How To Educate The Educator?

Pakistani Media

Pakistani Media

Last day could be the worst day for the people of Lahore and Pakistan. The city was jolted by twin blasts in the afternoon killing 50 people and nearly 120 were injured, and much more in addition to the twin blasts were the 7 more blasts, but of low-intensity, happened at night. It left Pakistanis saddened and heart-broken.

Second to none was the role of media, like it has always been whenever there’s a breaking news to be aired.

When the back-to-back blasts were happening in Lahore, the most often seen news channels of Pakistan, the GEO and ARY, were flushing this news besides: “ARY/GEO ney sab sey pehlay dhamakoon ki itla’at nazreen ko faraham ki.”

ARY/GEO is the first to broke the news to the viewers. Does this pride suit at such a sad and mournful occasion?

Might one recall the “Code of Conduct” these news channels set last year: Top news managers from Pakistan’s eight television channels have voluntarily evolved and agreed guidelines, governing terrorism coverage.

Representatives of KTN, Samaa, DawnNews, Dunya, Express News & Express 24/7, ARY, Geo and Aaj television met in Karachi at the weekend to successfully conclude a two-week-long debate on how best to respond to viewer feedback on reporting incidents where large-scale loss of human life has occurred.

In a maiden initiative, the group comprising key news decision-makers in their respective organizations, recognized that the public’s abiding trust in the media placed a heavy responsibility on news managers to further improve the quality of the news product.

Applying their collective experience and judgment, they agreed on harmonising existing professional methods to perform the task of honest reporting in these times of extreme national crisis and a perilous security environment.

The news managers decided that they would refrain from showing graphic and disturbing images on screen and, as and when required, utilise a time delay mechanism in their live transmissions.

Did they say, “code of conduct”? And did they also decide upon the professional methods to perform the task? Even after that, what we see with the reporting methods is that they remain unprofessional and amoral. The GEO and ARY (and all the other news channels following them) news managers should be ashamed of their self while they demonstrate(d) such a vainglory. Could it be possible to append one more “moral” clause in the “Code of Conduct” with more distinct words, so that it become readable and learnable to the amoral yet educated managers of news channels that the news channels will follow the basic teachings of morality, for example, such as this. As they don’t tend to follow the clause of the “professional methods to perform task.”

Media is one such entity criticizing the politicians, the government etc. 24/7 — preaching the basics of morality and stands as the custodian of the country’s edifice of social, national and international consciousness. For the time being, it’s out of my understandings that who’s going to preach the media and inject in it some doses of morality?

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