We are posting the following code of conduct developed by Dunya News for its TV anchors. This is a first of its kind and we hope other channels will follow suit. The real test of Dunya News will be to get this implemented by all concerned. Let’s hope they set a new trend in the troubled waters of Pakistani media. Raza Rumi
DunyaNews, while remaining competitive in Pakistan’s fast growing media industry, believes that its functioning must be informed by a transparent and enforceable code of ethics.
DunyaNews is committed to promoting public interest by ensuring an unobstructed flow of news and views to the people will ensuring that honesty, accuracy, objectivity and transparency shall be its guiding principles.
At DunyaNews we remain conscious of our primary responsibility towards our valued viewers: that of providing news and analysis without fear or favor to anyone.
Objectives of Current Affairs Talk-Shows
Accordingly DunyaNews Management believes its Current Affairs talk-shows are conducted to promote four specific objectives:
- They must facilitate an informed popular discourse dealing with all issues that influence and are of interest to our viewers, within and outside of Pakistan.
- Through dialogue bring forth, in a tolerant, patient and informed manner, before the public different views on various issues.
- For the viewers to sift through the constant flow of information, the facts from fiction and the information from disinformation/propaganda.
- To provide the viewers accurate information and a thorough, independent and objective analysis.
Code of Conduct for Anchors
DynyaNews Management believes that the role of an anchor is central to ensuring that the above four objectives are achieved. Accordingly the Management believes that to the following Code of Conduct will enable the Anchor to be observed by all Current Affairs Anchors at DunyaNews.
- Framing of the issue upfront is not biased and the anchor should ensure that varied points of views on an issue are represented in the program.
- Properly-sourced and accurate information should be provided by the anchor.
- Anchors will always have an opinion but they should not openly express their own political opinions, instead the opinion can be reflected through questions that she/he raises during the discussion.
- Whatever opinion regarding an issue or an individual is aired in the program, especially by the anchor, must be backed by information gleaned from credible and multiple sources. It should be true and accurate.
- Anchor must not allow attacks on people not present-if panelists begin accusing another person-the anchor must counter question, ask for evidence.
- Anchor must actively discourage unverified assertions, conjectures and opinions made by panelists being passed as information to the viewers.
- Panelists included in the show should represent differing opinions on any given issue.
- While it is not possible to equally divide the air time among panelists, the distribution among panelists should not be biased in favor of any one panelist.
- Any statement made by the anchor about any relating to the person of any individuals, official or unofficial, must be accurate, and be backed by evidence or a relevant source should be quoted.
- Anchors will actively discourage discussions that encourage or incite hatred on the basis of ethnicity, region, religion, caste, race, and gender.
- An anchor should remain calm and composed throughout the program, remain respectful of the guests, should not be easily excitable or convey any bias.
- If factually incorrect information has been communicated on air by the anchor, she/he will be prompt to rectify it on air.
- To avoid conflict of interest the anchor will not accept any financial or otherwise privilege or favor from the government, private organizations or individuals, since such favors can potentially influence the performance of professional duties.
The anchor should be a good listener bearing a neutral posture on the issue being discussed and also be well-versed on the issue being discussed.
Accuracy of information provided by the anchor is a key requisite for a good anchor. Anchors must be well-versed in the issue being discussed.
The 3 member Editorial Board will monitor the implementation of this Code of Conduct and provide feedback to the anchors.