Press Council in the offing says Jabbar
KARACHI- Pakistan is about to have a Press Council with least government involvement to help build confidence and mutual respect between local press/media and institutions besides public itself.
Javed Jabbar, Minister for Information and Media Development, talking to a group of women journalists and publishers said, establishment of the much-needed Press Council would enable the aggrieved parties, who may be individuals as well as organisations, to seek justice for any misreporting in local press hampering their reputation or causing damage to them.
Responding to observation made about male bias towards women, with specific reference to stories related to women carried in a derogatory fashion by local eveningers, the minister hoped the very council would provide a forum to get the tendency challenged and ultimately rectified.
He on the occasion, reiterated, government’s commitment towards freedom of the Press. He said there is need to have a regulatory body as is found in most of the countries around the world. He. in this context, specifically referred to the one in Britain, where the Press Council holds a quasi-judicial status and has helped containing the tendency of exaggeration or Misreporting on the part of newspapers and other publications. The bitter have to publicly apologise if proved to have wrongly defamed the aggrieved party.
Regretting that Pakistan is the only country in Asia devoid of the institution, the minister said its establishment is in process with the consensus of the CPNE and APNS. The council may comprise some 20 members with probably only one government representative, he added. Javed Jabbar assured adequate representative of media women in the body.
The women journalists on the occasion also referred to negligible representation of women in other professional journalist bodies including PFUJ, which they stated has gravely effected their professional status in the newspaper industry, often denying them of their rights as full time workers.
He also announced in October the Ministry of Information would hold a conference in Islamabad for a full length discussion of problems of female journalists.
The minister attributed the state of media women to lack of accurate data about their number and their respective domain. He stressed need to conduct census through co-ordinated effort of the APNS, CPNE and other concerned bodies.
Source: Business Recorder