Television is something new for the people of Pakistan. It was on November 26, 1964, that television was introduced in Pakistan at Lahore. The television project was in the nature of a pilot one for three months until the semi-Government. National Television Corporation was to come into being to take it over.
Full-fledged television stations-one each at Lahore, Dacca, and Karachi, and three satellite stations, one each at Islamabad, Chittagong, and Peshawar, were planned to be set ‘ up, depending upon the success of the pilot project. The range of the pilot project at Lahore was from five to seven miles. But it was planned to be increased to fifty miles . with the Corporation running the fully developed stations after the initial period of three months.
One of the most important achievements of a man during his few centuries of civilization has been the combination of mechanized printing and broadcasting in sound and vision. It was in the nineteenth century that Printing Press was introduced in the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent. Printing of books, newspapers, and journals, as we know. them today, however, came in the twentieth century. The cinema appeared in our subcontinent during this century. Sound broadcasting, the most important landmark in the introduction of mass communication, is a recent invention.
Television is the latest means of mass communication. Although a branch of broadcasting, it is an important technical advance on sound radio. The outstanding fact about television is that it can project a picture simultaneously into hundreds, and thousands of homes just the same way as radio. When sound and picture are presented to an audience simultaneously it attracts five times the attention commanded by sound alone. One of the immediate effects of introducing a.television set into a household is that it stops all other forms of social activities and engages the full attention of children and adults alike.
Television, although initially a means of entertainment like radio, assumes the dual role of education and entertainment. According to experts, the greatest cos that the television has made in the developed nations of today is that it has delicious producing a better-educated and better-informed society. By carrying the living glimpses of the way of life, customs and attitudes of various nations of the world into our living rooms a better understanding is caused in the world. Through telecasts (television broadcasts) public can now know much more of the world than it was possible previously. It is due to the tremendous importance of television that quite a large number of the developing nations of Asia, Africa, and Latin America introduced television in their countries soon after sound broadcasting.
Television’s importance as a medium of education and entertainment needs no emphasis. It is especially necessary for developing countries like Pakistan which face enormous problems of illiteracy and mass intelligibility. The television can inculcate among the people a sense of values and awareness of their cultural heritage. It can enlarge their mental horizon and create in them a civic and national consciousness. It can also demonstrate the latest scientific discoveries. The visual medium can contribute a lot to economic development through programmes on agriculture and industry.
The introduction of television in Pakistan promises to be the dawn of a new era in mass communication. Great care, however, has to be taken in the selection and presentation of programmes as television has an immediate and vital impact on the viewer. There should be a fine balance between entertainment and education both should be pleasant and designed to appeal to the average viewer.