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Silly Pakistanis Have Dozens Of Cable News Channels, But No Fact-Checking! PAKISTAN SURE IS WEIRD

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TheNew York Times has some very disturbing news to report from the changing Pakistani media landscape: apparently there were only a couple of news channels in the past, but then, after Musharraf "liberalized" the media -- HMM? -- during his term, there are now more than 20 news channels, around the clock, and they might not all be relaying the most accurate information! WHAT IS WITH THESE MUSLIMS!


Pakistanis have a seemingly insatiable appetite for political news. Since the news media was liberalized under former President Pervez Musharraf, that hunger is being fed like never before.

Eight years ago Pakistan had one television news channel. Now there are 26 news channels, half of which broadcast 24 hours a day. But most of what is on offer hardly qualifies as rigorous, fact-based news. Rather, shows follow a familiar formula of a roundtable discussion by middle-aged men hashing out political conspiracies.

If that problem sounds familiar to an American audience, consider that in Pakistan it has taken on daunting proportions. That media phenomenon is what today’s video report, “Losing the Media War in Pakistan,” attempts to capture.

Media critics here say the problem lies with a lack of experienced reporters, and a lack of investment in investigative journalism, which has created a troubling tilt toward right-wing, highly opinionated talk shows. After all, talk shows are cheaper to produce, and easier to make.

Oooh, how very different an incentive structure from American TeeVee!

So, when do we nuke Islamabad?

[NYT]

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