By: Rashid Sami

Television since its invention, especially in the present century, has proven to be the most effective tool of communication. May it be the “technological West” or the far-flung households in the third world; the mini – screen remains the main source of information and entertainment.

Pakistan Television in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme Media Project, recently organized a one-day workshop on women’s political empowerment. The main objective of the workshop was to gather media professionals, mainly filmmakers, writers and advertising guns, to create and design slogans and 30-60 second public service messages. These slogans and messages are to be telecast from PTV and will focus on raising public awareness with intention to enhance women’s participation in the political process, especially the local bodies elections this year.

Many people feel, globally, that the female gender in electronic and print media is mostly used as an object or prop. A report read out during the workshop, “Representing the unrepresented”, outlined the major dramas, drama serials and commercials showing women as ineffective and weaker members of society.

The participants of the workshop included Luna Banuri, Project Manager UNDP, Seema Tahir, Sultana Siddiqui and others, and officials from Pakistan Television and private productions, along with Allama Iqbal Open University. It was a healthy initiative and if used properly, may produce positive results with reference to the overall image of Pakistani women.

At the end of the workshop the participants who were divided in four groups made their presentations. Main characteristics of the slogans and short messages to be telecast from local television, with regard to the female gender, was enrolment in the electoral list, awareness of women’s participation in the electoral process as voters and candidates.

If on the one hand PTV is initiating has recently sacked a group of female announcers without informing them. According to the Managing Director, PTV, these announcers were removed from their jobs due to the overall presentation uplift. He explains that around the world audio announcements are used on television alone. The announcers are upset as they say that they were not issued any notice with reference to their removal and that they came to know of their termination only when they contacted the television station when the van did not arrival for the usual official transportation. They have requested the PTV officials to continue their services as audio announcers.

Haan usi moor par is the new four-episode mini-serial which is being shown in the series Aik Gana Aik Afsana. It’s based on the old Pakistani film song. The story adapted from an American short story defines the difference of status in society when two young people, Atif, an advertising person played by Aijaz Aslam, and Serena the only daughter of rich parents played by Neera Sheikh, fall in love. It is telecast on Thursday after Khabarnama.

Sajid Time, a talk show presented by Sajid Hasan continues to come under criticism as the format of the talk show is termed a replica of an Indian programme. This programme may have a similar format but one cannot take away the production quality or the overall treatment of this show. The angles used, the set, wardrobe, script and the guests are all ingredients of a very entertaining programme. The music, though, and occasionally Sajid become too loud and need to tone down.

Mideast Time is coming up with a bouquet of PTV classics and new programmes. Their next quarter includes Teesra Kinara., Hawaain, Alif Noon Comedy Theatre and Alif Laila. Reruns of Dupatta and Zaib-un-Nisa will.