Code of ethics for print media proposed
KARACHI – The Uks, a research, resource and publication centre on women and media, on June 16 called upon newspapers owners and other stakeholders in the newspaper industry to adopt a gender-sensitive code of ethics for print media.
The call came at a one-day interactive/consultative meeting, held at a local hotel, with the editorial staff of various newspapers. The meeting decided that recommendations would be sent to the APNS, PFUJ and KUJ so that the code of ethics could be adopted and implemented.
The code stresses on caution against the victim’s identification in rape cases, abduction, acid-throwing, sexual abuse of a child, etc. Participants of the meeting were of the view that victims of such incident must not be identified through print media and a similar approach should be adopted while publishing reports about VIPs’ and other officials’ visits, who would meet such victims.
With regard to the publication of women’s pictures, the code of ethics suggests that instead of displaying pictures of glamourous women, those of the women who excelled in their fields be preferred wherever possible.
It also emphasizes that pictures of the women attending an event or gathering, as being published by most newspapers without a caption, should be published with the permission of the subjects.
The code includes the recommendation that working environment at newspaper offices be made conducive for women journalists. It stressed the need for the strict implementation of regulations against sexual harassment. Women journalists should be encouraged to cover a variety of issues and not merely be relegated to covering women-oriented issues, it was recommended.
Regarding advertising and pictorial projection, the code of ethics suggests that advertisement from sexologist (offering potency drugs etc) and quacks should not be published as such adds not only instigate violence and sexual crime, but also portray a false image of masculinity, equating it with physical prowess. The meeting was conducted by Tasneem Ahmer.