From black and white to a pile of colors, from audio to video, from mini to nano, from wired to wireless and from newspapers to news channels and social media, a huge shift in the means of deliverance is visible. Communication through technology was one of the most popular discoveries of the artificial intelligence in the 20th century which is now more enhanced and modified using the structural development, technological advancement, and industrial progress restoration in the 21st century.
Pakistan, a developing country, is a democratic nation where freedom of speech is considered to be a human right according to Article No. 19 in the constitution. Freedom of speech does not refer to backlash a view or an opinion, instead, it refers to the presentation of one’s point of explanation and thoughts. Along with this right of speaking, media, especially new organizations that include the hub of social media, new channels, e-papers, web links, etc, is serving as the main source of the deliverance of awareness, speeches, opinions, and explanations. The film industry, Lollywood, and drama telecasters are also an important part of media organizations.
There are more than twenty-five news channels on air in Pakistan at the present. Moreover, there are about thirty newspapers that are delivered in several areas of Pakistan. When it comes to newspapers, many of them have sub-editions with respect to the language or the dialect is spoken in a specific region and the current affairs of that area. Social media accounts also deal with the provision of news alerts, breaking news, knowledge of current affairs, and etc. Several channels on television also screen drama serial. The Lollywood industry has made a huge and remarkable effort to reach the new steps of success and equivalency to the Bollywood and Hollywood in aspects of design, concept, audio, video, dance, songs, dramatization, script, and scenes. However, not every time a news is broadcasted or a film/drama is screened, a positive response in return is expected.
Since 2002, media has got the rights of free speech in Pakistan. Media, especially the news organizations have faced yellow journalism on their way to display and creating awareness. As mentioned earlier that a number of news channels are being broadcasted but not more than five of them are well-known and eminent. Among several newspapers, only a few are renowned and distributed at their respective places But the issue comes when a visible race is prominent among these organizations to achieve maximum television rating point (TRP) and to become a leading news channel or a newspaper. Either it is a news source or entertainment source in terms of drama channels, films, and songs, a high standard being achieved is clearly visible, however, the more standardized it is getting, the more unethical and biased vision is also seen.
Considering Pakistan i.e. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, from the name it can be determined that Pakistan is a country based on Islamic ideology. Democracy along with an Islamic perspective has to be implemented within the country. Rules, regulations, the system of authorities, and constitution must be in accordance with the Islamic values. Quaid’s demand for Pakistan was aimed to create a separate nation where Muslims can easily live their lives with respect to Islam and the principles. Moreover, this visibility of our identity is now missing.
Ethics in Journalism
Journalism is one of the most honored professions in the whole world. Journalism is naturally interlinked with honesty, loyalty, responsibility, and ethics. Being a journalist, it is one’s keen responsibility to provide true and accurate information to its audience no matter what means of communication is utilized. But today in Pakistan, journalism has lost its faith, accuracy, seriousness, and honor. Yellow journalism has contributed the maximum to the decline of ethics of journalism. Liberalization is creating continuous downfalls for the news organizations. There is no proper code of conduct formulated to maximize the power of news and the news channels in the society. There are immature acts in these organization that are not beneficial for the reputation and authenticity of a journalist. There’s a race going on as earlier mentioned in broadcasting and screening the news at first. While arguing and being busy in this race, the media actually forget to analyze and learn about the origin and the source of the news. Today, a news of minimum importance is as well spread throughout the country due to this act of giving no importance to the accuracy and proper means of communication. Hence, this head to head competition is contributing to the decline of ethics in journalism.
A proper framework should be designed in order to develop a supporting policy to journalism. There should be a representation of facts instead of opinions and biased statements and reports. A journalist has to be neutral in terms of giving opinions. He has to mention all the pros and cons of a respective news subject and has to deliver evidence with context to the subject’s favor and opposition in the hierarchy. Journalism should not be on behalf of any representative community, society, private organization, or a political party. It should mainly focus on the facts and figures clearly associated to the subject. A journalist must hold accountable for his/her statement or report. It should not violate the rules of PEMRA and should not harm people.
Ethics in the Film Industry
Islam, the religion of respect, love, warmth, and equality, supports progress and prosperity through its principles and ethics. Pakistan is an Islamic state but has adopted the idea of west instead of trying to remain the rest and the best. Our religion teaches about gender equality but it does not give more dominance to the women in our society. In the present time, the film industry of Pakistan has met technological advancements. Technological advancements are the new measure of success in a country. However, these technological advancements very cleanly violate the policies and rules of Islam. Women are considered to be equal, but this does not mean that they should be exhibited on televisions with half cloths, bold make-up, dancing on vulgar songs, as their own choice. Islam has remarked women as a diamond and as Pakistan is an Islamic ideological state, there should be policies collaborated with the religion in spite of altering it and let the west taking over it. Taboos should refrain from being forcedly incorporated into Pakistan’s culture and values.
Everyone, either it is an independent candidate or a political party representative, is fighting to get the powers of the country but no one is giving even a mild sort of interest in improving the sense of modernization in our country with respect to the basic ideology i.e. Islam along with the Holy Quran and Sunnah. It should be given proper attention as it is an important unethical behavior carried out by the majority of people with elite backgrounds.
Ethics and Social Media
Well, social media, not only in Pakistan, is turning out to be the latest significant court and forum of discussions. Lots of debates, arguments, exchange of claims, and opinions are now seen as an active part of human activity. Social media sites like “Facebook” and especially “Twitter” have now turned into a business promotion tool. Everyone has their own personal account of space and dashboard, however, this does not allow the ethics of a particular person to violate the terms of security and produce a sense of harm to its fellow citizens. Everyone has a right to their opinion and they must stick to it but should refrain from backlashing and using verbal violence against a subject. Social media is the fastest tool for communication and has left news channels and newspapers behind. Hence, it is the leading tool. However, the tool should be used in a positive manner i.e. to create awareness among the people about a certain issue, to communicate with those who are in need, to keep yourself updated about the current affairs, and to exchange opinions.
There are many people on these social sites that do not respect the integrity and esteem of the other person. They post stuff that might offend the audience and be a source of harassment, however, it is their right to express their though but there should be a proper policy and formula to maintain the use of social media tools for a limited purpose. A person posts a status and that can reach to millions of people who are even unknown to the source. There is a long way for the social media to go and it should be immediately taken into consideration for the empowerment of the means of communication and media organizations.
It is widely seen that in the past few years, the media organizations of Pakistan have lost their values, esteem, and have exploded as a genocide in a negative manner. Lack of professionalism has led to this downfall of the industry. There is a dire need of formulating a proper code of conduct that should support the Islamic ethics of the country and should be followed. Any organization that does not follow the agreeable terms and conditions should be given an immediate treatment in accordance with the formulated code of conduct for the country’s welfare and prosperity. There should be proper awareness and training sessions for the people associated with media in order to create an impressive personality so that professionalism may be institutionalized with a proficient technique and only such proficient individuals, leading the media organizations, should be given an official status in the Pakistani society.
Arijah Batool Siddiqui is Pakistani undergraduate student, currently enrolled in program of Bachelors of Science in “Social Development and Policy from Habib University, batch of the year 2020.” Arijah was born in the rural city of Thatta. She has [journalism] in her bloodline, inherited from her fore fathers.
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