Media ethics: Samaa TV’s response to citizens’ feedback and Maya Khan’s refusal to apologise

Maya Khan: fired for refusing to tender an unconditional apology

Following the citizens’ campaign expressing outrage at a Samaa TV morning show’s intrusive and unethical programming, and the host  Maya Khan’s refusal to apologise unconditionally, the channel is taking her show off the air and terminating her contract. BELOW: CEO Samaa TV Zafar Siddiqi’s letter in response to our email to him yesterday. This is the power of collective, visible, non-violent action — and of the social media that helped to spread the word. This will not end here. Media consumers in Pakistan are waking up to their own power, and will continue to lobby for an ethical, responsible media.

Date: Sat, Jan 28, 2012
Subject: Re: URGENT: People’s Petition and Protest on Irresponsible, Intrusive and Invasive Programming by SAMAA TV

Dear All

Your feedback is appreciated. As a responsible corporate citizen, Samaa TV did what was required under the circumstances. We do not and have not in the past or intend to in the future to take our viewership or reporting requirements without the seriousness that they deserve.

You would appreciate that as an organisation with a functioning management team, we had to conduct certain legal requirements over the past week and internal review processes (which are operational in nature) before procedding further.

As a result of which I can inform you:
1. We asked Maya to apologise unconditionally which she did not.
2. The CEO asked her to do that on friday which she refused.

As a result of which the following will be put in place on Monday,Jan 30th.
1. Maya and her team will receive termination notices.
2. Her show is being stopped from Monday morning.

Our deeds and actions taken since this episode occured are there for the record and hope this will settle issues as far as the station is concerned.

A lot has been written about the race for ratings..Well, we do (not) absolve such behaviour irrespective of ratings that the show was getting.

With best regards and thank you for your understanding.Zafar Siddiqi
Chairman CNBC Arabiya
Chairman CNBC Africa
President CNBC Pakistan

5 Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing this. Its good to see responsible action being taken at long last by the Samaa TV management, As Maya proclaims she is working for a channel that upholds the truth, may the truth reign.


  2. most of the morning shows r morally corrupting the nation.the run for rating has brought some immoral descriptions


  3. I signed the petition, I am happy for the decision taken by Samaa management. Thank you Beena Sarwar for raising the issue and collecting us together…


  4. A sobering thought: though this is clearly a triumph of collective action on the part of progressive media consumers, one cannot but worry about the probability of conservative media consumers taking on liberal/secular media professionals and programmes.


  5. Show biz media authorities should take all care as these are family channels and avoid any shows which create unrest among viewers.Action well taken by Samaa tv.


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