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March 2, 2010

Mind Control, propaganda and brain washing in the media is rampant and is reaching epidemic proportions, its tough sifting fact from fiction for ordinary citizens of the world By Fareeha Qayoom

Mind Control, propaganda and brain washing in the media is rampant and is reaching epidemic proportions, its tough sifting fact from fiction for ordinary citizens of the world

By Fareeha Qayoom


don’t like reading newspapers or watching the news channels all that much. It’s full of horror stories.

Pakistan, unfortunately, has loads of English and Urdu daily newspapers. It’s surprising the number of newspapers because literacy is quite low in this country. (However, please don’t confuse or equate low literacy rate with lack of common sense. The average Joe is quite intelligent whatever his literacy rate). Once upon a time, you could figure out their bias towards a certain party (for example, The Nation News Group used to be 100 percent behind the Muslim League (N) and The News (GEO) Group behind The People’s party when I was growing up), but nowadays it’s tough to figure out their alliances. (One friend told me recently for example, that The News (GEO) Group is Anti-establishment, whatever that means). On top of it, the newspaper groups have acquired TV Channels too. They may be in the business of churning out news; however, it’s not necessarily pursuit of truth and justice that drives their businesses. It’s actually the pursuit of almighty dollar. Always.

Advertising is another sector that’s not interested in truth, justice and fair-play. They are also in the business of selling dreams, (read products) in the pursuit of almighty dollar. Movies, Music, Arts, Fashion and even sports are no longer safe either – all of them are commercial enterprises and the bottom line is earning the almighty dollar. Media plays a huge role in building stereotypes. You can get them to say anything as long as you pay them top dollars. It’s no secret. It’s legitimate business. This is a fact. Sigh.


Windmills in the air! Lies, lies and yet more lies…

This just makes it tough for ordinary citizens of the world like us to sift facts from fiction. Mind control, propaganda and brain washing are some of the techniques employed by the media to embed certain stereotypes in your brain. They all do it. We have instances of home-grown propaganda in our country too. PTV used to be one for the government when I was growing up. International media does it too. BBC, for example, is Pro-Israel and Anti-Muslim. They may deny it but you can tell if you watch their news daily. No one is free from in-built bias. Even I am biased. I am pro-ethics. The other day, a friend of mine sent me an article on Cigars that she wanted me to publish on I rejected it because I refuse to promote smoking. Printing a health warning at the end of the article didn’t satisfy my personal code of ethics.

So what brought this on? Number of factors, the top being that for a last few months I have started reading the newspapers daily – I noticed the underlying themes that seem to plague the news; for example, the propaganda war by India against Pakistan (which they are winning by the way), or the propaganda war against ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence service by western media or the propaganda war against Muslims generally, to veil or not veil in France or the situation in Malaysia particularly – for a couple of months, I have been reading the western newspapers churning out negative news about Muslims of Malaysia. You probably read these short news articles that are being released gradually and are being built up slowly in the media too. The process is so gradual that you might not notice that the Malaysian Muslims are being demonized in the western press.

I even looked up the map of the world and Malaysia’s place in it to try to figure out the reason for the western media and their governments’ interest in demonizing the Muslims of Malaysia? As a fellow Muslim, I don’t buy the weird stories that are suddenly coming out of there, (the fight over the name “Allah” which simply means “The God” and some ‘radical’ or ‘misguided’ Muslims taking offense at non-Muslims using it which is strange to me because the middle eastern Arab non-Muslims have been referring to God as Allah for centuries and it never caused a fight between the two or led to burning of their churches or the recent news of public caning of three adulterous women who came out of the woodwork volunteering to be caned? Publicizing your sins, major or minor, is not the done thing in Islam. You are supposed to repent in private. Islam subscribes to the view, the door of repentance is open till death and human beings can see the light any time, so there is no need to come out of the closet to announce that you are a sinner and acquire a certain reputation in the society. I found the whole thing incredible and bizarre and since I am familiar with teachings of Islam, these stories were totally incredible. I frankly refused to believe them. I thought the stories were a plant, or someone had funded this activity and I happened to mention this to my brother. He told me to snap out of it. Apparently, “majority of Muslims the world over are illiterate and are quite capable of behaving like that” in his opinion! No funding required and I am the exception, not a norm because I don’t behave like that.) So even he had bought into the stereotype that left to themselves; Muslims will behave like a mob! He is an educated, free thinking individual. What’s more – he is a fellow Muslim and he has never engaged in such behavior. Nor has his friends. Or my friends, for that matter, or friends of our friends but what the heck, the minority is the norm, not the majority. By the way, Malaysia’s literacy rate is 88.7 percent according to CIA’s world fact book.

What’s going on? I also felt sorry for fellow Pakistanis who were buying up property and dual nationality in Malaysia to escape the situation at home. Apparently, no Muslim country is safe for them! It would be better to stick to Pakistan because; Malaysia is a future hot spot of trouble. I can tell.

It would be naïve of you to think that media doesn’t create stereotypes or doesn’t engage in propaganda, mind control or brain washing techniques. Remember, successful campaigns like the demonizing of “Talibans” in the 90s before 9/11 or “Weapons of Mass Destruction,” or the recent propaganda “Pakistan’s nukes could fall into wrong hands,” or “ISI is patronizing terrorist elements,” or so many more.

I personally believe there are two sides to every story. One nation’s hero is another nation’s villain. In my book, the newspaper or media is biased if it promotes one side of the story to the detriment of the other. If both sides are not equally represented in the news, it is propaganda. Furthermore, the citizens of the world come equipped with their own sense of morality. Reporting just the facts and leaving the conclusions up to them makes for non-biased, truthful reporting which is unfortunately, not the way to earn top dollar or the rating wars.

Unfortunate but true. Money is the only bottom line in the capitalistic society. Whoever pays their bills has right to be heard on the news. The rest can take a hike. ♦

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Fareeha Qayoom
Fareeha Qayoom
Publisher and editor-in-chief of and former print editions of The Knit-Xtyle Fashion Review (tkfr), a trade newsletter for the textile and apparel industry of Pakistan. In short, Publisher, editor, and a blogger. In addition, she has served as Managing Editor of MIT Technology Review Pakistan, print and web editions (2015-16). Total of 7 editions were published under her leadership by ITU, Punjab's first public technology university under the license of MIT Technology Review (USA). She has also managed Value Mag in the same capacity, a real estate and lifestyle magazine for Value TV - 2008-9. Published freelancer for The News on Sunday 1994-96. Fareeha has over 21 years of solid management experience – of managing brands (like Harley Davidson, Munsingwear, Chaps, Chaps Ralph Lauren etc.,), Retailers (like Target, Mervyns, Kohl's, Marks and Spencer etc.,), customers (VPs, Product Managers, Unit Managers, and Buyers), and products (apparel - woven, knits, men's, women's, children's, Print and online publishing units), projects, teams, and processes, information, content, and data, staff, vendors, and time. Versatile and adaptable with international exposure, communication and language skills (oral and written), and a consistent track record of achieving company targets and objectives, plus a MA in Political Science from Punjab University, a MSc in Economics from La Salle University, Louisiana, USA, and a BA in Economics from Kinnaird College for Women.


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  4. Sadia Tahir says:

    I agree with you Fareeha, we Muslims need to open our eyes to these propaganda. I wish I could show you the clip of GEO TV where one very famous moulvi and a very aggressive PPP leader are fighting over some issue in none other than Hamid Meer program and at the end of it, clap hands and say what a good show we gave.
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  23. Countrywide protests against Facebook
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  24. Blasphemy laws used to justify ‘murder’: EU parliament
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  25. Musharraf on Facebook ban

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    He also noted, “We must understand these are sensitive issues and for the sake of independence of media, liberty of speech, we cannot hurt sensitivities of millions of people. We must not do that. I am against that.”

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  26. S.African paper to apologise for cartoon-Muslim group
    Wednesday, 26 May, 2010

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  27. Defining boundaries
    By Muhammad Ali Faraz
    Thursday, 27 May, 2010

    Apparently secularism is biased; “freedom of speech” is an oxymoron. As long as freedom of speech serves a purpose it will be upheld, otherwise not so much. While I support freedom of expression and speech, I think there should be a clear line that should never be crossed. Free speech, to the best of my understanding, is in place to protect the people from oppression if there is a tyrannical government in place, ensuring that the voice of the masses is not subdued.

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  28. TV anchor Hamid Mir questioned in murder case
    2010-05-28 15:10:00

    Investigators probing the kidnapping and killing of former ISI official Khalid Khwaja have questioned prominent Pakistani TV anchor Hamid Mir, who, the murdered man’s son says had passed on information to the Taliban that led to his father’s death, a media report said Friday.

    Mir, who was questioned Thursday, flatly denied the charge, Dawn reported, quoting sources.

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  29. Pakistan lifts Facebook ban but ‘blasphemous’ pages stay hidden

    Official vows ‘nothing of this sort will happen in the future’ after row over contest for images of Muhammad

    Pakistan lifted a two-week-old ban on Facebook today but said it would continue to block individual pages containing “blasphemous” content.

    Pakistan banned Facebook on 19 May in response to an online competition that invited people around the world to submit drawings of the prophet Muhammad. Muslims consider all depictions of Muhammad as heretical.

    Yesterday Bangladesh also banned Facebook, saying it would lift the restriction only when the offending material was removed.

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  30. Indian Muslims not terrorists: Farah
    WASHINGTON, 1 (SANA): Tasked to improve ties with the Muslim world, a top official of the Obama Administration has said that Indian Muslims are not terrorists, even as many of them are increasingly tired of being defined as such.

    “I talk about the bloggers that I meet in India who are tired of Muslims being defined as terrorists,” Indian-origin Farah Pandith, the US Special Representative to the Muslim Community, said in a web video chat .

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  31. Western Media Perverts Information about Thailand
    Andre Vltchek
    May 30, 2010

    …..The reaction of Western media was one of almost calm. “Peace was largely restored in the city Thursday, a day after a military crackdown on anti-government protesters triggered rioting in which 39 buildings were burned,” reported the Associate Press (AP) just one day after the carnage. Not surprisingly, it was AP whose news appeared for days on the front page of Yahoo News, shaping public opinion in Europe and the United States as well as Southeast Asia itself.

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  32. Film with Bin Laden lookalike banned
    By Kamran Haider
    ISLAMABAD | Thu Jul 15, 2010 12:03pm EDT
    (Reuters) – Pakistani censors have banned an Indian comedy film featuring a lookalike of al Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden, the film’s distributor said on Wednesday.

    The ban had been anticipated on grounds that Islamist extremists could use it as a pretext for attacks.

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  33. Coverage of US issues
    By Huma Yusuf
    Sunday, 25 Jul, 2010

    Addressing a town hall meeting in Islamabad nearly a week ago, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described Pakistan’s media as “freewheeling…free, [and] quite influential”.

    This high praise for the fourth estate should be quite welcome in a country struggling to establish its democratic credentials. Unfortunately, the comment could spark a new crisis of media credibility within an industry that is already wracked by conspiracy-theorising. The image that comes to mind is of a dog chasing its own tail.

    The fact is, the Pakistani media seems to have backed itself into a corner with regard to coverage of US foreign and military policy, aid (both military and civilian) and development projects. The sustained high note of anti-Americanism, which reached a crescendo when the Kerry-Lugar bill was passed, has rendered the objective reporting and consumption of US-related issues nearly impossible. If media outlets keep the criticism up, they will be accused of harbouring a blatant and unprofessional bias. But if they offer any praise for the Great Satan and its non-military investments in the country, media outlets are bound to be subject to finger-pointing by the competition.

    This finger-pointing will no doubt be based on the allegation, whether implicit or explicit, that an outlet has been bought off by the Americans. Earlier this year, the Obama administration announced that it was allocating $50m for a ‘comprehensive communications strategy’ in Pakistan. Part of the funds was meant to be used to strengthen moderate voices in the Pakistani press, counter extremist views and monitor local media for inaccurate reporting about the US.

    Through increased engagement with the Pakistani media, particularly private television channels, the US State Department aims to improve the American ‘brand’ by highlighting US-funded civilian and development projects, thereby stemming the tide of anti-Americanism. Not unexpectedly, this allocation was described as a ‘bribe’ for the Pakistani media and a fillip for the US propaganda machine.

    Of course, it is only fair that there be an impartial, accurate and proportionate coverage of US-related issues and events within Pakistan. If anything, the US government’s need to create a media engagement fund is a sad reflection on the professionalism and reliability of our industry. But the existence of such a fund, and the rhetoric that surrounded its announcement, could taint any positive coverage of US initiatives. This may prove problematic as aid under the Kerry-Lugar Bill is disbursed and good news about hydroelectric projects and maternity hospitals starts trickling in.

    The US seems to realise the limitations of its approach to the local press. In responding to a question at the Islamabad town hall meeting about increasing US engagement with the Pakistani media, Ms. Clinton sought advice rather than laying out a clear strategy: “If you have ideas as to what else we can do, I would appreciate them, because a number of people with whom we’ve been working over the last 14, 15 months have said the same thing. We see a lot of the changes, a lot of the progress in the [US-Pakistan] relationship, but it isn’t often reflected in the media, and the Pakistani people don’t know…. [Some] of it is we have to be more effective in how we deal with the Pakistani media… and we would welcome the advice that anyone might give us.”

    It is clear, then, that the US is still determining how to effectively engage with — and, when required, tackle — the hydra-headed Pakistani media. A recent article in The Washington Post draws attention to an eight-month-old campaign launched by the US embassy to issue corrections in response to any factually incorrect or misrepresentative reports in the Pakistani press.

    For his part, Adnan Rehmat, the executive director of Intermedia, an NGO concerned with media freedom and capacity building — and incidentally the person who posed the question about the media to Ms Clinton — believes that more engagement is key. Speaking to the Post, he argued that the US should focus on increasing interactions between Pakistani journalists and Americans from all walks of life — academics, artists, athletes and more.

    But the onus to balance out coverage of the US in the local media does not lie with the Americans alone. It is essential that Pakistani media professionals brainstorm ways in which to boost the credibility of US-related reports — nothing less than the industry’s reputation is at stake.

    The fact is, the Pakistani public is still feeling out the private media landscape. Public opinion about the media’s role in the current democratic set-up oscillates almost as wildly as US-Pakistan relations. For instance, a Pew poll in August 2009 noted that 77 per cent of Pakistanis believed that the media “is having a good influence on the country”. By November that year, the media had fallen out of favour with the public, and a Gallup poll documented that 31 per cent of Pakistanis blamed the media for political instability in the country. If the US succeeds in exposing the Pakistani media as hyperbolic, the industry could lose its audience for the fine work it does too.

    In other words, in these still early years of a liberalised media landscape, coverage of US-related issues could determine how the Pakistani media is perceived both domestically and abroad. And in a worst case scenario, it would be truly unfortunate if anti-media voices in the government joined hands with the perplexed US authorities and succeeded in curbing media freedoms.

    The time has come to think responsibly and creatively about how to cover US-related issues, particularly in terms of moving on from the mudslinging that has already passed. Editorial decisions in this regard will continue to be challenged by Pakistan’s security climate — for instance, in February this year, Radio Pakistan suspended broadcasts of Voice of America’s Pushto-language service, Deeva Radio, when the Taliban threatened to bomb its Peshawar premises. But if the fine line between censorship and sensationalism is not charted, the credibility of the Pakistani media will remain vulnerable to attack from various quarters.

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  34. Hmmm….

    Plans for a Koran-Burning Show a Gainesville Church’s Bigotry

    Bigotry is always ugly, and Islamophobia is no exception. The paranoid notion that all Muslims are terrorists reached a new high (or low) with the news that a church in Gainesville, Florida plans to burn a stack of Korans on the anniversary of 9-11. According to the Religion News Service:

    A Florida church with “Islam is of the devil” signs in its front lawn plans to host an “International Burn A Quran Day,” on the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks this year.

    The Dove World Outreach Center, a non-denominational church in Gainesville, has marked the date in previous years with protests against Islam.


    [Pastor Terry] Jones, who is also the author of a book titled “Islam is of the Devil,” said protests are key to the mission of his church.

    “We feel, as Christians, one of our jobs is to warn,” said Jones. The goal of these and other protests are to give Muslims an opportunity to convert, he said.

    In response to the posting of the event on Facebook a little more than a week ago, Jones said that people have been mailing Qurans to the church to burn.

    There are few things uglier than burning books. It can call to mind things like the Nazis staging bonfires of literary and academic books, or Ray Bradbury’s chilling dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451. It is especially inappropriate for a church to host a book-burning. The most infamous moments in the history of ecclesiastical book-burnings were in the 13th and 16th centuries, when church officials condemned the Talmud as heretical and consigned it to the flames.

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  35. Smokers’ Corner: Radical sheep
    By Nadeem F. Paracha
    Sunday, 01 Aug, 2010

    Quite like Dr Noam Chomsky, award-wining writer, Arundhati Roy, can be one of the most predictable intellectuals this side of the post-Cold-War left. And also like Chomsky (and Naomi Klein), Roy too is fast becoming the provider of the intellectual fodder that loud, post-9/11 advocates of right-wing claptrap sumptuously feed upon.

    It is due to this feeding frenzy by the so-called anti-West activists who cleverly use leftist critiques of the West to give ‘intellectual weight’ to their otherwise contemptuous spiels of religious and political hatred. This is gradually rendering people like Chomsky, Kalian and Roy somewhat ineffectual in fully elaborating their otherwise progressive intent. Hijacked by the noises emitting from right-wing playmakers within the contemporary anti-US populism, Roy, Kalian and Chomsky have tended to sound equally hyperbolic to keep the dwindling left in a race featuring the kind of intellectual pomposity and demagoguism that these days is so spectacularly unveiling itself on TV screens and in seminars.

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  36. ‘Pornistan?’ only if you believe one foxy intern from the United States of erotica

    By S Kamal

    A couple of weeks ago, Fox News published an article on their ‘World’ section titled ‘No 1 Nation in Sexy Web Searches? Call it Pornistan’. The article has subsequently been the source of much discussion online, and has been published and circulated to a fairly wide audience. While the point of the article was unclear, the article called Pakistan the ‘world’s leader in online searches for pornographic material’ and stated that “Google ranks Pakistan No 1 in the world in searches for pornographic terms.”

    My reaction to reading the article, particularly some of the lewd terms for which Pakistan ranked #1 in, was bewilderment. Perhaps this was why Pakistan’s economy is in such poor shape? It appeared that that everyone was seeking the wrong type of stimulus.

    That is, until I started checking a few facts. Reader comments on the article on the Fox News website were promptly disabled, so I couldn’t voice my thoughts there. Finally, I contacted the author of the article – who, as I discovered, was an intern at Fox with quite a vivid imagination.\07\28\story_28-7-2010_pg9_6

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  37. Muslim history vs. Islamic history
    by Talha Zaheer on 08 4th, 2009 | Comments (20)

    Is there a difference between Muslim history and Islamic history? I found myself asking this question while seated in a university course titled, ‘History of Islam till 1258,’ with an emphasis on political and economic issues. Our professor, a non-Muslim, had been dealing with Muslim students’ complaints about the way Prophet Muhammad was portrayed during the course. Many of us wanted to know why the impression that most Muslims had of their prophet was not being privileged in the lectures.

    Meanwhile, in another course, a professor of mine is having a hard time was trying to find evidence to support the theory that Muslims had perpetuated criminal activities during the battle of Badar. Hearing the professor’s academic argument, I couldn’t help but point out that this reading of events was contrary to my Muslim heritage and could be perceived as offensive. In response, the professor claimed that my view was idealistic and that, as a historian, she was compelled to view the prophet as just another human being. When pressed, she also explained the problem of working on Islamic history using the minimal, non-Muslim textual evidence that is available – some historians feel Muslim accounts lack credibility because they are necessarily biased. Of course, her argument implied that the non-Muslim accounts were unbiased, which is not necessarily the case.

    As an increasing number of Muslims – from Pakistan as well as other countries – head to the West to attend colleges and universities, it is probably worth considering the dynamic that exists when Muslim students study Islam and its history at secular institutions.

    The anti-Islam vote in the Netherlands elections
    by Guest on 06 23rd, 2010 | Comments (302)
    The enormous success of the right wing anti-Islam party in the recent elections in the Netherlands indicates a widespread schism within the Dutch and wider European societies where the presence of the Muslims as equal participants of society is disputed.

    “Stop migration from the Muslim countries! Block the building of mosques or Muslim schools! Stop subsidising the multicultural programs,” were prominent slogans of Geert Wilders, head of Freedom Party (PVV) during the election campaign in the Netherlands. His party obtained 1.5 million votes and increased its number of seats from 9 to 24 in the parliament. It is probable that the PVV may enter into a coalition with the mainstream liberal party VVD to form a government. This can lead to an extremely xenophobic and an anti-Muslim government in western Europe.

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  38. Islamophobia in Europe
    by Talha Zaheer on 08 18th, 2009 | Comments (64)
    A few months ago, I came across a (now infamous) YouTube video about changing demographics of the Muslim population in Europe. The tone was ominous as it warned of the dawning of an Islamicised Europe. In 39 years, the video claimed, France will be an Islamic republic. In 15 years, half the population of the Netherlands will be Muslim. In 2050, Germany, too, will be a Muslim state.

    Although I was a bit skeptical about the authenticity of the statistics presented, I basically bought into the video’s premise – that a higher birth rate among Muslim immigrants would cause a marked shift in Europe’s demographics, making it predominantly Muslim. I’ll even admit a part of me swelled with pride at the prospect.

    Even though I was aware that a Christian group had produced the video, I do not recall being offended by that initial viewing. But then the rebuttals and clarifications began. A new YouTube video put out by BBC’s Radio 4 titled ‘Muslim Demographics: The Truth’ exposed the alarmist agenda of the first clip by pointing out its liberal use of inaccurate data. And when the BBC news service evaluated the inauthenticity of the statistics, my eyes were fully opened to the strong Islamophobic message of the original video.

    The growing problem of Islamophobia in the West is being increasingly documented. The trend is more pronounced in Europe than across the Atlantic, where it is thought that Muslims assimilate more readily. The demographics video may have been an amateur venture, it has coincided with the release of several bestselling books that implore Europeans to wake up and do something to save their culture and their continent. Interestingly, these pseudo-academic attempts have mostly emanated from American authors, apparently discontent with their own incursions into Muslim territories in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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  39. Google’s deal on equal Internet access opens door to new clout
    By Cecilia Kang
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, August 10, 2010

    Google has long presented itself as looking out for the little guy. It easily could have used its wealth and power to gain preferential treatment from Internet providers but always said it would not because that could prevent the next start-up in a Silicon Valley garage from enjoying similar success.

    But as Google has gotten bigger and entered new lines of business, it has revised some of its principles — and it is drawing criticism from start-ups and public interest groups along the way.

    Google and Verizon Communications on Monday confirmed that they’ve put aside their differences and agreed that rules ensuring equal access to the Internet shouldn’t apply to mobile phones. They also said a company such as Google could strike a deal to pay for more capacity on a carrier’s network for zippier downloads of its own sites over those of competitors.

    Verizon, Google propose Web traffic rules
    By John Poirier and Sinead Carew

    WASHINGTON/NEW YORK | Mon Aug 9, 2010 6:29pm EDT

    WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Verizon and Google said on Monday that regulators should be able to police Web traffic over cable and telephone lines, but carriers should control the speed of access to content on wireless devices.

    The joint announcement marks a surprising industry compromise over so-called “net neutrality” — a term that means high-speed Internet providers should not block or slow information or charge websites to pay for a fast lane to reach users more quickly. But it is unclear if the giant companies can get lawmakers or regulators to move forward with their proposal.

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  40. Magid on tech: Speaking up on net neutrality

    By Larry Magid
    Daily News Columnist
    Posted: 08/10/2010 06:33:02 PM PDT
    Updated: 08/10/2010 10:54:00 PM PDT

    The Net is full of criticisms of Google and Verizon’s announcement on Monday when they released a joint policy proposal “for an open Internet.”
    As many bloggers pointed out, that proposal actually calls for a less than fully open Internet. The issue, which is generally referred to as “network neutrality,” is whether broadband and wireless carriers such as Verizon, Comcast and AT&T should have the ability to prioritize certain traffic on their networks over other traffic.
    Network neutrality proponents say the carriers shouldn’t, arguing that carriers should be agnostic about traffic and not be able to create “toll roads” that let certain data flow faster or more freely than other traffic. Opponents of network neutrality, which typically include broadband carriers, argue that such restrictions would inhibit investment in infrastructure because carriers would not be free to fully exploit the networks they build out. They further argue that there are legitimate reasons to discriminate between network traffic — such as prioritizing telemedicine or educational videos over dancing cats on YouTube.

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  41. If the shoe fits
    By Sami Shah

    If a shoe falls on a president and no one is there to record it, did it make a splash? Excuse my tortured manipulations of an innocent metaphor, but I think you understand what I mean. The PPP has, over the last few days, managed to block and harass two local news channels over their coverage of something they claim never even happened. The world truly is a strange place. Indeed, if PPP activists put as much energy into flood relief as they have into burning newspapers, attacking news channels and shutting down cable operators, they would be able to change the entire course of rivers. But, as we well know, the mantra of all political workers is to never leave for tomorrow what you can burn, destroy, beat and abuse today.

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  42. Raging bull

    It was quite a sight watching a number of workers belonging to the country’s electronic media protesting against the ‘attack on the freedom of expression’ by the alleged workers of the PPP.

    The protest rally that I went to was held by angry activists of the PPP at the Karachi Press Club, in the wake of the attack and harassment experienced by the staff, cable operators and hawkers associated with the TV and print instruments of the Jang Group.

    The attacks and agitation against the media group began the day after the group’s TV channel began running reports of the shoe incident in which (reportedly) a shoe was hurled at President Zardari by a disgruntled Pakistani in Birmingham, England.

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  43. FRIDAY, AUGUST 13, 2010

    Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Geo?
    As the Geo versus government row rages on, one depressing truth is emerging from the stand-off: the virtual black-out of the issue from a majority of the country’s newspapers and television screens.

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  44. Blocking channels’ transmission criminal: CJ
    ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry on Friday said that blocking the transmission of television channels was criminal.

    “What are law enforcement officials doing?” he remarked.

    Justice Iftikhar made these remarks during a hearing of a petition challenging restrictions against television channels.

    “How does a cable operator decide whether to block a particular transmission?” he said.

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  45. Mosque furore
    Dawn Editorial
    Monday, 16 Aug, 2010

    For a brief few hours, US President Barack Obama stood on the right side of the startling national debate in America over private plans to build a mosque near the site of the World Trade Centre in New York.

    After weeks of declining to enter the fray over what is ostensibly a local issue (authorities in New York have already approved plans for the mosque), Mr Obama appeared to speak out forcefully in favour of the mosque at an iftar dinner on Friday: “This is America. And our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country and that they will not be treated differently by their government is essential to who we are. The writ of the founders must endure.” Those were marvellous words, a clear expression of the only correct moral, legal and constitutional position that can be taken on the issue of the New York mosque-cum-community centre.

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  46. Google defends net neutrality stance
    Search giant posts new blog entry debunking ‘myths’ about its net neutrality proposals announced earlier this week
    By Matt Warman, Consumer Technology Editor
    Published: 11:31AM BST 13 Aug 2010

    Google has responded to critics of the net neutrality proposals it announced with wireless provider Google earlier this week. In a robust blog post, it tackled its detractors by claiming that “We don’t expect everyone to agree with every aspect of our proposal, but there has been a number of inaccuracies about it, and we do want to separate fact from fiction”.
    Google has proposed a legal framework that would allow American regulators to fine internet service providers up to $2million if they allowed one kind of internet traffic priority over another on the fixed-line internet.

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  47. A dove stands for peace
    David Martin

    Pakistani newspapers have carried reports that an evangelical church in Florida, the Dove World Outreach Centre, has plans to publicly desecrate copies of the Holy Quran on the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. This is a continuation of their controversial campaign that started with placing a sign outside their church stating: “Islam is of the Devil”.

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  48. Net Neutrality Debate Divided On Familiar Political Lines
    By Tony Bradley at PC World
    Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:32pm EDT
    The debate over net neutrality has taken center stage after the FCC called off its attempts to negotiate a compromise with key industry players, and after Google and Verizon issued a joint “net neutrality” proposal of their own. The issue has devolved into a political knife fight with the two sides divided sharply along predictable ideological lines.

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  49. The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet
    Two decades after its birth, the World Wide Web is in decline, as simpler, sleeker services — think apps — are less about the searching and more about the getting. Chris Anderson explains how this new paradigm reflects the inevitable course of capitalism. And Michael Wolff explains why the new breed of media titan is forsaking the Web for more promising (and profitable) pastures.

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  50. Eat, Pray, Love, Leave: Orientalism Still Big Onscreen
    by MIA MASK
    In Eat Pray Love, Bali serves as Elizabeth Gilbert’s hallowed sanctuary. It’s an enchanted land where she finds emotional healing. But if her journey may in fact have been life-changing, the film version the story she told in her best-selling book is filled with stereotypes about the East. Ketut, the Balinese medicine man she seeks out for wisdom and fortune-telling? You want to believe in their friendship, but his character is a caricature. At one point, she even jokingly refers to him as Yoda.

    Eat Pray Love is just one of the recent movies to romanticize travel along the Silk Road. This year, movies about women awakening to their true passions while traveling to the Middle East include Cairo Time and Sex and the City 2.

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  51. SC calls for transcript of PTV program
    ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry directed on Tuesday the federation to produce the transcript of a contemptuous programme of PTV that was aired on Aug 13 after the Supreme Court ruled in a case of closure of private TV channels which covered an incident involving shoe-hurling at President Asif Ali Zardari in Birmingham last week.
    Akram Sheikh, the counsel for president of the ARY group Dr Shahid Masud, apprised the court that PTV had aired a programme on the said date which was against the apex court’s verdict, contending it was an “obvious contempt of court”.

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  52. comment: The shoe has glue
    Sardar Mohammed Shamim Khan, the man who threw his shoes at Asif Ali Zardari in Birmingham had terrible aim, despite being armed with a size ten shoe. But even though missing to get a good trajectory, the shoe has had some remarkable glue. It’s as if he did hit his target.
    Zardari’s ill-timed visit to the UK was doomed from the start, the Pakistani public had found an unlikely ally: the British press. Even before his visit, articles critical of the president appeared across the spectrum of tabloids and broadsheets.

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  53. comment: Foreign media-ocrity
    BY GUEST ON 08 18TH, 2010 | COMMENTS (25)

    “It’s such an exciting time to be in Pakistan.” This is a line one hears time and again from every new arrival of foreigners that lands at Islamabad airport. From the US Secretary of State, to the new foreign service employees at an international embassy, to the newest international media correspondent, Pakistan seems to be the new land of opportunity. Except that this opportunity doesn’t really work for us too much, considering we were declared the most dangerous country in the world last year and now, because of natural disasters, are at our absolute lowest point. Sadly, Pakistan is being mined by the rest of the world as an example of how good it can get when it gets really bad.

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  54. comment: Free limits
    By Nadeem F. Paracha
    Sunday, 22 Aug, 2010

    What on earth is ‘freedom of speech?’ This question has been raised on various TV channels, in the newspapers and on internet forums in Pakistan after some channels were sent spinning off the air, allegedly by ‘hooligans’ on the payroll of the ruling People’s Party (PPP). These ‘hooligans’ were seemingly angered by the channels’ coverage of the shoe throwing incident in which a man had reportedly thrown a shoe at the President of Pakistan in the UK.

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  55. Outrage in Pakistan as court blacks out Indian channels
    Omer Farooq Khan, TNN, Aug 28, 2010, 03.32am IST

    ISLAMABAD: In move that blocks the information highway across Pakistan and comes as a rude shock to the people, Pakistan’s supreme court on Friday directed the electronic media regulatory authority to stop all cable operators from airing TV channels without landing rights in Pakistan. The stations off air as a result are predominantly Indian news, entertainment and sports channels, as also a clutch of other foreign and local entertainment, sports and religious networks.

    The question of landing rights arose after Pakistan’s Geo and ARY news channels lodged a petition in the apex court because local cable operators were forced to switch off their transmission for broadcasting news of a shoe hurled at President Asif Ali Zardari during his visit to the UK earlier this month.

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  56. comment: Do Muslims get bad press in the media?
    BY MURTAZA HAIDER ON 08 24TH, 2010 | COMMENTS (72)

    he western media is reporting that a poor image of Pakistan may be behind the lacklustre response to fund-raising appeals to support rescue efforts. The widespread coverage of violent protests against western countries on the streets of Pakistan has indeed, helped generate a negative stereotype of Pakistan.

    While we may not be able to quantify how the rest of the world views Pakistan, we may still be able to see how the rest of the world views Muslims in general.

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  57. Stop talking, start listening
    Let me state at the outset: given a choice between a state-controlled media and a media that is free but may lack sophistication and, at times, even act irresponsibly, I would opt for the latter: the free media. Because one can expect and hope that a free media may, through experience, training, feedback, and competition, evolve into a sophisticated and responsible institution. A state-controlled media, on the other hand, offers no such hope.

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  58. comment: An inconvenient truth
    By Anjum Niaz
    Sunday, 05 Sep, 2010

    Once upon a time there stood a building that housed a cheap retail store going by the name of ‘Burlington Coat Factory.’ It was near the World Trade Centre in New York. Over time, the store closed down and the building fell vacant for anyone to rent or own.

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  59. comment: Muslims don’t hate America
    Mahreen Aziz Khan
    When a pastor from Florida vows to burn the Holy Quran in order to “stop Islam” whilst standing on the lawn of his church, which proudly displays the sign “Islam is evil”, his acts are only representative of himself, not his faith, Christianity nor his country, America. The international media is meticulous in highlighting the smallness of the pastor’s congregation, in investigating his past to mark his beliefs as divergent from the mainstream, the display of a lunatic fringe tolerated in a free society but not reflective of it. The sane voices from civil society and celebrity are accorded prominence and ample air time to demonstrate that the pastor’s behaviour is an aberration, that all Americans do not despise Islam.

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  60. SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2010

    The Economics of Pakistan’s Electronic Media
    Here at Cafe Pyala we have often debated the concept of the “electronic media bubble” and put forward our own opinion that the economics of the media boom in Pakistan over the last decade just did not seem to make sense. Wanted to share the following article with readers from the recent reincarnation of Viewpoint (the leftist magazine edited by Mazhar Ali Khan that died along with the collapse of the Soviet Union) as an e-zine. It is written by Riaz ul Hassan, a former lecturer at Government College, Lahore, who is currently studying in Sweden and plans to do a PhD, we are told, in Social Media studies.

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  61. Opportunity for balanced and biased coverage
    Journalism has always influenced the economics of its surroundings through the ability to shape perceptions and opinions. However, technology and the rising connectivity of our world have multiplied its scope, means and ability of impact.

    These influences do not come without their respective shortcomings, as there remain unaddressed market failures in the workings of the industry that need to be rectified, or at least acknowledged to promote mindful, rather than blind following.

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  62. Friday, September 24, 2010
    More Breaking (Away) News
    We have confirmed that Aaj TV’s Executive Director News and Current Affairs, and host of his own show, Syed Talat Hussain, has put in his papers at the channel. He is set to bid goodbye to the struggling-for-ratings news channel at the end of October.

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  63. COMMENT: What level of plagiarists are we? —Shahzad Chaudhry

    Just as there are ‘cut and paste’ authors among us, there are copy-cat discussants. A profusion of talk-shows helps spread the word of one through various talking heads. We usually hold verbal plagiarism to lesser scrutiny than the written word, though the pain of seeing someone stealing your thought is as much

    Returning from a long stretch of holidays we need to ease into work. So, no geo-politics, or the pervasive security issues that plague us, nor the shenanigans of our politicos; this column is about us — the people, and what we inflict upon each other.\11\22\story_22-11-2010_pg3_2

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  64. A friend of mine sent this to me via email…


    General Vo Nguyen Giap.
    General Giap was a brilliant, highly respected leader
    of the North Vietnam military. The following quote
    is from his memoirs and is also found on the
    Vietnam war memorial in Hanoi :

    ‘What we still don’t understand is why you Americans
    stopped the bombing of Hanoi . You had us on the
    ropes. If you had pressed us a little harder,
    just for another day or two, we were ready
    to surrender! It was the same at the
    battle of TET. You defeated us!
    We knew it, and we thought
    you knew it.
    But we were elated to notice your media was
    helping us. They were causing more disruption in
    America than we could in the battlefields. We
    were ready to surrender. You had won!’

    General Giap has published his memoirs and confirmed
    what most Americans knew.
    The Vietnam war was not
    lost in Vietnam — it was lost at home. The
    same slippery slope, sponsored by the US media,
    is currently underway. It exposes the
    enormous power of a Biased Media to
    cut out the heart and will of
    the American public.

    A truism worthy of note: … Do not fear the enemy,
    for they can take only your life.
    Fear the media,
    for they will destroy your honor.

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  65. Five myths about the future of journalism
    By Tom Rosenstiel, Thursday, April 7, 10:06 AM

    There are few things journalists like to discuss more than, well, themselves and the long-term prospects for their industry. How long will print newspapers survive? Are news aggregation sites the future? Or are online paywalls — such as the one the New York Times just launched — the way to go? As media organizations plot their future, it’s worth discarding some misconceptions about what it will take to keep the press from becoming yesterday’s news.

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  66. Indian media
    Farooq Sulehria
    Tuesday, January 17, 2012

    In 2011, India leading media production company UTV was gobbled by US media giant Walt Disney. In 1996, ironically, UTV was contacted initially by Disney to dub its productions in Indian languages.

    The “I” in BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China), is eyed by the global media conglomerates as the world’s third-largest market. State television was launched in India in 1959, on experimental basis. Since the launch of first privately-owned channel, Zee TV, in 1992, the country had 800 channels by 2010 while the media was a Rs42.23-billion business employing several million people.

    Overawed by the Indian media boom in the 1990s, liberal academics began to glorify it as “making of little-media imperialism” in their bit to dismiss the notion of media imperialism. They declared that emerging cultural centres like India (Bollywood, in particular!) and Globo-feme Brazil have delivered the end of Western domination of the media and cultural productions.

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