Concern on growing commercialism of media

Karachi, Sept. 9: Working journalists have expressed concerns over growing commercialism of media and urged giving more focus on news related to public interest.

Speaking at a three-day training workshop here arranged by Pakistan Press Foundation on Journalism Skills in collaboration with International Media Support and the Embassy of Denmark in Islamabad, they said though the security threats for journalists have reduced in Karachi after improvement in the law and order situation, the pressure of commercialization on media has further increased. They said that due to the growing commercialization of media the news items related to the vested interests of different entities are getting preference over the news about public interest issues.

A large number of journalists of print and electronic media including women participated in the training workshop in a local hotel.

Hamina Mahwah said the genuine needs of the readers and viewers are now being overlooked due to more commercialism in media.

Ghufran said though the law and order situation in the city has increased and threats for reporters reduced, but the inner pressure of media houses regarding news related to vested interests has further increased.

Ghulam Rasool Kunbhar said that as Karachi is a widespread city, reporters have been facing problems in coverage of news. He said in the Sindh media the guanine needs of reporters are being ignored and a reporter has to work for up to 12 hours a day.

Marjan said the main issue of women journalists in Karachi is lack of proper transport facilities. She said some media houses provide transport facilities to female newscasters; however, this facility is not given to women reporters. They have to face a lot of problems in discharging their professional duties.

Maria Ismail said though now the pressure of armed groups has reduced considerably in Karachi, but still many journalists are feeling them insecure. They are not still free to decide the priorities of news, themselves.  In this regard, she quoted the example of recent attacks on the ARY News and other TV channels.

However, the speakers stressed the need that media houses should play their role for honing up professional skills of journalists. They regretted that many media workers are still deprived of their right of getting professional training.

Qazi Asif was the trainer and Naseem Sheikh coordinator of the workshop.