Journalists must understand cultural challenges
LAHORE: Ethical dilemma and future of journalism was discussed at a debate held to celebrate the second International Media Ethics Day on Friday. Speakers emphasised the need to understand the challenges of globalisation and socio-political, cultural and religious values while disseminating information. The discussion was organised by Mishal Pakistan in collaboration with the Centre for International Media Ethics (CIME) and the Centre for Media Research and Development (CMRD).
In his address, Press Council of Pakistan Chairman Shafqat Abbasi said the government was planning to revise and update the code of ethics enunciated in the Press and Publication Ordinance 2002. He said that people had complaints about the role of electronic media, as it was spreading sensationalisation and carrying out irresponsible reporting. “The private media does not accept PEMRA, because it functions under the government. We need to establish an independent institution to implement media laws and ethics,” he added.
CMRD Executive Director Amjad Hussain pointed out the internal and external limitations which hinder the journalists in disseminating transparent information, and underscored the significance of media ethics. He said the CMRD had planned a mechanism to conduct training courses for journalists and organise interactive programmes involving the media industry, policymakers and professionals. Lahore College for Women University Mass Communication Department Chairperson Dr Anjum Zia said that a true journalist should pursue truth and avoid bias, slant and framing. The journalists should also keep in mind the social and religious values and national interest while performing their professional duties, she added.
Mishal Pakistan CEO Amir Jahangir said that Pakistani information ecosystem needed to develop a mechanism which could distinguish good and bad journalism. He said that only a media credibility index could ensure improvement in journalism standards in the country.