A new newspaper, The Minute Mirror, is in your hands. In the digital age of information, the traditional feel of a newspaper at the breakfast table is diminishing fast. That is an unfortunate fact. But the new digital realities do not lessen the necessity for the supply of credible, accurate news to the people. A citizen will be reduced to a robot who follows instructions from the government or elsewhere if they are unable to make informed decisions.
It is the job of the media to enable citizens to make informed decisions, which is why developed states and societies put considerable care into the steady growth of a healthy and objective media environment.
Unfortunately, this has not been the case here and the time is now ripe for the launch of a new media adventure.
Governments, elected or otherwise, and other non-government bodies have never wanted the media to grow.
They all know that the growth of media entails presentation of a diversity of information to the masses.
Diversity is the core credential and raison d’etre of the media. Media’s rationale is that a diversity of information enables the masses to think critically and make the right choices.
Successive governments and media masters have only deployed media as an agenda setting tool for public discourse.
As a result, a system has been put in place in which the media only generates public debate in favor or against the government’s statements and actions.
Gradually, the ability of the masses to seek diversity of information has withered.
They have been gratifying their natural urge and craving for information from the existing media set-up.
But this is false gratification. The media empires that are feeding the populace this false gratification share a berth with governments and corporate bodies to sustain the status quo.
They both are equally afraid of media growth for different reasons. The governments fear that any new media outlet can risk wading through uncharted waters and disturb the deep slumber of public discourse.
The existing media empires fear that newcomers in their club will cut into their space.
This is the fear that keeps the governments and existing media empires united against the new media outlets.
To boot, the craving for centralization of powers has driven the incumbent government to squeeze all mechanisms to control media in one single control panel called the Pakistan Media Development Authority.
Journalists are on the roads against this ploy and prospects are daunting. It is against these odds that we have decided to chip in as the country badly needs a new voice. We, Minute Mirror, are that new voice for several reasons. Consider:
In the era of the coronavirus pandemic, fake news has caused suspicions among the masses about the disease leading to violations of SOPs and the creation of doubts about the efficacy of the vaccine. The media role in the pandemic demands a warrior like conduct. This newspaper will try to fight the pandemic along with the government, front-line fighters such as doctors and government officials, and the public at large to defeat the virus.
Fake news has overshadowed yellow journalism. The new phenomenon tests the nerves of journalists in newsrooms around the world. This newspaper will try to defeat fake news and will stand by the government’s and other media stakeholders’ efforts to cull the culture of fake news.
Positive journalism is a freshly established trend in the profession’s modern-day practices. Quite contrary to public relation journalism, positive journalism highlights problems and then offers solutions. This newspaper will be a pointer in positive journalism.
The basic commitment of this newspaper lies with the benefits of the public at large. However, the mission will be carried forward with the government’s support as well. The newspaper will keep the public interests supreme, which are the real national interests. In these trying times, the media outlet will strengthen national interests without any compromise.
The newspaper will adhere to the tested and trusted principles of journalism. The rights of the workers within the organization will be protected.
Over time, the media has been the home of dominant voices – the privileged class. Urban-centered media doesn’t reach the rural class. This newspaper will break the monotony and give ample space to the segments that are yet to find their voice in the media.
The media doesn’t and shouldn’t work in isolation. This newspaper will consult the public to architect its editorial policies. With these guiding principles, The Minute Mirror is going to take its first step today. The new newspaper, is in your hands.