Excuse me?

I am a yearly subscriber to Daily Times, the daily English newspaper. And this is the second time I am writing specifically because of them. The issue is not them, but what they imply. And here is the issue…
Everyday, in the Lahore Section of this national newspaper, at the back, there is the INFOTAINMENT section. But I dont know, what they print in those pages is nothing short of cheap, tabloid-ic pictures and news items that has no bearing on anything apart from a few base desires, including, but not limited to: craving for sometime to read perhaps, craving for seeing or hearing some ‘skin’ or related issues. Hmph.
A case in point: only recently, they told us, in pure ‘reporting’ style, that Madam Tossad has finally put up the wax statue of a famour porn star. Which star? A porn star. In the same edition, and the same page, they told us how to maintain ‘ettiquettes’ while writing emails to bag the opposite gender (a HOWTO guide on flirting through email). And that is not all of course; the pictures they printed in thier Sunday Magazine was nothing short of half-naked women trying to sell thier skin perhaps, disguised under clothes (old marketing tactics suggest that one wants to buy what they are shown the most, so I figured! hmph). I could not bear to watch those pictures knowing that family was around, and this is in a time where we are infested with cable TV and our morality-immune-system is on an all time low. And everyday, EVERY DAY I make it a point to now, to read that page, and then slowly shake my head in disbelief, with only one question that keeps popping up, “Why?” Why print this? Reflection of society? Is that necessary? Was that news item the only thing they found? Are they THAT desperate to SELL, because it is a fact that sex sells… Thier low-lying ethics in terms of journalism is not the only thing that I have been noticing and comparing, mind you, with The News, the other newspaper that I subscribe to.

The News is more ‘full’, as in wholesome. They cover news in a better way to start off with (Same day papers showed DailyTimes telling us about a highly-critical meeting taking place and TheNews reported the actual result of that meeting. Now that is pure journalistic flare to ensure that the news gets in and The News takes the cake for that.) and thier (The News) op-ed’s are seemingly aimed at realizing the ideology of this country; Islam. Somehow or the other, that is vibe that I get. And what is the ‘vibe’ I get while reading Daily Times op-eds? Well, I call them the secular paper, which is probably what they tout themselves as anyways, but I mean secular in the worst possible way. And as God as my witness, everyday I read the paper in hope that maybe I was and am mistaken, and I still wait. Has any one you folks subscribed to this paper? Am I catching the drift or am I way off?

19 Comments so far

  1. Karachiite (unregistered) on August 7th, 2006 @ 8:15 pm

    Every day I read the online versions of Daily Times and The News (and about 8 others). For sure, DT is the most secular of all of them. It takes a pro-US liberal line and generally has an anti-religious and anti-nationalistic attitude. It most closely resembles the PPP ideology.

    Of the Lahore papers, The Nation is very nationalistic and pro-religion. It seems most closely related to PML(Q) of Nawaz Sharif.

    The News is more balanced and it is hard to figure out it’s political affiliation or ideology as it seems to blast everyone. It has a wide variety of contributors who offer different kinds of opinion. It used to be pro-Musharraf but nowadays there are more negative articles on him.

    Here’s a brief rundown:

    Pak Observer (Islamabad): Pro-Mush, nationalistic
    Dawn (Karachi): Impeccably neutral and aloof
    Jang (Urdu): Near exact Urdu version of The News
    Nawa-i-waqt (Urdu): Urdu version of The Nation
    Ausaaf (Urdu): Nationalistic
    Ummat (Urdu): Highly Islamic
    Jasaarat (Urdu): Jamaat-e-Islami paper

    My advise is to find a paper that most closely matches your own taste.

  2. Babar (unregistered) on August 7th, 2006 @ 8:23 pm

    Well dont you think that there should be a differing voice in the media.
    I have often wondered what is this site lahore.metblogs.com about. Is it about Lahore and representing its diverse culture(includig diverse political and religious culture) or is it about the political beliefs of its only two or three active writers. Just give me a simple answer so that I calibrate my expectations accordingly.

  3. Momekh (unregistered) on August 7th, 2006 @ 10:04 pm

    @Karachite: WWhoaa, now that was a rundown and a half! thankyou… I really can not say that what you say is correct, for I have not read all of these papers, but for the time being, I will use your estimation as the starting point :)
    @Babar: I have tried to understand what you are saying, but given my extremely limited number of firing-neurons, I have failed to fully grasp your question. That said, I think lahore metblogs is sorta both, for good or worse i.e. reflecting Lahore (in all affordable aspects) and reflection of self, I guess. None of them are inherently wrong.

  4. salman (from lahore) (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 7:02 am

    i liked this post.

    and i like the word you used “disbelief”

  5. salman (from lahore) (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 7:36 am

    i thought i should check the “the news” too
    and i found news, ok
    and photos, not so ok “knowing that family was around” your words.


    i beleave one should decide in brain “at least” wanna be in or out (of islam and morals) coz in between you always go down.

    dailytimes vs. thenews
    cheap vs. cheap

  6. mansoor (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 11:17 am

    karachiite: good lowdown! mind if i promote this to a post over on KMB?

    Momekh: wake up and smell the stink of the world my dear. Daily times may very well flaunt skin and sexed up headlines, but only because the readership requires it, and digest it, and because they ask for more. You do have the option of reading some other paper… why then the “daily” ritual of going through Dailytimes? Switch to The News if you like it so much.

    and finally salman: the above comments go for you too. If its such a big hassle and anti-islamic, subscribe to jasaarat :p

    disclaimer: This post is not made to offend anyone. If you do get offended, it is not my fault.

  7. Momekh (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 11:23 am

    hehehehe, arent we all modest? you want to ‘promote’ karachiite’s post to KMB? thats nice! :) And if you believe that an important society ‘tool’ such as a newspaper can give in so much to the market forces and IT IS OK, then you are, frankly, wrong. And the point is not the availability of option of switching to another media, the point is to call a wrong, a wrong.

  8. Haseeb (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 3:36 pm

    Haha. Nothing new. Haven you seen any billboards? I think people relate skin to modernity.
    Everyone is nude in the US, hence it is the most modern nation.
    Musharraf wants to modernize Pakistan, hence the increasing vulgarity in the media.

    Btw: Karachiite About DAWN = It is not impeccible. It is highly liberal (btw, they are opening up a TV channel soon, inside sources tell) and very biased towards the ultra mod elites and pro modernization.

    Bring the Kemaaal Milk to Karachi. I want to drink pure milk!

  9. mansoor (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 5:45 pm

    momekh: the reason we have so many newspapers is that every single story almost always have very different viewpoints, and will project the viewpoint most favoured by 1)the author 2)the editor 3)the financier 4)the critics 5)the government and so on.

    It may be wrong, however, it is also impossible to cover one story from so many different viewpoints. Afterall, there is only a limited amount of copy available.

    Take, e.g. the war in lebanon issue, israelies have a diff. viewpoint, hizbollah have a different viewpoint, usa and uk have different ones, while the rest of the world has yet another one. Tell me, would you be okay if a paper here started giving you the viewpoint from an israeli’s perspective?

    I hope im making my point clear. Right or wrong, one will always side with their beliefs (or pressures, as the case may be).

  10. Momekh (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 6:14 pm

    Mansoor, thankyou for taking the time out in explaining your point. Well said. And point taken. There’s only this one thing:
    An crime, of any nature, in most cases is ‘understandable’, that is to say, the motive of the culprit in itself is the explanation of that crime. But that explanation, of course, can and should never be the ‘justification’. What Daily Times is doing, like so many other facets of our society, to me at least, is understable, like you said, but the reason I have tried to present my viewpoint is that it should not be ‘acceptable’. I hope you follow my drift (??!!)
    And the point you raise about Israel/Lebanon fiasco is compeletely true; I only watch Fox News (those fair and balanced people, YUCK) when I want to hear THIER side of the story, and surely, that is what I get. Plz note, when I say THIER side of the story, I DO NOT mean the American side, I mean the side of FOX NEWS.

  11. ahmad (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 8:05 pm

    following up ur comment on the nargis wali post
    u have 2 b an extremely frustrated person 2 get horny by reading such news items
    typical of ppl like u this post

  12. Babar (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 9:31 pm

    As you reserve your right to condemn dailytimes for “the nudity”, I reserve the right to condemn your obscurantist posts. There is more in the world than what you have thought in your own philosophies and people do want to know.
    And now that I know that this is a personal journal and knowing your mental level I say bye bye to lahore.metblogs.com. And no, I cant stand FOX NEWS for one minute.
    And for the guy who said that everybody is nude in america, well dear I would suggest that first take a trip to USA and then make comments like that. Many of the Lahori girls with their tight fitting , see through shalwar qameez will raise many eye brows in USA as being ultra exposing compared to their standards.

  13. momekh (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 10:09 pm

    @Ahmad: horny? nargis? in the same line, WoW
    @Babar: The only thing I can see now is that perhaps you and Ahmad are related, maybe one and the same :) :P … and of course, your reserve the right just as I do. And my post are obscurantist? My friend, I am not holding back any information… you do know what that word means, because in my oh-so-limited knowledge, I had to check up the word you used :)
    Other than that, I really cant say anything else :)

  14. shabana (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 10:52 pm

    Well, I don’t understand , you are criticizing and complaing about Daily Times vulgarity so unsparingly and also telling us that you are yearly subscriber to it? If your moral values are so high then why you or your family did not have enough courage to simply stop buying it after seeing the obsenity at ist place, instead of kept enjoying it at yearly basis?
    What is this? Ist doing and seeing every thing and then saying “toba toba”?
    This is the whole dilemma of our society, hypcates and hypocracy.
    I don’t undersand how you are saying the news is decent then Daily times? They carry the almost same stuff especially their Sunday magzine .Basically you are enjoying your so called “vulgarity” fom both newspapers and then letting out your frustraion by writing about it.
    Vulgarity is basically creation of frustrated minds who have nothing else to do or think.

    “””And everyday, EVERY DAY I make it a point to now, to read that page, and then slowly shake my head in disbelief, with only one question that keeps popping up, “Why?” Why print this?””””

    By the way I hope you must be using your head for some other productive things, if it would have survived after getting so much shaking.

  15. Momekh (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 11:00 pm

    Dear Shabana
    thank you for your comment… and although I do think that you comment was a bit harsh, nonetheless, me thinks you are right on the point that I should not be subscribing to it in the first place. Frankly, I had been considering this for some time as Daily Times in itself has nothing special to offer to me anyways…
    the rest of your comment seemed more than just venting, so, chill girl… of course, you have the full right to form any opinion and then say it in any presentable form.
    peace and God Bless :)

  16. ahmad (unregistered) on August 13th, 2006 @ 3:09 pm

    exactly wat i was trying 2 say shabana
    but dont expect ppl like the author of this post to understand that
    frustrated they are

  17. Momekh (unregistered) on August 13th, 2006 @ 3:52 pm

    Ahmad saab, do you even know what point you are making? Shabana’s point? That is your point? Shabana did not make a point, she made an accusation. Read it again and you will see what I mean. The point, if ever there was one, that I was trying to make had the simple ‘justification’ of calling a wrong, a wrong!

    I saw something, which in my opinion was and is wrong. And I called it. No mumbo jumbo, just plain and simple. Either you agree to me calling it wrong, or you dont. But accusations? How on earth can someone just accuse someone like that? Apart from assumptions, the comment carried little weight, the weight which I tried to capture in my response to Shabana’s comment. Based on simple, easily understandble ‘facts’ which I trid to present in this post, I formed an opinion. I may be wrong. But I believe I am right.

    You have just vented off some steam, and that is about it; emotion commotion, nothing more. you have made no point, presented no case and made no statement apart from the jab at my supposedly veracious apetite (heh!).

    It would have been helpful to me, if not everyone of the readers who read this, if you had ‘tried’ to prove your point, but you never even made one! If you think I am wrong, then out with it, let’s hear it, no? I am willing to review my opinions, but are you willing to even have yours? Do you think that what I have said regarding whatever I have said, is that WRONG? ha!

  18. D (unregistered) on August 16th, 2006 @ 3:12 pm

    Wow! you guys have al the time to point fingers at each other. I have been a silent observer of khi, lhe and isloo blogs but today i couldnt hold back and not write! :-) you crack me up! go on ;-) at leats someone is enjoying…hahha

    By the way, we can also talk about this Israel-Lebanon ceasefire… at leats for me thats been the most important achievement this week. So many innocent lives will be saved. Whats lost is lost, but I am truly grateful to Allah for this end to War.
    War is a curse, whatever nation or religion…its the loss of blood of human lives….

    Get a grip guys.

  19. Momekh (unregistered) on August 17th, 2006 @ 9:23 pm

    D, regarding your retort of ‘get a grip’ and ‘finger pointing’, I think you are centpercent right on the money! Of course, the above comment of mine, does not imply that I was not part of it, in fact, I am feeling a bit stupid, truth be told.

    Although different people hold different things as more important, but re-reading the comments on this post that was written with a completely different intention, I do get the feeling that most comments (including mine) are rather useless and doesnt even serve the purpose of the post itself.

    And about the Israel/Lebanon comment you made, I am sure you have seen Galloway’s (British MP) take on the whole fiasco on SKY News. If you havent, here’s the link: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14391.htm

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