Islamabad – 6 January, 2012 – At a seminar held at Islamabad Bar Association on Media Ethics and Court Reporting, Mr. Shafquat M. Abbasi, Chairman Press Council of Pakistan announced the need for capacity building of the journalists reporting on court issues, especially investigative journalism.
The Press Council of Pakistan Ordinance was promulgated in 2002. The Council works for the freedom of the press and the rights of the common man. It is independent, autonomous and self-regulatory institutions, which will be, develop good media practice.
Shafquat Abbasi, Chairman Press Council Of Pakistan praised the role of media and enlightened that Media is working with integrity and pride and the press is vibrant and independent in Pakistan. He negated the concept that media is glorifying terrorism and violence and applauded the efforts of journalists reporting on terrorism and conflict.
Shafquat Abbasi proposed to start a series of short certificate programs for court and crime reporters in collaboration with Mishal Pakistan, lawyer fraternity and the Center for International Media Ethics (CIME).
Amir Jahangir, CEO Mishal Pakistan, media and strategic communications entity in Pakistan, offered their services to the Press Council of Pakistan in developing media’s capacity on crime and court reporting on the lines of investigative journalism. Mishal Pakistan is already working on increasing the capacity of investigative journalism and responsible reporting in Pakistan, the programme also known as AGAHI is being collaborative effort with the Press Clubs and Journalists associations across Pakistan.
Participants and speakers emphasized on the role of responsible and ethical court reporting in creating awareness among the masses and iterated that a responsible media can bring a positive change in the society. A few speakers also pointed out that the role of media owners refraining ethical reporting amid personal interests. It was emphasized that media should be free of the influence of personal liking and disliking of the owners.
Zaman Mughal, President Crime and Court Reporters Association Islamabad stated that the crime reporters vow to follow rules and regulations and it is a collaborative effort to follow ethical standards of reporting.
Syed Sultan Shah, senior member and former president of court and crime reporters association Rawalpindi discussed the major problems being faced by journalists reporting criminal court proceedings.
At the occasion the lawyers fraternity demanded for ethical court reporting and offered a helping hand to the Press Council of Pakistan in preparing a programme for the journalists.
The establishment of Press Council is a step towards strengthening the fourth pillar of the state. The Press Council of Pakistan’s mandate is to maintain high standards of fairness while addressing the public complaints against the media. The council includes: Four members by the All Pakistan Newspapers Society, Four members by the Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors, Four members by the professional bodies of Journalists, Vice Chairman Pakistan Bar Council, Chairperson or nominee of the Higher Education Commission, One member by the Leader of the House in the National Assembly, One member by the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, One mass media reductionist to be nominated by the Council, One woman to be nominated by the National Commission on Status of Women in Pakistan.