Pakistan’s Media must draw a line – of responsibility & freedom

Afshan Khoja

“I was very disturbed after watching the video that Geo and Dawn TV have been airing, where the Lahore bomber runs over a guard to enter the building gate. It is such a traumatic video. DAWN TV went ahead and showed it in slow-motion. This was all without any warnings for disturbing content.
While I know PEMRA regulations are ridiculous, there has to be some form of third party accountability system that makes guidelines, if not rules, about what is worth printing and airing and what’s not. We’ve all seen the pictures of dead mutilated bodies in Jang and other newspapers. While there’s no way to determine what’s right or wrong, at least there should be a body of people (civilians) who can talk about where the media should draw the line — what’s responsible journalism? PEMRA has ruined any scope for dialogue but the civil society should do something about this. In a country where we are fighting for all sorts of freedoms, we all (at least in this group, I hope) realize that freedom comes with responsibility. We need to make sure that media outlets realize that too.
I’m not sure if there’s an NGO or some other institution working on this issue, or if we have something like the Society of Professional Journalists  in Pakistan. If someone knows any such institution, please let me know and I would love to work with them. If not… we should do something. I just can’t seem to get that image out of my head… and what about the families of that person who died?
The point here is not to start a discussion about whether or not showing that image was right. The point is, people should be talking about where the media should draw its line… In fact, such a discussion would be worthy even for the judiciary to determine, concerning its role should be only for checks and balances.
I was disturbed and thought I should share my anguish.”

Here is the video that Afshan is talking about – this is disgraceful and almost akin to glorification of terror as an instrument.



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Filed under Activism, Lahore, Media, Politics, Terrorism, video

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