Violation Of Media Ethics

By: Hosh Mohammed Dhamrah

Today, our lives seem incomplete without mass media.. After 2001, with the introduction of Cable TV System in Pakistan, the Electronic media in Pakistan has revolutionized with hundreds of channels emerging in no time.

Media has laws and ethics as huge masses of all ages watch it, and the content might not be suitable for them. Therefore, code of ethics is set to follow and provide healthy content to the viewers. Ethics are set of guidelines to distinguish between good and bad, right and wrong. They are also to ensure that no one takes advantage of his position or profession in an unethical way.

The common codes of media ethics are:

1) Responsibility 2) Freedom of Press 3) Independence 4) Sincerity, Truthfulness and Accuracy 5) Impartiality 6) Fair play 7) Decency.

Unfortunately, ethics of media are being violated by media itself. When Sarfaraz Shah was murdered and Rangers personnel gunned down Karachi citizen in Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Park, footage of the whole scenario was broadcast on nearly every news channel again and again. It was presented as a film without any concern of media ethics.

In the race of popularity and intension to break news first, media does not manage to deliver the quality of information to the audience with facts and figures and with social or moral responsibility. This, however, results into anarchy and the false perception of public towards certain social issues.

It is often observed that media exaggerate the government's negative points. Positive moves are not highlighted or some times even positive initiatives are turned into negative, which also creates hopelessness among people.

People use media with a hope to acquire accurate information and to divert their attentions in order to get relaxed, but unfortunately today's media present news into dramatized form just to gain more viewership and hefty advertisement, which in turn increases the tension among the masses. On the other hand, movies and dramas also present such characters and stunts, which make children to imitate it, and can be dangerous for them.

It is the responsibility of media to respect the privacy, not to create rifts in the social structure, avoid the sensationalism, not to play with the emotions of the public and stay away from plagiarism, slander and libel.

The information and content provided by media must be fair and there must be no personal favors or media benefits in favoring someone.