Pakistani media not following journalistic ethics: moot told

KARACHI: It is unfortunate that journalits in Pakistan are not followed existing code of conducts for mass media in letter, while more accuracy or relevancy is also not found in certain issues.

This was stated by media development activist Asad Baig while speaking at a seminar held to audit news in media through feedback of the civil society members, organized by Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) in collaboration with Mishal Pakistan at a local hotel.

Two survey reports were presented in the seminar: one on electronic media and the other on print media. The surveys were conducted on the basis of news content of different media houses based in different cities of Pakistan. They were based on the news published in five newspapers and three TV channels of different calibers.

Baig, who was moderating the event, said the reason behind the seminar was to get critical feedback from civil society for the standard analysis report that would be published later, so that a baseline could be created for editorials by finding out gaps.

“It is thought-provoking that many important news go underreported or killed due to one reason or other,” he said.

Columnist Prof Muqtada Mansoor, Coordinator Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Syed Shamsuddin, social activist Dr Wahabuddin, research contributor to USAID Anis Danish, member of Pakistan Bar Council Zia Awan, Program Manager Bytes for All Sadaf, law student Arsalan Zia, Younas Bandhani of Baanh Beli, media specialist Prof Dr Seemi Naghmana, teacher of journalism Imran Sherwani, Secretary General PPF Owais Aslam Ali and General Manger PPF Sheraz Ahmed were also present on the occasion.

Baig said that most of all Urdu medium newspapers in comparison with English medium are not following ethical rules properly, while English medium newspapers give their own opiniom in news which is against ethical news.

Seemi Naghmana pointed out that editor’s hands have been limited in media houses to some extent because ratings played more imported role in news content rather than news importance. Therefore, fairness of news could not be gauged easily without applying scientific methods.

She also said research students should work on new emerging issues for bringing invention in new fields. To which Sadaf added that many universities discouraged students several times for distinguished research due to lack of resources or ideological clash.

Awan said news should have been researched properly through relevant information and contacting relevant experts. “Gender issues in KPK and Balochistan go under-reported due to law and order problem,” he said.

Owais Aslam said: “Surveys were conducted under supervision of experts, but they are still not perfect. However, with the insertion of opinions of civil society members, they could be made better.”

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