure, I was hired by PTV for four years. When the United States launched a media blitzkrieg against Pakistan’s nuclear program, I did a show titled, ‘Don’t Mess With Us’ [click to watch] and convinced PTV to put it permanently on its dormant website as a means of giving the world a strong and robust Pakistani view. Unfortunately, when Washington renewed its media campaign against Pakistan this year, PTV removed the video. So much for defending the national interest, which is the only reason why we supposedly have a state-run TV news network.
But this still doesn’t explain why PTV has to steal the live coverage of smaller TV channels. The real reason is the working hours.
You see, government bureaucrats work 9 to 5. They can’t rush out with TV vans at 10pm to cover a bomb blast. The only time anyone can push them out of their houses after 5pm is if the President, the Prime Minister or the Information Minister [PTV’s immediate boss] needed a camera crew to cover their activities.
So basically bureaucrats at the state-run channel can’t be bothered to cover the Peshawar bombing live at 10pm because, well, they are bureaucrats.
Maybe PTV should let the terrorists know. Please schedule your attacks between 9-5 of you want coverage on PTV!

Pakistan’s largest television news network, with 6000 employees [World Bank has 9,000] and one of the richest budgets and pay scales in the Pakistani federal government, interrupted its normal programs a few minutes ago to report on the terrorist attack on the Pearl Continental Hotel in Peshawar.

ptvnews-asleep

The rest of the 4 or 5 major Pakistani news networks smaller than PTV in terms of size, reach and budget, did the same followed by the rest of the 50 or so TV news channels in Pakistan.

The only difference is that PTV News was without live footage from the scene of the bombing. Every other major channel had live coverage vans beaming real-time footage. And then, SURPRISE! PTV cut its live coverage to join ARY News, a smaller TV news network that was covering the bombing aftermath live through its satellite van on the scene.

The country’s largest TV network, with a generous annual federal budgetary support, a long list of managing directors, directors, consultants and legendary war correspondents who published books about dodging missiles in Baghdad, and all it could do in Pakistan is to steal the hard work of other channels.

PTV buys the most sophisticated and the most expensive equipment every year. Government bureaucrats rake in high commissions. Then let this equipment rot in the warehouse so they can order replacements later. And take in more commissions. Some of this expensive equipment quietly goes to the private production houses secretly owned by senior employees of the organization.

And life goes on.

Government bureaucrats work 9 to 5. They can’t rush out with TV vans at 10pm to cover a bomb blast. The only time anyone can push them out of their houses after 5pm is if the President, the Prime Minister or the Information Minister [PTV’s immediate boss] needed a camera crew to cover their activities.

So basically bureaucrats at the state-run channel can’t be bothered to cover the Peshawar bombing live at 10pm because, well, they are bureaucrats.

Maybe PTV should let the terrorists know. Please schedule your attacks between 9-5 of you want coverage on PTV!

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One thought on “PTV: Plz Don’t Disturb

  1. Pingback: Syed Ali Ausat Zaidi at Mazda Z engine

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