Media urged to behave responsible
ISLAMABAD:’ Media must be given an easy access to information but at the same time, media should also deal with that information responsibly’.
This was the crux of the seminar on ‘free and responsible media: issues and challenges’. The seminar was organised by the Centre of Peace and Development Initiatives (SPDI) and Friedrich-Nauman sifting.
A number of senior journalists, politicians and people from many other walks of life have attended the seminar.
Speakers urged media to set some standards in order to strengthen the country. In her remarks, Fauzia Wahab, Information Secretary PPP said that her party had never put restrictions on media that Article 19 of the constitution of Pakistan imposes reasonable restrictions which should be adhered by the newspapers and media organizations. She said that whereas micro -economic indicators were showing some improvement, section of media was creating political instability through biased reporting.
Najam Sethi shared with the participants that it was heartening to note that we have qualified from the struggle for media freedom and independence to the stage where voices are being raised for a responsible and accountable media. He shared his apprehension that there was a likelihood of an new troika consisting of media-judiciary-military will replace the traditional one which would be even more detrimental the democratic and fundamental right of the people
“We admire the role of media for democracy in Pakistan but does media is ready to put aside its commercial interest in order to strengthening the democracy in Pakistan” said, Professor Saddaqat Abbasi, political leader of Pakistan Tehrik e Insaf (PTI) while speaking to the participants of the seminar. He said that media is highly influenced by advertisers and no media outlet is ready to highlight any issue, corruption related to their advertisers. “Media organisations should not be banned but at the same time, they should also behave in a responsible way. Their function is only to disseminate the information, not to dictate the desire” he added.
Zia Ul Din, a senior journalist, while responding to the concerns raised by the participants said that Pakistani Media Traditions are more stronger as compare to the media of any other country as it had compete four dictator regimes and journalists have gave sacrifices for achieving the goal of democracy. “The emergence of electronic media in Pakistan has exposed our journalists to new challenges as you have to disseminate the news as it is happens. It offers you no time for correction or editing due to which, there always remain a chance of mistake” he said. “Electronic media in Paksiatn is only six to eight years old and needs to be mature” he added.
C.R Shamsi from Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), said that Pakistani media is more efficient than others. “We admit that few journalists are showing their bias against the certain groups and parties but it doesn’t mean that the whole media structure is bad” he said.
At the end, all the participants were seemed agree on the point that media should be given an easy access to information but media should also deal with that information in a responsible way.