The government has managed to somehow get its head out of the sand on terrorism, and one part of the effort has been a meeting of the Standing Committee on Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, aimed at devising recommendations for the media's role in the ongoing war.

I know our parliamentarians mean well, but their tentative list of "psycho-social guidelines for the media" range from mundane to outright hilarious (full list of these recommendations at end of article).

Some recommendations are so broad, you do not know what may come under them

But they do provide some much-needed cover for our security forces

Some creative editing on the media's part may lead to work-arounds

However, this may have implications for a broader spectrum of people than we think

But perhaps some fringe benefits may emerge from all this

Psycho-social guidelines for media

(Now removed from NA website)

  • Always show good news first.

  • And if possible at bed time also.

  • Before 9 am no disturbing pictures of any kind.

  • Don’t show gory pictures.

  • Don’t repeat bad news too often.

  • Don’t name or show pictures of terrorist.

  • Don’t show anti state elements.

  • Worse taking sides in sectarian issues.

  • Enemy threats not to be highlighted.

  • It’s a bad idea to speak against the countries security apparatus.

  • Army officers and actions should not be on the media.

  • Show good role models.

  • Excessively highlight success in sports etc.

  • Show positive side like people who don’t commit suicide.

  • Entertainment is very important the people carve for it.

  • Too much current affairs.

  • Teaching discipline.

  • Youth character building efforts.

  • Culture of discipline.

  • Stories of success in life.

  • Lets not emphasize too much about smaller events like rape, robberies murder etc. the smaller events can leave a much worse impact.

  • Children not to be interviewed.

  • Breaking news phenomena to be discouraged.

  • Post disaster media can play a positive soothing healing role to the viewers.

  • Can give information to affectees about services etc.

  • Can instill hope by showing success stories of heroic deeds.

  • Awareness sessions all over the Country.

  • An Islamabad based two hour session for media house owners under this umbrella.

  • Guidelines to be implemented with help of all stake holders.

  • Guideline manual to be published.

  • Media to be aware of common mind health issues especially post disaster.



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