Heart-to-Heart on Media Ethics

 GEO – KPC honor IoBM Students

The inspiring presence of cherished media stalwarts in IoBM’s Public Relations class is a gift from them to the young nation as it helps clear misconceptions, misgivings and misunderstandings on media ethics. On this occasion Mr. Faheem Siddiqi, Bureau Chief GEO News and Mr. Ahmed Khan Malik, President Karachi Press Club and Chief Reporter Business Recorder, while giving a unified message in self-censorship in media reporting, urged upon the young nation from the IoBM platform that self-scrutiny and self-accountability remain the fundamental cure to ill and evils of society.

IoBM Public Affairs organized a heart-touching and mind-boggling session “How important is ethics in media” for students of Public Relations, Event Management and Corporate Communication on Saturday, November 10, 2018 in Room Number 309, Academic Building, IoBM. Gracing this occasion with their inspiring presence were Mr. Fahim Siddiqui, Bureau Chief of GEO News and Mr. Ahmed Khan Malik, President Karachi Press Club (KPC) and Chief Reporter, Business Recorder. Mr. Parvez Jamil, HoD and faculty, Public Affairs, IoBM began the session by unfolding a galaxy of silent and less-heard media figures that served media with diligence, commitment, loyalty, and selflessness and played a submissive but instrumental role for the cause of print and electronic media in Pakistan. 

Mr. Fahim Siddiqui said that while working at Daily Jasarat during his formative years in the media industry, he learned how to handle news and how to gauge ethics involved with the news. He especially mentioned the importance of using the right words at the right time because how you portray the news affects the sentiments of the masses. He shared that after joining GEO News in 2002, he received training on how skillfully to treat news and how carefully to present it. While speaking on ethics in media, he said that GEO News has been following its own policies and guidelines for not showing violence or bloodshed for it creates a negative impact on the viewers. Mr. Fahim Siddiqui said the difference between print media and electronic media is that where a print media reporter’s name is known across the country, electronic media reporter’s name and face get recognized within 24 hours when the news is aired. He emphasized the importance of self-censorship in airing news for it reduces the reaction of the viewers. Answering a question why television news channels normally air negative news Mr. Fahim Siddiqui said that news channels portray society and to telecast positive news people must create such avenues that compel news channels to air positive news. He said that reporters should not induce their opinion in the news. However, columnists for editorial or opinion pages of newspapers can add their opinion.

While sharing insights on ethics involved in business reporting, Mr. Ahmed Khan Malik said that a business reporter has to deal with the marketing department of his own company and also with the marketing department of other companies. It is a test of factual reporting on the one hand and the company’s business on the other. While business reporter has to follow the policies of his/her company, he/she must be cautious, skillful and tactful when writing facts because they can create problems for the individual and the industry. Mr. Ahmed Khan Malik cited the example of how reporting erroneous facts regarding the Karachi Stock Exchange can mislead investors and stakeholders in taking wrong decisions. He said business reporters must not make financial predictions and should report the news as it is without adding any opinion to it as financial forecasting is the job of financial analysts.  Mr. Ahmed Khan Malik, while replying to a question, said that news of Pakistani Rupee touching record low of Rs 133 against the US Dollar was sensationalized influencing regulators, authorities, traders and investors. Defining a journalist he said one whose source of income is journalism is a journalist and that anchorpersons, analysts and talk show hosts of electronic media are not treated journalists at the Karachi Press Club

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