1. Introduction: Increased role, increased responsibility
2. Media’s Role – An Overview:
iii. Opinion Making
iv. Safeguard Rights of Masses
3. Media in Pakistan:
i. Advancements in the last decade
ii. Independent, active and vibrant media.
4. Code of conduct for media is need of the hour:
i. To preserve people’s belief in media
ii. To stop wrong practices of reporting violence and bloodshed iii. To work against the irresponsible handling of news of sexual abuses and dis
iv. To reduce focus on sensation and spices
V. To ensure issue-oriented reporting
vi. To discourage personal interest and biases
vil. To slow down the pace of media houses becoming business enterprises
viii. To present optimistic outlook
ix. To break the notion of media as a holy cow
Media has acquired tremendous power in the modern age and with this power comes the increased responsibility. This sense of responsibility dictates that there must be some governing principles and ethical values for the media as well to ensure the safe and efficient fulfillment of the duty. Media should be free and under no influence because it carries out the most important task of being a watchdog to unveil the negative aspects of the society and promote the positive anes. But at the same time, this guardian must also be guarded by an ethical code in order to serve its purpose well.
Media, whether electronic or print, has come out to be the most powerful tool to shape public opinion in the recent decades. It has the ability to reach out to a large number of audiences and present a critical analysis of the events and happenings in order to make masses more aware. In addition to this, it also performs the prestigious duty of educating the general public in various ways. The recent advancements in electronic media have further highlighted this role because now more people are exposed to the media and its activities. So, all these factors combined make it very necessary that media should also be regulated through their own set rules so that this sensitive and critical task is carried out more efficiently and effectively.
Media in Pakistan has seen considerable advancement in the last decade and so. An increased number of private TV channels have become operational. They are more free and independent. This offers a stark difference from the past where state-run TV channels were the only source of electronic media. Their activities were controlled by the state apparatus so people could only see what government wanted them to see. Newspapers were doing their duty but they were not as out-reaching as the electronic media.
Now the situation has changed completely. The new electronic media is fast, vibrant and active. In fact, it has now attained the position of fourth pillar of the state. This free media has brought about many great changes in our lives It has reported the corruption of the politicians, exposed human rights’ abuses, made people aware of constitutional matters, and has shaped public opinion to punish those leaders who failed to deliver what they promised or for what people elected them. However, at the same time, this freedom and Independence has brought about many challenges for the media as well. Many black sheep have penetrated in their ranks. Freedom of media is being used for personal interest by some of them and this situation dictates that media should also have a code of ethics and set of values so that these black sheep are exposed and their way is barricaded.
Moreover, people have started to believe in media and they look towards media to
feguard their rights and interests. They look towards media to expose the wrongdoings of the
ing elite and to serve as a pressure group to force those at the helms of power to take actions in
or of the masses. Some recent incidents have shattered this confidence of the people. Their
lief in media has been weakened. This situation further emphasizes the need for a code of
so that such events are prevented in the future and hope of the people is preserved.
Media also needs to have a principle about what to be reported and what to be not Violenc and bloodshed must not be live-telecasted on the media. Some media personnel and channels their race for rating show such videos and clips that are not in favor of public interest. These events must be stopped. Tragic events of rape, sexual abuses, etc. also need special attention.
This is the area where media strictly needs to follow some ethical principles. In many of such cases the identity of victims is disclosed that brings more problems for the victims and their families These events need to be reported so that concerned authorities take necessary action to curb th menace, but identity of the victims must not be shown on the media. In our culture, unfortunately, people do not hold good views about the victims of sexual abuse and look down upon them which are very sad. When media discloses their identity, it aggravates their problems so media needs develop a code of ethics in this regard. Another reason that strengthens the idea of establishing a code for media is the way how
some media people break news or create a story. Recently, a trend has been observed in the medi that reporters try to make the news as sensational as possible. They add spices and stories to it to such an extent that news no more remains the news rather it becomes a drama or a thriller. This strikes the most fatal blow to the real soul of the media that instead of giving people news abo various events to make them aware, it gives them a sensational story that kills the real news and s of no use for them. Plus an issue is not properly followed by the media. These days there is breaking news every half hour and when new news comes, media altogether forgets the old one. The old issue is completely forgotten.
Media, instead of forcing the government to work on solution of the issues, continues to bring newer issues each time in the race to be the first one to break news. The real purpose of the media is to take up an issue and keep this issue alive until is solved. This practice makes media a watchdog and guardian of people’s rights. When media starts running behind new issues and completely forgetting the old one, this kills media’s real purpose. This thing can only be covered by formulating an ethical code so that media truly serves the cause of the masses and this evil of yellow journalism is nipped in the bud.
The great power of media as a propaganda tool demands that this must be regulated by a code otherwise this giant will come out of bottle for good. The tremendous power of shaping people’s opinions sometimes backfires as well. Some journalists, out of personal biases or some other gains, distort the news and events to gain their desired output. They can pose victims as the usurper or good as evil. They can blackmail anyone and take kickbacks or they can take personal benefits and pose evil as good. They have somewhat become the king-makers of godfathers. This selfish and deadly behavior of some journalists needs to be checked and only a strong ethical code can serve this purpose.
Media houses have started to become commercial houses and business entities. Obviously. media houses need to earn money but recently they have started to tilt more towards profit peration and money making while ignoring true sense of media’s role and purple Exageration of events, sensational and biased reporting has become rampant. Their focus has shifted towards consumerism. The news channels are loaded with information and news, but they are failing to provide some meaningful information to public. They are now highlighting the
that contain more spices and sensation and which can capture interest of masses. In this ce they are ignoring the real problems and concerns of general pub