Experts for setting up media accountability forum
ISLAMABAD: Calling for setting up a media accountability forum, experts on Thursday said the job of newspapers and TV channels was to inform and not judge others.
At the launching of research report, Talking Back, by Uks, an NGO working for gender equality and women development which also analyses media content, they asked the civil society to play its role in establishing the accountability forum. Experts demanded a more careful approach from media towards viewers and readers.
The report provides media persons a tool to know their audience’s income groups besides a genuine feedback over content meant to improve media literacy.
“Media’s role is to inform and not to act as a judge and impose punishments, and even ensuring punishments,” said Tasueef Ahmed Khan, head of Mass Communication department at the Federal Urdu University Karachi. He asked television channels and newspapers to limit themselves to the job of providing information, instead of running campaigns to change public opinion. “Media in Pakistan definitely needs an accountability forum and the civil society has a key role to play in this regard,” insisted Mr Tauseef. Opposing ‘anti-democratic’ content on media, he said only democracy would take Pakistan ahead.
Prof Anjum Zia, attached with the Mass Communication department of a university in Lahore, stressed on a greater need of media literacy besides creating awareness among viewers. “A layman is unaware about how media is looking after its interests and how individuals thrust their views through media,” she said.
She said working on the research report they came to know that youth and minorities get least media coverage. “The youth says they are not given enough time on media.”
Tasneem Ahmer, UKs director, said the report was to develop capacity of media persons and promote a culture of dialogue. “Talking Back is meant to promote culture of dialogue among media persons,” she said in her brief statement.