Mass media has traditionally been associated with the responsibility of imparting useful information to the wider masses. This role however has changed over the years. With the passage of time, popular culture has impacted the media. News channels are now focused on giving information, which will earn the channels and the programs higher TRP ratings as opposed to following the rules and regulations. Videos of terrorist attacks and bombings which have been aired on the national news channels are not only disturbing, but it is also against the rules of broadcasting. Similarly newspapers and tabloids print pages contain information about celebrities and their lives, where more pressing issues are often ignored (Berger, 10).
A couple of decades back, even movies and TV shows had some morals in them which the producers and writers wanted to put across to the world. They were a source of entertainment but in addition to that they were also a source of beneficial lesson or information. This has changed today. Today the media is market driven. They show the masses what they want to see. The entertainment industry is taking over, to an extent that even news broadcasting has become a source of entertainment (Stevenson). Political talk shows, which have been providing a platform for politicians to discuss topics of interest on a neutral ground, have now become programs which just show how these politicians argue and insult each other. News broadcasting has turned very similar to live drama broadcasting. ...
Instead of producing films which are creative and convey a certain message across to the audience, the films produced follow a certain formula that emphasizes on materialistic and superficial things. With shallow and unconvincing characters, these films are based on the basic concept of aggression and greed. The plots are simple to the point that it looks as if templates are used for film making (Berger, 111). One recent example of a news channel broadcasting visuals for higher ratings was from the incident that took place in Karachi on November 28, 2012. A man fell from an 8-storey high building and the Pakistani news channels were constantly telecasting a live video footage of the entire incident. This news piece is one of the many examples which are telecasted on the local news channels. In order to get higher ratings and stay ahead of the numerous competitors, news channels pride themselves to be the first ones to convey the latest new to the masses. However, in the process of being on the top and being the first ones at every incident, news channels have forgotten the basic ethics that should follow (Khan). Another example of the amalgamation of mass media and culture are the numerous talk shows, which are aired almost every night on the Pakistani news channels. These shows include Mere Mutabiq (According to Me), To the Point, Target Point and Islamabad tonight to name a few. All of these shows follow the same pattern – members of opposing parties sitting together and discussing recent issues. However, what actually takes place is not discussion, but a blame game. Each party member blames the other political party for misconduct and corruption and thus, results in an argument. Journalism ethics