Experts Debate “Impact of Commercialization on Media Ethics in Pakistan”
Peshawar, PK – 27 May 2016 – The media in Pakistan strive to play role for democratization of the society but face many heinous factors. This was discussed at conference on the “Impact of commercialization on media ethics”. The interactive session was organized by Mishal Pakistan in collaboration with the Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad.
Industry experts, senior journalists, media professionals and academicians attended the conference/roundtable dialogue along with a large number of students, scholars and faculty from the journalism and media sciences departments attended the session.
Presenting the research paper on the ‘Impact of commercialization on media”, Professor Dr. Syed Abdul Siraj, Dean of Social Sciences, Humanities and Chairman Department of Mass Communication said, “The practice of journalism calls for many questions on ethical issues”. He further said that,” Though ethics and journalism are inseparable, paradoxically enough, the ethical standards are almost never possible to be practiced in journalism”. “Balance, honesty, fairness, objectivity, liberty, truthfulness, accuracy, etc, constitute the conceptual framework around which journalistic activities revolve”, he added
The participants questioned and debated that; quite large media outlets are privately owned that tends to keep journalists underpaid. Therefore, journalists’ liberty is not significantly manifested in the media scene. Pakistani journalists want to be ethical in reporting but they don’t care about ethics when get classified information to meet deadline and to compete by taking lead on the other media outlets for breaking of news. They also do not feel to be ethical in paying people for confidential information and by using hidden microphones or cameras. Generally, journalistic autonomy has modest relationship with the ethical standard. In short, professionally free, and ethically sound media in Pakistan are far from a reality.
Speaking on the occasion, Amir Jahangir, Chief Executive Officer of Mishal Pakistan said, “Commercialization in Pakistani media
emerged after the de-regulation in 2002 and the open-air ways policy and boom in the TV industry. About 10,000 full-time and free lancers are working in the media industry in Pakistan”. He further said that, there are around 300 elite journalists especially in the TV industry who get extra ordinary monthly salary, whereas, the rest of the journalists are underpaid and are constantly insecure financially. In this situation fair and free journalism is serious challenge”.
This Mishal activity was part of the DANIDA-supported ‘Strengthening Media in Pakistan’ project being implemented by International Media Support (IMS), which seeks to p
romote greater media professionalism in the country and an enabling environment in which to foster it through partnerships with key media stakeholders including media organizations, regulators, coalitions, parliament, policymakers and the government.
Established in 2003, Mishal has been engaged with some of the most dynamic organizations, including media enterprises and global development agencies helping them develop their communication strategies and solutions for better understanding and creating synergies with their concerned stakeholders. Mishal is the country partner institute of the Center for Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Network of the World Economic Forum. Mishal’s research and capacity building initiatives have assisted and helped successive governments to improve Pakistan’s global ranking on competitiveness, gender gap, trade and information technology indices.