Media is partially independent in Pakistan. How it needs to establish a balance between its freedom and responsible journalism?

Since Musharraf Regime, the electronic and print media in Pakistan has enjoyed considerable freedom in terms of reporting. The same situation continues with certain loopholes. Today, media is independent to a greater extent but not completely. However, this freedom needs to be balanced with responsible journalism. It is need of the hour.

Freedom & Responsibility:
Freedom of Media can be defined as the power or right of media to inform, print and speak without restrictions. Responsibility of Media can be defined as the state of having certain moral and professional ethics to follow. A free media can be responsible and a responsible media should be free. When media possesses both these attributes, it can lead people towards the formation of a civilized society and a developed nation.

Forces that Balance Press Freedom & Responsibility:
There are a number of forces and pressure groups that on one hand give freedom to media and on the other hand they make media responsible. They are;

  • Pressure of the Society
  • Political Forces
  • Religious Forces
  • Legal Forces

Balance between freedom and responsibility is the only way that leads towards healthy journalism in Pakistan. In the present era Pakistani media is much freer than ever before. But when we talk about the responsibility, there emerge many questions.

How to Keep the Balance between Freedom and Responsibility:
In order to develop a balance between freedom and responsibility or to ensure healthy journalism following steps are necessary to be taken.

Need to Follow Code of Ethics
The first step which is taken for ensuring a healthy journalism is to follow code of ethics. Code of ethics is a set of principles which are made by the press organization and they are implemented on media for ensuring balance between press freedom and responsibility. Code of ethics includes;

  • Sincerity and Accuracy
  • Impartiality and fair play
  • Decency and truthfulness

Need to Follow the Media Laws
Following the media laws ensure healthy journalism in the country. In every country the government set some rules and regulations that are necessary for media to follow. Such laws are the best mean to develop balance between the press freedom and responsibility. The government of Pakistan has set rules and regulations for ensuring healthy journalism but there is strict need to implement these laws properly.

Need of Accountability for Media
Media is that institution of state to which all the pillars of government have become accountable. This has become possible due to its freedom. But to ensure healthy journalism accountability of media is also necessary. If media is not accountable to the state, it can divert the nation and can become a source of propaganda against the national prestige.

Recommendations for Healthy Journalism:
In our country we can see that media is free but not responsible. Thus we can say that there prevails unhealthy journalism as there is no balance between press freedom and responsibility. If we want healthy journalism in the country we have to create balance between the press freedom and responsibility.

  • Media has to follow code of ethics and all the press laws for ensuring healthy journalism in the country.
  • Media has to prefer national interests to its own needs and wishes.
  • Media has to be accountable to the state for ensuring the balance between the freedom and responsibility.
  • There is also the need to establish a national agenda for the activities and functions of media.

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