Sting ops find home in Pakistan

Sting operations, that helped take the news media revolution in India to new heights, have now started happening in Pakistan(tip Ayesha). Karachi Metblogs has a few posts(1,2,3) about a show, Gumnaam, produced by GeoTV, that has started using the sting op way to expose the uglier side of the society. The description of the show, as mentioned in the GeoTV website, goes like this:

Gumnaam is a program based on factual materials provided by an unknown person. The program is essentially designed to expose dishonest and corrupt elements in our society, elements that are clogging our progress. Also, it proposes to raise consciousness of individuals by bringing the bitter aspects of our environment into light.

It’s exciting to see such content being churned out by Pakistani television. It’s revolutionary, keeping in mind the history of censorship in Pakistan.

Consider this new development with the backdrop of a post made by Amit, who was visiting Pakistan a year ago and had a chance to interact with Indian journos based there on their opinions on Pakistani press in general. Quoting a journo’s comment:

You’ll find plenty of Op-Eds and editorials critical of the establishment, but that attitude doesn’t reflect in the news pages. They are still full of the same old thing. Where is the investigative journalism, the sting operations? Pakistan needs a Tehelka.

Gumnaam is a step in the right direction. However, the Pakistani media needs to tread carefully. In India, the journos involved in sting ops have ended up being persecuted. Even the Judiciary has been critical of sting ops, especially when it became a victim of the same in the famous “cash for warrants” scam.

Amit also adds in his post:

Considering what a democratically elected government did to Tarun Tejpal and his team during the Vajpayee years, I shudder to think what General Musharraf’s government in Pakistan would do if similar defence ghotalas were exposed here. It would be interesting to find out, wouldn’t it?

Would the ‘moderately enlightened’ administration allow that? Indeed, it would be interesting to find out.

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