A call for media ethics

Published: July 14, 2012
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'There is no editorial policy in place and so many things are aired that should not be allowed.' PHOTO: FILE

'There is no editorial policy in place and so many things are aired that should not be allowed.' PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: 

It wasn’t Maya Khan that was being attacked – it was the mindset behind what she did. Activist and journalist Beena Sarwar opened the talk on the ‘Maya Khan Takedown’ at the Social Media Mela and set the tone for the session. The speakers, including activist Marvi Sirmed and blogger Mehreen Kasana agreed that hatred toward Maya Khan alone was unreasonable.

“The point wasn’t to get her fired; it is to change the policy of the organisation,” Sarwar said at the jam-packed discussion.

According to the speakers, social media can only go so far in making a change. Television anchors, they said, have a lot more power than Twitter users who have access to just a few thousand people versus the millions TV channels can reach. Sirmed pointed out that Pakistani media is in dire need of universal media ethics. She stated that there is no editorial policy in place and so many things are aired that should not be allowed.

“The usual standard operating procedures are not being followed by our media,” she reiterated.

However, Sirmed agreed that with the Maya Khan takedown, producers were being a lot more careful.

News anchors also came in for a great deal of criticism, as well as the fact that Aamir Liaquat and Maya Khan were on air again.

Sarwar pointed out that people take up issues that are close to their hearts. Parks are relevant to everyone; the Ghalib film isn’t – a joke that had the whole room in fits.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (3)

  • m.usama.kabbir
    Jul 14, 2012 - 12:16PM

    How innocent of the Urban Media Elites. To them Maya Khan is an issue and the ongoing Shia Genocide, Ahmedi persecution, Pashtun killing, massive attacks of Taliban in Punjab, Open movement of DPC leaders and an assault on the Parliament by Judiciary, Generals and the Journalists is perhaps not important. For God’s sake, Maya Khan is a symptom, treat the cancer not the symptoms if you have courage. Recommend

  • Jul 14, 2012 - 5:03PM

    The people who have occupied the Establishment so long will not others come back. Recommend

  • Ali Kazmi
    Jul 27, 2012 - 8:04PM

    m.usama.kabbir,

    I know Beena Sarwar personally. Beena and Marvi are doing way more than you and most other people to combat religious extremism and genocide. Point of fact, Marvi gets death threats all the time for speaking out against terrorism, bigotry and the army and the ISI’s interference in politics.

    Recommend

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