In the modern world of journalism, the stakes are very high. Print media struggles to stay alive and 24/7 news channels are constantly seeking the latest breaking story to separate them from the competition. Usually, this all is tossed together in criticism of the industry from an irritated public. Now, however, the actions of a Pakistani news reporter have united the outcries into one loud voice and they’re all saying the same thing: this reporter sunk to a new low.
The reporter, whose name is unknown, works for Express News. When the beloved Pakistani philanthropist and humanitarian Abdul Sattar Edhi passed away last week after a long battle with kidney failure, reports were everywhere on Pakistani television. The reporter at the center of this controversy decided to report on the news from Edhi’s grave. Not just standing next to it, but literally lying six feet under the ground, where the coffin was to rest after the national funeral. Edhi dug his own grave in a small village in Karachi over 25 years ago.
Express News pulled the report within minutes of it appearing on air. However, in the round-the-clock coverage of the humanitarian’s funeral, someone took a screen grab and posted it on Twitter. Afterward, Express News worked tirelessly to make the story go away and apologized for the reporter’s poor judgment. A spokesman for the company refused to provide the journalist’s name, but clarified that he had fired the grave-diving employee.
While born in India, Abdul Sattar Edhi moved to Pakistan in 1947. There he worked tirelessly to generate donations to establish a charity. As his influence spread, he focused on helping the disabled, drug addicts, orphans, and women. A devout Muslim, he fought against the growing influence of radical Islam in the world. Identified by his long white robe and black cap, Edhi’s state funeral was attended by over 35,000 people. He was laid to rest on Friday without incident. Fortunately, by then, his grave was empty of reporters.