In the last 90 days since lockdown has started in Pakistan, the Pakistani Electronic media coverage on COVID-19 is pessimistic and revolves around criticizing government only.
Are you satisfied with the media coverage on COVID-19?
I am not satisfied with coverage because media is only spreading fear regarding corona. They are not providing information about vaccine development. Recently news emerges on international media about successful trials of the first phase of vaccine development by turkey. But our media didn’t pay attention to it.
Do you believe whatever media showed on TV is accurately related to the Corona issue?
NO, media is not sharing the latest research about corona/ symptoms of corona e.g loss of taste is the first sign of corona and sneezing is a sign of negative corona.
Another example is that some senior journalists are spreading wrong or exaggerated figures of corona cases. Recently I heard Haroon rashed about corona cases and he claimed that there are 3 million cases in Lahore alone.
I believe media is spreading negativity and tends to manipulate the public’s brain. Since media is free and doesn’t work along with public sectors it has created tension between the public and the government. If people had listened to the government instead of media, a picture would have been different.
To what extent media portrayed and shaped your opinion related to COVID-19?
Media showed that there are around 3 million corona patients only in one city of Pakistan i.e Lahore. This news is not verified and nor any credibility but this made sense of fear among the public. The people who were planning to visit Lahore for their important and urgent work and most importantly the local residents.
This kind of environment ultimately leads to a panic situation for the masses. Pakistani Media must realize the complexity and elements associated with the pandemic.