Call for media code to curb sensationalism
LAHORE: Media owners, practitioners and regulators should evolve a code to curb “sensationalism” as race amongst TV channels for “breaking the news” is affecting the media credibility and shrinking the number of viewers.
This was crux of speeches delivered at a seminar on ‘Quality of media content, role of regulators, media professionals and owners’, arranged by the School of Media and Communication Studies (SMCS) of a private university, according to a press release issued on Monday.
Prof Mugheesuddin Sheikh said violent content was not only disturbing society but also giving birth to lawlessness and terrorism. The trend of digital communication had been growing globally and nonprofessional journalists should not be allowed to comment, speak or write on sensitive and religious issues.
He said the media code of conduct and ethics were not being implemented by the regulators and the media owners. Besides, international institutions were also violating the code, he said.
Senior journalist Salim Bokhari said the government did not provide required opportunities for media development and growth. Similarly, he said, no step was taken by the government to strengthen the media industry. He was of the view that the media should not be under government control.
Analyst Salman Abid said a wide gap existed between the media and education institutions and good journalists could be produced by reducing this gap. He said the media owners were compromising quality of the content in the race for rating. He lamented that “useless” political debate was being aired. Because of such content, development and social journalism was left behind. He urged the young journalists to play their role to bring a change.
Muhammad Usman said the Pakistan’s electronic media was in teething phase and would gradually mature. The electronic media itself pushed the viewers to this level by airing dramatised crime shows and news and making it entertainment for them. He suggested that prior experience of newspaper newsroom should be mandatory for those joining electronic media newsroom so that they were aware of the prerequisites of the news.