KARACHI: Professional media ethics and responsible journalism are linked together and working journalists and media professionals have to be careful about ethical principles while performing their professional duties.
These views were expressed by Mubeen Azhar of BBC while addressing a seminar on “guide to media ethics” at Department of Mass Communication, University of Karachi on Monday.
He said Pakistan’s independent media is younger as compared to media of developed nations. However, despite high professional skills and use of modern technologies, attention is to be paid to professional ethics to ensure a responsible journalism. He said situation is not perfect and ideal in western countries as far as professional ethics and concerned. However,
Lapses on part of the media are rarely ignored in these societies.
He referred to a member of TV reports and stories carried by some British newspapers and said those who were found guilty of violating professional ethics of the media had to face punishments. He showed newspaper clippings and videos of such TV programs. He said laws are important but things cannot change effectively unless there is a social pressure against the use of such practices as it is the media which is more responsible to society than anything else. Mr. Mubeen said educational institutions play a significant role in producing professionally conscious people for the media.
Referring to blasphemous cartoons in newspapers of Denmark, he said, from any legal and ethical standards, publication of such a material cannot be justified which was basically aimed at injuring the feelings of Muslims. He said despite the fact that some elements have anti Muslim feelings; British press never published blasphemous cartoons. The lecture was followed by a questions answers session.
The chairman, Department of Mass Communication, Prof Dr Tahir Masood thanked the guest for sharing his views with the students and said our religious teachings and traditions provide a complete guidance to media professionals, and even on sensitive issues, expects its followers to exercise patience and tolerance.
He said media has a significant responsibility to save the society from chaos.