Media asked to show respect for terrorism victims, families

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ISLAMABAD, Feb 17 (APP): Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on complaints filed by a large number of TV viewers has asked news channels to show responsibility and professionalism while covering terror attacks.
In the wake of recent bomb blasts in Pakistan, TV channels have been
directed to exercise high standards of professionalism, responsibility and avoid airing gruesome visuals of carnage which were psychologically and mentally traumatic to the viewers, a press release issued here said.
At a time when the entire nation was rendering great sacrifices in war against terrorism this kind of ‘journalism’ was not only unethical and unprofessional, it also serves to, indirectly, promote terrorists’ narrative and enhances 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 microphone to the injured victims, their family members, doctors and relief workers is highly unethical, pains the families and general viewers and hampers relief operation.
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 were watching the television to get reliable and valid information, which is their right.
The PEMRA has expected PBA, its members and the News Directors of all the channels, that they would 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”, the statement said.