Media insensitivity towards PK661 crash victims

Pakistani media is a vulture preying on corpses looks fine as a meme or a social media comment but in PK661 crash investigation and everything that goes around it this notions seems to be the case. This is not the first crash in Pakistani aviation’s 70 years history and it is not the first investigation. So what is new?

That is digital media that is now trying to outsmart conventional media and news organisations like the respectable newspapers in question here is unfortunately the latest entrant in this rat race. It used to be an icon of journalism but now news that sells seems to be the new benchmark. The worst part of this whole episode is that the story is above victims of a horrible crash.

The paper like few others reported that “Bodies of the crew on board PIA flight PK-661, may be exhumed” knowing for sure that it is something that is immature to say the most. Firstly it based on a letter written by district health officer to PIMS. The letter in itself is a joke and tells loud and clear about the state of investigation being carried out. And the story goes on to further nullify its headline that the letter is a letter and the decision making authority is not administrator PIMS.

It is in public domain that after crash human remains were collected in piles. It took PIMS officials weeks to identify and then these remains were handed out to the families. Before doing that PIMS conducted tests and in the story we can read the reply that “hospital administration already has samples from the crew members which can be used to test for drugs”.

The clueless story might not be best journalism but it done the damage and relatives of the crash were making frantic calls to PIA and others to confirm. And then it was enough to give ideas to many to spread the rumours that crew of the plane were on drugs or drunk. In the race to get hits nobody bothered to ask the question why such a story was published? Why it never crossed someone’s mind when publishing the story that if it was really the case that is different but when its not clear but a mere request what the relatives must have gone through? But for clicks and hits such thoughts are secondary and is a sad state of affairs.

We are not sure if the pilots were on drugs or they were drunk but this click hungry, crazy for hits journalism is definitely doped.


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