Media & Entertainment:
As compared to yesteryears, television in Pakistan has grown tremendously. The proliferation of satellite channels and cable TV networks has made it possible for a large number of Pakistanis to have access to information around the world which had hitherto remained inaccessible. The number of TV channels is expected to grow further in the coming months/years as many channels are waiting in the wings to enter this thriving field.
PAKISTAN TELEVISION CORPORATION (PTV): Pakistan entered into Television Broadcasting age with a small pilot TV Station established at Lahore from where transmission was first beamed in Black & White with effect from 26 November 1964. Television centres were established in Karachi and Rawalpindi/Islamabad in 1967 and in Peshawar and Quetta in 1974.
While introducing the sophisticated branch of the electronic media in the country, the broad perspective kept in mind was to inform and educate the people through wholesome entertainment and to inculcate in them a greater awareness of their own history, heritage, current problems and development as well as knowledge of the world at large. Newspapers or Print media still has strong influence over the common man. The reason may be because it carries more news in a smaller space and the convenience of reading it at a time and place of one’s own choice. Another reason of its influence is the lack of state control over the print media content in Pakistan.
Print media is considered more worthy and credible source of information in Pakistan as compared to TV which until recently had been in tight government control.
As compared to last year, there has hardly been an arrival of a significant publication in this industry, however, its importance remains the same. Despite the fact that the country has a low literacy rate as compared to other countries, the advertising spend in the print media remains at par with international standards. This shows the importance advertisers accord to the print media and how it helps in selling new ideas and creating awareness and hence generating demand for the products.
With over 173 registered publications nation-wide it is growing constantly and becoming more specialized in the kind of news it offers. The industry is getting more specific, liberal and flexible in terms of printing innovative and un-conventional advertisements and editorial content.
There has been a tremendous improvement in the quality of advertisements being placed in the print media which has necessitated and encouraged the industry to improve its technology level and produce quality output.
Cinema has traditionally existed as a much undervalued medium in Pakistan. During the 1950’s and 1960’s it was considered as a source of entertainment by middle-class and low-income households.
The charm of viewing firms shot on 35mm, on a large screen with stereo sound is however quite unique. Perhaps that is why, Cinema is staging a comeback, albeit in a very limited manner in the metros.
Pakistan is home to several film studios centres, primarily located in its two largest cities – Karachi and Lahore. Pakistani cinema has played an important part in Pakistani culture, and in recent years has begun flourishing again after years of decline, delivering entertainment to audiences in Pakistan and expatriates abroad. Several film industries are based in Pakistan, which tend to be regional and niche in nature. Over 10,000 Urdu feature-films have been produced in Pakistan since 1948, as well as over 8000 Punjabi, 6000 Pashto and 2000 Sindhi feature-length films.
Shoaib Mansoor’s Bol seemed to have officially “revived” the cinema of Pakistan. 2013 brought with it seven Pakistani films that were theatrically released in Pakistan, and led commentators to ponder whether it was time to announce the heralding of a ‘new wave’ of Pakistani cinema. Since 2011 from the digital scene two films have stood out with box office success as highest grossing Pakistani films; Waar followed by Main Hoon Shahid Afridi. However, as some commentators cautioned, declaring a film a ‘hit’ or a ‘flop’ is determined by the relationship of the budget spent and box office returns of a film and therefore several of the top-grossing films of Pakistan were technically not a ‘hit’. Nonetheless, the lack of box office returns of a Pakistani film has less to do with the film itself but more to do with the severely limited number of screens in Pakistan. Another film, Zinda Bhaag (Run for your Life, 2013) has been critically acclaimed with reviewers calling it ‘the best film to have come out of modern-day Pakistani cinema’ and a “new metaphor for Pakistani cinema that “bode(d) well for the possibility of noteworthy Pakistani imports in years to come”. Zinda Bhaag went on to be Pakistan’s official submission to the Oscars (Foreign Film Category),the first after a gap of fifty years but did not make the final shortlist nominees.