'Research imperative to ensure quality journalism' -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

‘Research imperative to ensure quality journalism’

Karachi: Research is vital to ensure quality journalism in the country that is perhaps witnessing its most challenging times, says Muddassir Mirza, a senior journalist.

He was addressing students and teachers of the Department of Mass Communications, Federal Urdu University, at the Karachi Press Club (KPC) on Wednesday.

The event was held to present the findings of the research on ‘Media Literacy in Karachi’ that has been jointly conducted by the Federal Urdu University and Uks, a research, resource center under the supervision of Zareen Akhtar, a faculty member.

The meeting, besides students and teachers of the department, was also addressed by Imtiaz Faraan, President Karachi Press Club (KPC), Khursheed Tanvir, senior journalist and former president of the KPC, Dr Tausif Ahmed Khan, a professor in the department, and other leading working journalists.

Department students Muneeza Talat and Muhammad Amjad, while sharing the projects’ results with the audience, said that the print media, especially the dailies, were not sensitive enough to the quality of language they used. Some of the colloquial words were also finding their way into the headlines and that was not a positive trend.

Media in Pakistan, in general, is seen as more aggressive when it comes to the state authorities, it was observed in the findings. It said the editorial judgment of the chosen newspapers were not potent enough to exercise itself when it comes to the appropriate coverage of social news.

Such news reports seldom find a place on the front pages and are most commonly seen on the inside pages with minimal space. The growth of paid content (advertising) on the news pages was also alarmingly increasing to the extent that at least in one example, a business company did not allow newspapers to print their headlines on the front page.

Most of the leading newspapers carried full and front page ad of the company at the cost of their headlines.

Apart from the content analysis of the major Pakistani newspapers, the research also included focus group discussion on the relevant media issues with various segments of including upper, middle, lower, youth and minorities.

A good number of people were of the view that Pakistani anchor persons were much more aggressive and seemed quarrelsome with their guests especially when these guests were government representatives. Many people said media power seems to be taking care of its profits more than any other thing in the country. Marriage jamboree of Shoaib-Sania came under intense study and debate.

Imtiaz Faraan, President KPC appreciated continuous efforts of the students and teachers of the department and said such research activities must always go on in the media education institutions. Students should not only learn about the ethics of the media but also try to see the practical side of it. He said teachers of the department are responsible to show the practical side of media field to the students.

Khursheed Tanvir, during his speech also appreciated the student’s efforts and called upon the media to take full care of the code of ethics and sensitive use of language.

Dr Tausif Ahmed Khan in his address said the students of the department of Mass Communication have refined their research skills during the project. He said the department of Mass Communication, Federal Urdu University is devoid of necessary basic infrastructure and that is the basic impediment in the research activities at the department.

Zareen Akhtar, the coordinator of the project, said the students analysed the content of five major national newspapers and two TV channels and interviewed more than 500 people for the project.
Source: The News