If only our own media was held to the same standard

Jul 10th, 2011 | By | Category: Ethics, Geo TV, ISPR

Geo TV report quotes DG ISPR Major General Athar Abbas criticising The New York Times for unsubstantiated reports based on anonymous sources “without any concrete evidence”. According to the official ISPR press release, Gen Abbas gave the following statement:

‘In some cases, information that was controversial then, and seems questionable now, was insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged. Looking back, we wish we had been more aggressive in reexamining the claims as new evidence emerged-or failed to emerge’.
The Military Spokesman further said: “if the newspaper continues with its vilifying campaign without any concrete evidence, I am afraid at some point it may end up expressing its deep regret the way it did in the case of its Iraq coverage.

Pakistan Media Watch agrees with DG ISPR that it is unacceptable for media groups to allow controversial and questionable information that is insufficiently qualified to stand unchallenged. We further agree that concrete evidence is a necessary requirement of proper reporting.

Pakistan Media Watch looks forward to our own media adopting this same standard.

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  1. The recently gained freedom by the media is a good thing. But the lack of ethics within the media is shameful. Furthermore, the establishment pushing its anti-democratic agenda via the media is despicable. The media must remember that it is the voice of the people and the people elect parties under the democratic process, as is the case with the presently electedPPP government. Talk show hosts must be told that they are ethically bound to be impartial in their shows and refrain from targeting one particular party. There are several flaws in other parties, especially several parliamentarians and members were charged in corruption and illegal activities but media was silent dumb and deaf. For positive achievements media will have to end discrimination and trial of one particular party.

  2. The mass media has to promote Pakistan’s national interest, ideology and culture. The media must stand upright and speak the truth for the sake of establishing a just society and a democratic way of life. Only a balanced approach could help achieve the desired objectives and transform the media into a meaningful social institution. Hopefully, all those connected with the mass media in some capacity do realize that wrong assumptions lead to incorrect, illogical conclusions and oversimplification of views when it comes to analyzing issues, solving problems, and resolving crises. From the viewpoint of the power and influence of the media(press, radio and television) in world politics, crises and conflicts, there is a need to consider the issue of moral panic, biases, media representation and the need to make media contents and presentation balanced and objective. Moral panic is some exaggerated or imaginary threat to society stirred up by exaggerated speculation and sensationalized reporting in the mass media.
    In Pakistan some media groups must review their policies, mere criticism for the sake of fame, damages national interests. Media must adopt a balance role, there is difference between trial and accountability.

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