Human welfare should be main goal of journalism
LAHORE- Prof Dr Michael Kunczik of the Institute of Communication, Johannes Guteberg University of Mainz, Germany, has said that protection of human rights and human welfare should be the fundamental aim of a journalist in every society including Pakistan. He was speaking at a seminar on “Media ethics-responsibilities and professional standards.” The seminar was arranged by department of Mass Communication, Punjab University in collaboration with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, a German foundation, setup after the name of Germany’s first democratically elected president, Friedrich Edbert, Prof Dr Gunter Lehrke of the University of Mainz, Prof, Dr Shafiq Jullandhry, Head of the Department of Mass Communication, Punjab University, Prof Dr Moghessuddin Shaikh, Prof Dr Mujahid Ali Mansoori, Dr Shahjehan, Chairman Department of Mass Communication, Peshawar University and Moazzam Khalil also took part in the discussion held on the occasion.
Prof Michael said that there are different criteria of journalistic ethics in different societies but there should be an element of sincerity in gathering information, which should not be concealed but rather suitably presented before people. “The truth should be reported with all seriousness in a neutral manner which may not harm the innocent. However, the news and views should be visibly separated from each other so that a reader may differentiate between a hard news and the commentative news. Prof Michael said that journalism should develop as self-controlled profession like other specialized professions and it should be reckoned with by other professions equally. In Germany, he said the journalists bodies hold regular discussions to identify and resolve their problems. A strong journalists body, he said should protect the rights and privileges of journalists to enable them to work free of any State or corporate influence. He said in Germany, there are separate newspapers of different ideological groups and communities and journalists work in these newspaper organizations according to their own choice.
Prof Dr Gunter Lehrke said that he studied from the newspaper cuttings about the code of ethics in journalism in Pakistan but it did not appear that these ethics were being fully implemented here.
Dr Shafiq Jullandhry said that the proposed Press Council Ordinance should also take into account the viewpoint of complaints against newspapers.
Dr Moghessuddin said that it is not completely true that western media is independent. “Like other countries, the western mediamen are also influenced by publishers and owners. There are also examples of the absence of moral ethics in western media,” he added.
Dr Mujahid Mansoori said that newspapers do not act as mirror of the society as vast rural population and their problems are ignored in newspaper columns. Journalists do not pay much attention to the social issues while 75 per cent of news pertain to political and personalities, he said.
Moazzam Khalil also spoke on the occasion.
Source: The Nation