KARACHI: Former Minister for Information and Broadcasting Javed Jabbar said at a roundtable discussion that there is a need of establishing an independent watchdog “News Broadcast Standard Authority” comprising senior media professionals and civil society to oversee and monitor ethical journalism practices in media in Pakistan.
He said that there should be an independent body to identify gaps in media practicing ethical journalism and address the issue. Other participants also supported this suggestion.
Roundtable discussion was held on Ethical Journalism and the Broadcast Media on Saturday at a local hotel, organized by Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) and Pakistan Coalition for Ethical Journalism.
Participants said that clearly stated guidelines, documented policies and broadcast style guides should be available in all media outlets to ensure ethical journalism practices.
Participants, who included policymakers from leading television channels, said that training of reporters as well those working on desk is necessary to sensitize them towards ethical journalism. Orientation of newcomers and refresher trainings courses for staff will play a vital role in understating guidelines and policies to practice ethical journalism.
Desk-reporter disconnect should be resolved and continuous engagement with the advertising agencies as well as advertisers should be held to take them onboard as an ally for ethical journalism in Pakistan as financial constraints/advertisements are the major driving force in media organizations.
They also urged on engagement between industry and academia so that trained people can come in journalism.
PPF Secretary General, Owais Aslam Ali said that problem of practicing ethical journalism is not just an issue in Pakistan but also worldwide and the Pakistan Coalition for Ethical Journalism is a platform where one can discuss the problems and pressures faced by media organizations and resolve gaps.
Those who participated in roundtable discussion included Ansar Naqvi, Faisal Aziz, Shabana Arif, Adnan Rehmat, Amir Jahangir, Sana Mirza, Jehan Ara, Sundus Rasheed, Javed Jabbar, Mazhar Abbas, Aafia Salam, Zofeen T. Ebrahim, Murtaza Solangi, Owais Tohid, Shahzada Zulfiqar, Idrees Bakhtiar, Asif A. Zuberi, and Arsalan Ahmed.