Media urged to focus on ethical rules

KARACHI: Media should give more focus to observing ethical rules and refrain from sensitization of news, said speakers at launch of two survey reports on media ethics here Monday.

The surveys were conducted by Mishal Pakistan and Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) on electronic and print journalism, respectively. The researches showcased how much both the media were focusing on news categorized into 12 kinds. The categories included corruption, governance, politics, crime, social injustice and religion.

The speakers observed that English newspapers follow more ethical rules of journalism than Urdu newspapers. However electronic media was generally more focused to create hype and improve their ‘rating’.

The two research surveys were presented before journalists and research students for critical discussion on ‘how much ethical rules Pakistani media was following’.

CEO of Aaj TV and Daily Business Recorder Asif Zuberi said TV was a business show, while print media was doing a true journalism to a greater extent.

“Put aside PTV, which is a government propaganda tool, the boost of private TV channels is rather a new phenomenon in Pakistan. It just started around 2005. So, we are still somewhat immature in this sector. On the other hand, we have a long history of newspapers in our region,” he said.

The survey was conducted on five newspapers: Daily Jang, Daily Express, The News, Express Tribune and Business Recorder. However, in electronic media three channels were included in the survey: Geo News, Express and Aaj.

It was observed that media many a times highlighted news of some vested interests, or avoided news that were in conflict to their own interests.

Editor Express Newspaper Taher Najmi said media has never been completely free and would never be in future, as well, because media houses have their own vested interests, especially financial, for which they could not publish ‘every kind of news’.

Secretary General PPF Owais Aslam Ali showed satisfaction that almost the same number of issues was raised by different newspapers that required attention.

It was announced that another meeting would be held with the members of civil society to try to soothe their concerns about media.

Senior journalist Ameen Yousuf, reporter of Dawn Saher Baloch, Ms Sahar, a PhD student of University of California, Sadaf from Bytes for All and Asad Baig from Mishaal Pakistan were also present.

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