Wednesday, April 11, 2012

It's Basic Decency, Stupid

I was going to post my outrage over the depths of tabloid-y sleazebaggery that The News sunk to today but blogger Tazeen has already said all that needed to be said, so you should go over and read her post. I concur completely.

Not only did the reporter, editors and owners of The News break all norms of professional journalistic ethics and the right to privacy, they have also abetted a truly despicable hospital administrator in flouting a sacred oath of patient confidentiality and exposed a woman to prosecution from odious Zia-era Hudood laws that they claim to have been in the vanguard of the fight against. They should be ashamed of themselves.

We have in the past protested strongly when sleazy personal and defamatory stories against the Jang Group CEO Mir Shakilur Rahman were publicised on the floor of the Sindh Assembly and in the media. For someone who has borne the brunt of such unethical invasion of personal privacy, it boggles the mind that he would allow his newspaper to perpetrate the same to someone else. The owner of the Jang Group and the editors of The News should also be aware that if they think any of this flouting of basic ethics and decency is justified in any way because their target is an often-mocked celebrity, in the future someone who wishes to humiliate them might decide that they or their families are fair game as well. No one is free of skeletons in their personal closets.


Zeba Rashid said...

XYZ, seems no one is willing to stand up for Meera, my heart goes out to the poor women. Geo has turned her in to the clown and is always in the news to provide comic relief but this shall be the end of it I hope.

Anonymous said...

Ummm - what professional ethics? Editors these days are so weak in their judgments.

Take for instance this story carried by ET on Shahbaz Bhatti's murder investigation, which was tweeted and retweeted many times. Link:

The fact that everyone missed here was that apostasy is deemed to be a crime by Muslims in this country.

The man who gave the false lead for whatever reason, described as an alim-turned-clergy man was left open to abuse by being so grossly negligent about his identity. Didn't anyone think twice about what could've happened if the radicals had tracked him down?

These days editors are in a hurry to break news and depending on their leaning (right or left) take the higher moral ground - it doesn't matter what the people who are actually mentioned in the report suffer after the news comes out.

Journalism is all about The News versus Dawn versus ET - Quite a sorry state of affairs.

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