Media ethics in Pakistan -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Media ethics in Pakistan

A vicious propaganda is being carried out on the media against President Zardari in the wake of his departure to Dubai for a routine medical check-up. It seems that many Dr Goebbles are present in our era with the same irrational approach. They are using this platform for hate-mongering.

There is a freedom of expression in the country, as our Constitution states in Article 19 that “every citizen shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression, and there shall be freedom of the Press, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of the glory of Islam or the integrity, security or defence of Pakistan or any part thereof, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of Court, [commission of] or incitement to an offence.” But this doesn’t mean that certain elements shape some incidents according to their own interests, setting aside national interest. There should be a proper check and balance on it. The propaganda which has been spread on the social media following Foreign Policy magazine’s report “President Zardari suddenly leaves Pakistan – is he on the way out?”, is totally speculative as has been officially denied by the president office.

Media is a major player in shaping public opinion and public perceptions. It has the power to change the public opinion and this power can be used for good purposes. This newfound power of media is now being used by political actors to set agenda of their choice, influence public opinion or to create good or bad sentiments in people’s minds regarding any segment of polity.

If we believe that we need media cooperation to shape, direct and protect Pakistan’s current national interests, then we need to engage this important stakeholder from a new pitch. There is a need to set up a self-regulatory non-governmental media ethics commission, like those in the UK and other countries, to monitor senseless reporting and ensure implementation of code of ethics for media in Pakistan.