PCP urges media not to publish news without verification
ISLAMABAD: Press Council of Pakistan (PCP) has urged media not to telecast and publish news without verification.
The two days conference titled, “Media Ethics-Theory and Practice” was organized by the PCP. The conference was largely attended by scholars, researchers, deans and heads of Mass Communication departments of the leading universities of the country. They presented their research papers related to the various topics.
The conference recommended that for the enforcement of ethics, electronic media needs to be brought within the ambit of PCP. According to recommendations, Newspapers Employees Act does not cover electronic media employees, so the Act should be modified to cover them as well.
The media should avoid presenting parodies of the national leaders and it needs to focus on education and development of general public, it said.The conference also recommended a working group to regulate and describe basic principles for social media and citizen journalism. It said that editorial institutions should be strengthened in media organizations. Media should limit the element of commercialism and TV programs should incorporate own cultural values.
Appropriate treatment is required to restrain the negative effect of crime coverage while reporting crimes, crises, conflicts and disasters identification should be avoided.It was also recommended that close family members of a victim should not be asked embarrassing questions. Minimum qualification and salary should be fixed for the correspondents working in rural areas of the country.
Journalists’ community and Press Council should promptly respond whenever journalists/media is attacked or humiliated.All media organizations should establish their own monitoring cells or appoint Ombudsmen and legal advisers for internal accountability.
The decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan regarding 7th Wage Board Award should be fully implemented by media organizations. “If they do not do so, the PFUJ should file a case of contempt of court”, the conference also recommended.
Complaint Committee of Press Council should be made more effective for the enforcement of ethics.The Press Council of Pakistan should accredit media educational institutions and their academic programmes and journalists. Refresher courses for the mid career journalists in collaboration with the Mass Communication Departments of the universities should be organized by the Press Council of Pakistan.
Freedom of Information Act 2004 should be fully implemented so that journalists have easy access to information from government departments.The process of issuing advertisements to the print and electronic media should be linked with the level of implementation of wage board award and observance of code of ethics.
Universities and colleges should focus on the subject of ‘Media Ethics and Practices’ in their research work and curricular.No advertisements from foreign NGOs or the other foreign organization be allowed to pump “soft money” to the media in the form of advertisement.On security affairs, a consensus should be developed between establishment and media by arranging special briefings for the media.