‘Duty of a journalist not to release news without investigation’
KARACHI: Journalism is a very pious profession as it provides knowledge and awareness to the general public through true evidence. All journalists needed to be honest and provide true information.
This was stated by speakers at a daylong workshop titled ‘Media ethics and code of conduct’, conducted by the Pakistan Council of Media Women (PCMW). Speakers said it was the duty of a journalist not to release the news without proper investigation. Telecasting or printing the news should be in a way that it should be helpful to resolve the problems of society rather than creating social disorder.
Speaking on the occasion, renowned journalist Anwer Sen Roy said that among a reporter, editor or media-house owner, who actually exercise the power to code of conduct, no one knows. “It’s a ball game that role all the time,” he said. Roy was of the view that the pressures of 24/7 channels were different as compare to channels like cooking channels. “We (journalists) are just news providers, not the opinion imposers,” he added.
Another notable speaker Anjum Rizvi, who spent most of his journalism career abroad, said there was difference between sense and sensation. In Britain, journalists make code of conduct themselves. “I was once part of a documentary that was made on AIDS patients. During editing I decided to blur the footages and treated the characters’ voices so that their privacy could be maintained. There was actually rule formally available to do it like that. I took the decision on moral grounds,” he added. Pakistan Council of Media Women President Humaira Motala said the PCMW’s aim was to train professional and media-related females to enhance their skills and prove their abilities in society. Regarding code of ethics, she said that members engaged in journalism should commit themselves to honesty, fairness, independence and respect for the right for others.
Karachi Union of Journalist President GM Jamali said that newcomers should understand what journalism is all about. “The field of journalism is not about money making or to get facilities. Pakistan could only flourish if we publish real stories, not fake ones,” Jamali stated. Anchorperson Nadia Naqi said that while telecasting or publishing the news it was more important how do we treat them.
“Sometimes balance is out while the media telecasts the news. Take an example of Imran-Reham wedding. The whole reporting was focused on Reham Khan’s previous marriage. Hardly Imran Khan’s previous life was focused,” she said.
Senior journalist Wali Rizvi said it is stated that there are five ‘Ws’ in news. “But today what we see is all ‘Ws’ have become W-11 (Karachi mini-bus route). There is shortage of educated persons in media houses,” he stated. Television news producer Sarvat Rizvi shared her experience regarding news content that sometimes is influenced by poor news judgement from high-ups of newsroom. “We work hard to make the television bulletins’ rundown. Sometimes a lesser important news ruins the rundown as it appears as breaking news only because of poor content judgement,” Rizvi added.