Free, independent and responsible media -by Farhad Jarral
QUETTA: All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) and Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE) would have to play their role to curb non-professionalism in media by finalizing and implementing Media Code of Ethics in letter and spirit.The participant journalists expressed these views in a Free, Independent and Responsible Media (FIRM) Skills Training Workshop organized by Individualland-Pakistan in collaboration with Friedrich-Naumann-Stifting Fur Die Freiheit (FNF) at a local hotel on Friday.
Senior journalist and Bureau Chief daily Dawn Saleem Shahid said:No attention is being paid to ensure professionalism in media besides implementing media code of ethics in letter and spirit.Giving example, he said media persons did not think for a moment that what psychological impact would affect the mindset of viewers while screening a human who was succumbing to his or her injuries in a bomb blast on the site.
He opined that a lot of TV channels had been aired but majority of their staff were untrained reporters, copy writers and cameramen. No step was
taken so far for their professional training and making them aware of ethical codes, he added.
He recalled that in past TV channel CNN had been apologizing with viewers for continuous 10 days when it was grilled for screening bodies of two sons of lat president of Iraq, Saddam Hussain closely.
He lamented that in our country, there was no sense of ethical codes whether what should be screened on TV channels and what not.
Shahid emphasized the need to organize a series of workshops for media persons particularly related to electronic media. He also alleged that attitude of private TV anchors showing them as a party in their talk shows was open violation of media code of ethics.
The senior journalist recalled that earlier, teams of senior journalists had compiled media code of ethics for media persons of print and electronic media but still they needed practical steps from APNS and CPNE to give them a reality.
Eisa Tareen, Bureau Chief of INP and TV channel Al-Jazira observed that some media organizations were making journalists like beggars when they did not pay salary to their employees.
Akbar Sheikh of Associated Press of Pakistan suggested that a Press Council comprising representatives of journalistic organizations should be constituted to ensure implement of media codes of ethics besides ensuring media professionalism.
He observed that it was nature and temperament of a Pakistani journalist that he would obey only instructions issued by the Press Council which would comprise of his or her representative organizations instead government officials or others. He explained that verdict of a complaint given by a Press Council which was chaired by government officials would be taken in journalist community as a pressure on them.
The organizer of the workshop Shaukat Ali Ashraf of IL-Pakistan raised two questions including why office of Editor had weakened in media organizations and whether media was accountable and responsible to anyone.
A large number of journalists participated in the workshop and gave their recommendations to implement media code of ethics besides adopting media professionalism.(APP)