Reporter should investigate with complete impartiality
LAHORE – A journalist must not start his investigative story with a specific mind set rather he should investigate with complete impartiality and accept the results of the story whatever they are, these were the expression of the most of the speakers of a one day workshop “Investigative Journalism, Importance and Requisites” held under the aegis of Press Institute of Pakistan (PIP) here on Saturday.
Speakers included Secretary Information Punjab Orya Maqbool Jan, senior journalist and anchor person of Waqt TV programme ‘Cross Examination’, Tariq Ismail Sagar head of current affairs department PTV, Zia-ur-Rehman Amjad Assignment Editor Aaj TV, Akhtar Hayat and resident Editor Dawn Ashar Rehman.
Speaking on the occasion chief guest Orya Maqbool said that media all over the world was passing through transition and it was being run by 127 companies some couple of years back while at present only five companies have taken over its control.
He criticised the compromising attitude of the media saying that no body can dare to publish news item against multinational companies. He stressed upon the need of the justice while reporting a news item and said that justice plays a vital role in any society or institution and same is the case with journalism.
Tariq Ismail in his address said that with the promotion of electronic media scope of investigative journalism has been expanded but at the same time ethics and norms of the investigative journalism were also being violated.
He said that it was the role of police to interrogate and role of journalist is to investigate but here the both were doing the jobs of each other.
He said that a journalist should not start his investigative story with special mind set to get the results but he should keep in mind both the aspects of the story.
Sagar disclosed that he had been prisoner of India for three months and he knew better from which stages an accused spy passes, “I was satisfied with the reporting of Pakistani reporters of an Indian spy released from the Pakistani jail in the recent past”. He was of the view that the standard of reporting in Pakistan as was not equal to the other countries of South Asia.
He said, “Here sensationalism is the priority of the media which distract the reader to take any decision regarding the story”.
Zia-ur-Rehman appreciated the role of PIP in holding workshops of such various topics and said that it was credit of the PIP that first it makes research about the topic which it put for the discussion for the journalists. He said that media had gone expanded and investigation in media was only to expose truth.
There are two types of research one pedantry and the other on the spot research, but unfortunately certain reporters does not bother to visit spot and they believe in earlier method.
Akhtar Hayat said that journalism must be investigative but unfortunately at present journalists were deprived of basic information i.e “we can not get information about the budget of Governor House or Chief Minister House. Even we can not confirm our news from a district nazim”.
He said that there were good number of topics to be investigated for good news stories but our reporters were not provided with the facilities to investigate the same. Speaking on the occasion Ashar Rehman said that investigative journalism played an important role to solve so many problems from the country.
He said that in 1980-90 the old traditions of Karokari and Wani from southern Punjab and interior Sindh were reported and that was the reason that Mukhtaran Mai was secured and sheltered from the atrocities of the locals and their system. He demanded the journalists to provide solutions of the problems of the peoples.
In the beginning, director PIP Absar Abdul Ali in the introduction of the topic said that investigative reporting was the most important part of the journalism but unfortunately our journalists had confined it up to the news stories related to crimes. He said that investigative reporting was alive before the arrival of electronic media but TV channels in the race of giving the news first to their viewers had killed the investigation.
Source: The Nation