A growing media
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Today everyone in Pakistan is conscious of the drone strikes, TTP’s offer of talks to the government and many other issues of Pakistan. It is all due to the flourishing media in the country.
When people know exactly what is happening around, they can become active citizens and play their role in the affairs of country. It is impossible to imagine having real democracy or good governance without informed citizens. In any democratic dispensation, public opinion is required. The last decade has witnessed a great change in the media policy of the government, due to opening of a lot of private channels. Lined up with the global trends, the government also introduced new media technologies in the country resulting in a rapid growth of electronic media in Pakistan.
All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE), and Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) have developed code of ethics to follow. Similarly, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has formulated rules to follow but implementation of these rules is not observed, which shows that Pakistani media is going through a transition as yet. At this juncture, it is very essential to prioritise the socio-political health of the public through credible and news-worthy information and positive entertainment. It is necessary to develop a code of ethics for the media so that it could serve as a watchdog in the society besides serving public, through opinion about national and international issues and through provision of authentic and verifiable debates.
The code of ethics for Pakistan media, which has been formulated by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, is based on the idea that a fair, balance and independent journalism is essential for good governance, effective public administration and bringing genuine democracy and peace in Pakistan. The code recognises that the creation of a tolerant, peaceful and just society depends on the freedom of citizens to have access to responsible journalism. All the media stakeholders should collectively reassess the role of media in society and come up with a collective will for compliance on the code of conduct for journalists of the print and electronic media. These steps will not only bring a positive change in Pakistani society but will also reinforce media itself and bring more institutional credibility.
RAJA WAHEED ASHRAF,