TV channels and their employees have been at the receiving end of flak from viewers and social media activists this year. But it appears that outrage over morning show hosts chasing after couples in a public park, accusations of receiving plots and running planted shows finally caught up with the media.
“Who will watch the watchmen?”
A question frequently asked by media persons, columnists and the general public.
Instead of waiting for an answer and debating endlessly over the issue, some media companies have decided to introduce their own codes of conduct, a means to ensure transparency and to better monitor their anchors and content.
Both Dunya News and Geo News recently released their codes of conduct. While Dunya has formally adopted their code, Geo will wait for viewer feedback till August 1 and formally adopt their code on August 14.
Geo’s extensive code of conduct is called ‘Geo Asool’. It ranges from general guidelines on the company’s goals to procedures on how the company is going to implement the code.
The first section of ‘Geo Asool’, there are four, focues on the company's goals, values, and what they call likes and dislikes. This section is detailed and clarifies their overall stance on neutrality, transperancy and biases.
The rest of the sections are:
- Best practices: an extensive guide on coverage of different topics and issues.
- TeamGeo Ethical Journalism Handbook: A guide for employees of the group, defining where they draw the line on different issues.
- Monitoring & Implementation Procedure: This section focuses on the company's internal procedures on the implementation of the guidelines.
Dunya’s code of conducted is strictly limited to its anchors.
It serves as a guide for what anchors can and cannot do and what the objectives of their shows are.
The code’s implementation will be monitored by a three member board.
The Express Tribune has its own Code of Ethics which can be viewed here.