ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on complaints filed by a large number of TV viewers had asked TV channels to show responsibility and professionalism while covering terror attacks.
In the wake of recent bomb blasts in Pakistan, TV channels are directed to exercise high standards of professionalism, responsibility and avoid airing gruesome visuals of carnage which are psychologically and mentally traumatic to the viewers.
At a time when the entire nation is rendering great sacrifices in the war against terrorism this kind of ‘journalism’ is not only unethical and unprofessional, it also serves to, indirectly, promote the terrorists’ narrative and enhances the fear factor.
Viewers have expressed their displeasure on the repetitive telecast of visuals of dead bodies, gruesome pictures of bomb blasts and victims, and have asked the authority to take action against the channels showing these gory scenes. Forcing a mic to the injured victims, their family members, doctors and relief workers is highly unethical, pains the families and general viewers and hampers relief operations. Nowhere in the civilized world, educated and well-to-do executives sitting in their respective newsrooms, would allow agonizing images to beam directly into people’s living rooms where the entire family including children and senior citizens are watching the television to get reliable and valid information, which is their right.
PEMRA expects PBA, its members and the News Directors of all the channels, that they should practically show some empathy and respect towards the family members whose loved ones have been injured or killed in these attacks and follow the best professional practices.
PEMRA is legally bound to take up viewers complaints and follow the legal course.