Constructive role of media stressed
By: Sohail Rashid
ISLAMABAD 02, 11, 2010: Media should establish a self regulating and self evaluating system in order to strengthen the democracy in the country and media should work to educate the people instead of confusing them.
This was stressed by the speakers in a seminar titled ‘media, democracy and public interest: issues and options’ held here in a private hotel on Tuesday.
The seminar was organised by the Society of Alternative Media and Research. The participants of the seminar were of the view that currently few media organisation are going against the basic journalistic rules and ethics which is hazardous for democracy.
While speaking on the occasion, Mirza Yousaf Baig, managing director Pakistan Television News (PTV) said that the term ‘freedom of expression has become a fashion and now people are using it for their own purposes. “The problem with the News is that now media persons, instead of reporting what happened, tried to find and make issues of those things which are actually not issues” he said. He further said that there is a need to train the media practitioners for transparent and unbiased flow of information.
Marvi Sarmad, human rights activist said that it is becoming difficult to differentiate news and analysis because many news papers are publishing their desired analysis on front page in the form of a news item. She also criticised the role of TV anchors. “Anchors remain present in the living rooms of people via TV screen till late night and they use slang language with politicians and their guests. This situation is harming our moral values” she added.
Mukhtar Ahmad Ali, head of Centre for Peace and development Initiatives (CPDI) said that instead of educating people, media is disemenating confusion among the masses about their future. He also stressed on the need of a media complaint centre through which consumers could give their feed back about the media.
“There are 84 million registered voters in our country who choose their leaders for assembly so media should also give respect to these politicians, however, media could highlight their corruption but not behave in a biased way” said Zafarullah Khan, another speaker.
Zia Ul din, senior media practitioner and editor of an English news paper represented the media at the occasion and gave the answers of the concerns raised by the participants of seminar. He said that our media is in a transition phase and it will take some time to become mature. “Our media is more vibrant than the media of any other country as it had fought with four military regimes” he said. He also shed light on the traditions of Pakistan media and its admirable work in various time of trials. He said that it was the media that reached even before army in the remote areas of Kashmir and KPK when earth quake jolted in 2005.