‘Media should formulate code of conduct’
Karachi: In order to report responsibly and bring out the true picture of events in front of the masses, the media should formulate a code of conduct, and perform self-accountability, the Adviser to the Chief Minister, Sharmila Farooqi said on Friday.
She was addressing civil society members and journalists at a media consultation on ‘Violence against Children and the role of media’ organised by the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) at a local hotel.
Elaborating on the role of media while covering incidents of violence against children, she said that at times, the media exposes the victim which can aggravate her condition, for which it is necessary that the privacy of the victims especially rape victims be protected.
“As opposed to earlier times, the media has become more sensitised and highlights issues related to children. However, it has also become judgmental and an opinion-maker.”
She said that the electronic news channels should issue clarifications incase of misreporting. She said that the government’s media liaison desk is aimed to bridge the gap between the authorities and the media, and make the government officials accessible to the electronic and the print media.
Iqbal Detho, Regional Manager of SPARC requested Farooqi to use her powers to ensure that the parliamentarians are aware of reports which are submitted by the government to the United Nations related to children issues.
Also, pending children-related bills including Corporal Punishment Bill and Child Protection Authority 2005 should be tabled as soon as possible.
Earlier, Suhail Ahmed Abro, the provincial manager of SPARC talked about the various forms of violence against children. He said that cases are increasing every year and shared statistics of incidents reported in 2008 of violence against children, in which 6780 cases were reported, out of which around 2529 victims were girls and 425 were boys.
He also spoke on other forms of violence such as psychological, kidnapping, acid attacks and trafficking. He said that while the media is playing an effective role in highlighting children issues, it should also start reporting on issues which are being neglected such as child militancy, suicide, corporal punishments, pornography and cyber-related crimes.
Rana Asif Habib, of the Initiator Human Development Foundation said that it is high time that the Child Protection Bill which has been pending in the assembly since the last six years should be immediately passed. He shared his research work which states that thousands of children living on the street are being subjected to physical emotional violence.
Source: The News