Speakers urge in-house training, safety of journalists
ISLAMABAD: Speakers on Wednesday stressed for developing in-house training facilities for media persons and a mechanism for safety of journalists to enable them to provide accurate information to general public.
It was the prime responsibility of media houses as well as the government to develop a mechanism for training media persons, their safety and pay them reasonable salaries to ensure better standard of reporting, they said while speaking at the fourth National Media Conference organised by ‘Individualland Pakistan’ in collaboration with Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FnF) discussed some of the most vital contemporary issues that the Pakistani media is facing presently.
The event was attended by senior journalists and members of civil society organisation from across Pakistan. Speakers also said that senior journalists and editors need to educate their juniors about journalist’s ethics and norms.
Participants said that there is a need of effective code of conduct for journalists with the consultation of stakeholders’. “Government want to implement selective code of conduct which is not acceptable to media house and also affects quality of journalism,” they said.
“There is disconnect between media owners, editors, bureau chiefs and the working journalists that not only affects the quality of reporting but also the state of journalism in Pakistan,” Muhammad Ziauddin, a senior journalist said.
He said that senior journalists need to train their juniors and media houses need to play their due role for developing media ethics. “Since the inception of Pakistan, no government has taken any measure for evolving media ethics.”
Senior journalist Arif Nizami said that electronic media is showing what the public wants to see. “Our public is more interested in celebrity, divorces so channels have to comply.” He said that there is a dire need of workable code of conduct and effective training for journalists.
Gulmina Bilal Ahmad, Executive Director of Individualland stated that media houses have to invest in their staff for training and give protection to them, instead of NGOs. “The responsibility lies with the owners but unfortunately they do not comply so NGOs have to step in.”
Digital Rights Foundation Executive Director Nighat Dad also spoke on the occasion. Individualland also awarded the Shaheed Irshad Mastoi Conflict Journalism Award to four journalists for balanced conflict sensitive reporting.
The four journalists hailing from Balochistan and KP were awarded shields and a cash award of Rs50,000 each. Presidents of the Press Clubs of 18 districts of Pakistan are participating in the two-day media conference and they appreciated the establishment of the award.