Saturday, September 24, 2011

Need for sensitising journalists underlined

Need for sensitising journalists underlined

Speakers at a session on media ethics stressed upon the need for sensitising journalists when reporting on victims of untoward incidents, and said that terrorism incidents should not be reported in a manner which promoted militancy.

The event, celebrating the first international Media Ethics Day, was held by the Centre for International Media Ethics (CIME) in collaboration with the Karachi Press Club here on Friday.

Senior journalist Amir Zia said that a reporter while reporting on a terrorist attack should keep in mind not to glamorize militancy.

He said that the western media served as a yardstick, and during the 9/11 attack, the bodies of people were not shown on television, and the privacy of the victims was respected.

However in Pakistan, reporters and photographers barged into emergency wards when doctors were struggling with their patients.

While replying to a question whether it was ethical for a reporter to talk to the family of a victim of a terrorist attack or any other untoward incident, he said that this could be done without offending the family.

He emphasized on the need of being sensitive towards the victims, which reporters hardly cared about.

Zia also touched upon bloggers and said that they should not mix fiction with facts.

Zia said that protection of sources was very important, and some people in the West had even gone to jail to protect their sources.

An associate for the CIME, Suzanne Haris, who spoke on the ethics of the media via video conference, said that after the News of the World scandal, investigative journalism had become a problem, and people were raising concerns over the type of reporting in which phones were hacked.

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