Reflections on media reports of Nanga Parbat Massacre

 Sher Baz Khan

The unfortunate incident in which eleven tourists were killed cold-blooded at the base camp of Nanga Parbat, close to Chilas city, Diamer might put a full stop on international tourist flow to Pakistan, which is already at decline owing to apathy of the tourism authorities. The incident which shocked international adventure community in general and Pakistan in particular has been reported with all its angling and considering the policy of the media outlets. It is well known that mass media has revolutionized almost every aspect of life. It is remarkably inspiring and somewhat frightening how it reigns over our lives. Its boom has affected even the remotest parts of the world and as a result, its opinion formation role has been increased manifold since the boom of digital and satellite media. It is a democratic postulate that media are independent and committed to discovering and reporting the truth, and that they do not merely reflect the world as powerful groups wish it to be perceived. It has also created itself as a political life designed to act on behalf of the people and report on and give voice to those in positions of political, corporate economics and social power.

sbkIt seems like that media is not working on the logic of what common consumers of media understand as a means of information, education, opinion formation and entertainment as the classic theories of media propose rather it operates on the profit maximizing logic.

Most of the time media reports depict lack of information and non-professionalism.

This unfortunate incident is mayhem of misinformation and haste. Most of the media outlets reported the incident on their whims and was not based on facts and figures.

The world renowned BBC reported the event from Islamabad (June 23, 2 p.m. PST World News report by BBC correspondent Orla Guerin) but it showed footage which has nothing to do with the incident area at all.

It run the footage of Hunza, and specially Baltit Fort, which is 300 kilometers north of the actual area. The practice of showing footage should be to show the nearest possible areas. Most of the domestic television channels also followed BBC. It is pertinent that media outlets report events/incidents of such magnitude with utmost care since its ripples affect too hard and too far.

This is the peak tourist season and showing the wrong place might change the minds of tourists planning to come to these areas which have nothing to do with the actual incident area, Hunza in this case.

It is also the case that journalists, not all of the journalists of course, report on hearsay and don’t bother to go to the incident area. As well they try to get information from fellow journalists. Now it is clear that all the media outlets are in a frenzy of unhealthy competition and a race of “exclusive news story”, and the reports obtained through a fellow journalist might lead them to a totally different direction.

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  1. Pakistan Labour Federation (PLF) Strongly condemns terrorist attack on tourists

    Haji Muhammad saeed Arian Founder/Secretary General and Mrs Atia Saleem Chairperson Pakistan Labour Federation (PLF) has strongly condemned the terrorist attack on tourists in the Northern Areas of Pakistan in which nine tourists and a Pakistani guide were killed. They expresses their deep sense of shock and grief on this brutal act of terrorism, and extends its sympathy to the families of the victims,”
    They said: “those who have committed this heinous crime seem to be attempting to disrupt the growing relations of Pakistan with China and other friendly countries”
    They appreciated the statement of the prime Minister of Pakistan in which he has condemned these inhuman and cruel acts.
    They have send a message of condolence and requested to the to the Ambassadors of Chinaand Ukraine to convey the (PLF) condolence on the death of the tourists families from Chinaand Ukraine.

    (Haji Muhammad Saeed Arian) (Mrs Atia Saleem)
    Founder/Secretary General Chairperson
    Pakistan Labour Federation (PLF)
    Affiliated with
    World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU)

  2. Well its very important for people to know the exact location where it happend secondly we all condem this incident ,becasue from this act the economy of the area will badly effect and there are some place where tourist visit they wont go to those place.We condem BBC and other channels you have given wrong information about the incident.
    Well done Sher Baz



  3. violence does not kill violence and Islam means Peace – It would be good if a relatively agreed and representative Islamic group/council and media (Pamir Times?) from Pakistan contacted the new Taliban office in Qatar to ask whether the claim of responsibility is legitimate and what the reasoning behind killing tourists from Ukraine, Russia and China and a Pakistani Guide..

    Tourism in Pakistan is the only way to improve a positive view of Islam and its true peaceful practice in Pakistan. Tourists from anywhere and those serving them are not dropping drones and are as much victims of wrong politics as those in the tribal belt being hailed upon with bombs. It seems strange that this group would need to abduct guides in such a well trodden area and also if it were revenge to kill tourists why ones from countries not actually active in the war on terror – this attack will plunge all people working in tourism into deeper poverty then what has already occurred – since sept 11 2001 and all the subsequent news and politics since, furthermore it will lessen the flow of tourists further – whose positive social media acts as a counterbalance to the negative press on Pakistan and Islam. A responsible government would go to all ends to verify who is responsible and not just accept claims and a respon sible media would go to source for verification of claims of responsibility and also would campaign for communities to approach the Taliban through Media and outline how violence does not kill violence and that tourists are actually a support in promoting positive world view regarding Islam and also advocate for stopping drone attacks on a country they considered a friend and host – the political violence whether it is carried out in name of war on terror or revenge for that – will never end – peaceful dialogue is the only way to end it. This attack seems set on ending the dialogue and the positive voice that comes out of tourists interacting in Islamic regions in the world – ask yourself and others who benefits from that – put that in the mainstream media

  4. Dear Sherbaz, our CM and DIG were not aware where exactly the sad incident took place. They were talking about Fairy Meadows till the afternoon of Sunday. How can we say something to media? They really do not care what will be the impact of their reports!! We are sad, devastated and feel shame. It was the 9/11 of Gilgit-Baltistan!!

  5. Failure of secrity agencies? They shoudl have been smart enough in thier duty. They ignored tha fact that the area is too sensitive because of tourists comming from abroad and could be targetted by the terrosits. I undestand thier was no precautionery measure taken by the concerene security agencies to avoid happening of such a targedy having very advers affects on toursim in the area.

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