Speakers at a seminar on Tuesday urged media to make ensure implementation of the media ethics, end to sensationalism in news, and give solution to the social issues of common man, instead of focusing on crime and politics in large. They were addressing a seminar on Media Ethics arranged by Public Relations and Publications Department, University of Agriculture Faisalabad and Higher Education Commission in collaboration with the Press Council of Pakistan. The Council Chairman, Justice (r) Shafqat Abbasi, chaired the seminar while Director Publication, HEC, Ayesha Ikram, UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan, former Dean, Punjab University, Prof Dr Mughees ud Din Shiekh, Dr A.R Khalid and journalist Shamus Islam Naz were guests of hounour on the occasion.
Justice (r) Shafqat Abbasi said that the self-regulation within the media organizations must be developed to keep a check on the media ethics and make it ensure to convey real issues of the public by ending sensationalism. He said press councils were functioning in the 90 countries across the globe. By involving the journalists, civil society, members of parliament and others, we are determined to make Press Council of Pakistan more effective in order to implement the media ethics and framing a course of action in this regard. He said that the council also worked to address the issues of the common man and the media persons. Lauding the efforts made on the part of the media persons, the credit goes to the journalists who are doing their best to give information to the people even in the time of war. He said that the press council was constituted in India in 1965, Bangladesh 1975 and in Pakistan, it started functioning a couple of years ago. But the Indian media was not enjoying freedom of Press as Pakistani journalists were enjoying under the constitution. UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan stressed the need to avoid the sensationalism. Uses and gratification process should have the truth, accuracy and reality in news, information and cultural goods. He lauded the efforts of the journalists to highlight the issue of the county and aware he people about the various issues of national interests. He said that the University is launching a FM radio to guide the farming community about the latest agricultural practices of the country. He said that under the outreach programs and Agri Extension, the university was putting its best to translate the knowledge into good and services by using the mass communication. Ayesha Ikram said that no one can deny the importance of the media as it is the power to change the minds and the presenting the real picture and truth was prerequisite to make development. He said that in this regard, the media was doing tremendous job to give voice to the issues of the common man. She said media had the power to change the public opinion and this power must be used for social changes, social mobilization, awareness and give a roadmap to the progress of the nation. Prof Dr Mughees Ud Din Sheikh said that it was must to follow the objectivity but absolute objectivity was a mere a dream as the frame of minds affect the selection and news treatment. He said it is very vital to prioritize the socio political health of the public through credible and news worthy information and positive entertainment. Dr A.R Khalid said that it is vital to ensure the national security at every stage in the production process of news and cultural goods. He said that the constitution of the Pakistan in article 19 A gives the freedom of the press that must be used keeping in view the presenting the real issues instead of sensationalism. He stressed the need to spread the truth in the society. He also said to shun the blame game. Ha lauded the efforts of media for the progress of the country. Shamsul Islam Naz said according to a survey, the majority of people from Pakistan believed that the media failing to present the real picture and truth. He said media ethics kept the journalism and cultural industries with the responsibility to perform for the betterment of society, but in the race to be first in delivering the news and information to the audience and for the sake of being popular among the viewers, readers and listeners, they compromised the media ethical values. PRP Principal Officer said Prof Dr Jalal Arif said that that it is still a debatable issue that to what extent media has liberty to act upon the code of ethics and to what limits they intentionally do not follow the rules to gain advantage of the corporate world.