Roundtable on the Impact of Commercialization on Ethical Journalism in Pakistan
Participants debate the factors impacting freedom and impartiality of media in the country
Quetta, PK – 01 June 2016 – The media in Pakistan strive to play role for democratization of the society but face many heinous factors. This was discussed at the 3rd Conference on the “Impact of commercialization on media ethics”. Quetta Press Club organized the interactive session in collaboration with Mishal Pakistan.
Senior journalists, Industry experts, media professionals, civil society representatives 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. This was the third conference in the series of “Impact of Commercialization on Ethical Journalism”, earlier Mishal has interacted with stakeholders in Peshawar and Faisalabad as well.
Shahzada Zulfiqar, President Quetta Press Club in his address to the participants said, “Ethics is the most important factor for credible journalism”. He further said the “The practice of journalism calls for many questions on ethical issues”. He said, “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
While presenting the research paper on the ‘Impact of commercialization on media”, Amir Jahangir, Chief Executive Officer of Mishal Pakistan said, “Professional media ethics means maintaining balance, accuracy, truthfulness, impartiality, fairness and the respect of individual’s privacy in reporting all sort of journalistic writing. Full and partial lacking in maintaining these pillars of professional and ethical standards defines poor journalism”. He further said, “Factors such as media persons, media owners, agenda of varied groups, governments, advertisers, market size, media audience, etc. influence the construction of media contents which seriously challenges the so called “Free Media” in terms of freedom and impartiality in Pakistan.”
Speaking on the occasion, Syed Ali Shah Bureau Chief for DAWN News TV 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 fulltime 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”.
The Quetta Press Club and Mishal Pakistan also signed a memorandum of understanding to develop special training sessions for journalists to improve ethical standards and reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially on the issues and challenges of “Eliminating Hidden Hunger”
This Mishal activity was part of the DANIDA-supported ‘Strengthening Media in Pakistan’ project being implemented by International Media Support (IMS), which seeks to promote 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.