|The constant war on terror of this region bears some unethical
violent and terrorize images on the part of transitional media. One can
find easily the terrible and violent pictures in our mainstream print
|The Urdu press has been publishing a number of images of
bloodshed, images of burned people in their front pages. We have
witnessed some recent events in Pakistan like earth quake (2005), Lal
mosque operation (2007), suicide attacks, bomb blasts, in major cities
and wave of deaths in Karachi in which print media covered hundreds
of photo shoots. There is a question mark on their ethical approach
while photographing, framing, highlighting and presenting the images
of bloody, burnt body parts and human remains in their front pages.
|The study shows that these images have, no doubt, enhanced the
informative value of the events but it lacks in ethics of photojournalism.
Pakistani Urdu language newspapers are acting on Hedonism model
which says “do what feels good” whatever the cost might be. They
prefer to publish a photo on front page only for commercial purposes
and to increase the selling of their newspapers.
|The analysis has consisted of three maintstream newspapers, Daily
Jang, Nawaewaqt and Express. The study further focused on four violent
incidents during the war against terror. Two incidents of the year 2007
-- Miss Benazir Bhutto’s arrival in Karachi and BB’s death incident in
Rawalpindi, while two incidents during the last year – suicide attack at
the Shrine of Data darbar Lahore and a recent death of Col. Moammar
Qadafi were selected. The main reason to select the incidents from
different years was just to correlate the consistency in policy regarding
covering and publishing victims and their remains of suicide attacks
in the front pages of newspapers. Interestingly, the researchers have
not observed any change while examining immoral and unethical stuff.
These papers have been publishing images of bloody dead bodies and
their remains in main pages of newspapers. They are not much worried
about the violation of journalistic ethics and norms.
|Nobody can ignore pictures. Whether the readers read the story or
not but they notice of photo. Due to the advancement in technology
has changed the whole phenomena of photojournalism in print media
in the recent decades. Photo with news item enhances effectiveness and
comprehensiveness of the credibility element. There is no concept of
modern journalism without photos as these are part and parcel.
|Juha  says that:
|The photos are like adds in that glancing moment to trap the reader.
If a photo is interesting enough, the reader will stop to it and read the
caption and if the interest stays there the title of the article is read next.
If the beginning of the article is catching enough the reader will read all
of it. In conclusion only 5% of readers read an article but almost all the
photos get noticed.
|We can not ignore the importance of photos in present age of
colorful journalism where the more focus is on layouts instead content.
Interesting photos can have the ability to catch the attention of the
reader. Majority of readers give attention to photos and some of them
read the whole stories. Shahid  said that:
|Every organization wishes more and more people to read their
paper. Layout plays an important role in attracting the people and
compelling them to buy the paper. And the layout is not possible
|Newspapers are using digital techniques to develop and fascinating
their papers through big size colorful photos. Readers do impress and attract through interesting photos within less time than reading
a certain column or article in detail. Zaini (1988) writes that ‘Photos
play an important role in the newspapers and helps in projecting
the true sense of news items.’ For deeper impact the newspapers of
present age put more and more visual and photos in their stories to
enhance the credibility and readership. The latest technology in the
field of images greatly changed the whole field of photojournalism.
The most important point in photojournalism is accurate and objective
presentation of an event. There should be a balance between written
and pictorial content and it should correlate and true. The term
photojournalism is fairly a new. In the old days, photographers were
called as ‘news photographers.’ Siraj et.al  stated that:
|The enhanced interest in photographic communication has opened
new avenues for making business in newspapers and magazines.
Photographers now contribute pictures in the development of
photographic essays and interpretative picture stories.
|No doubt new technology has opened up new horizons for
photojournalism. A digital camera, cell phone, etc are being used for
instant photography that was never possible in early days. It has created
interest in the news items and enhanced the readership. The Pakistani
media in recent years have flourished in all meanings.
|Photojournalism works within the same ethical approaches to
objectivity that are applied by other journalists. What to shoot, how
to frame and how to edit are constant considerations. Often, ethical
conflicts can be mitigated or enhanced by the actions of a sub-editor
or picture editor, who takes control of the images once they have been
delivered to the news organization. The photojournalist often has no
control as to how images are ultimately used .
|Photojournalism is a very powerful tool to communicate the
illiterate and less educated audiences. Journalists have binding on
them to shoot, frame and represent in an ethical way. In many media
organizations news photographers have not any role to add their
pictorial material in the newspapers. The editors and sub editors take
full control to add or discard their images of the event. Therefore,
in some organizations, the photojournalist is on driving seat to add
pictures ‘as it is’ he/she shoots while in some responsible media outlets
there is a mechanism to check the objectivity. They do not give any
thing immoral and unethical in photography. To be sure, photographs
are more convincing than words.
|War on terror has become an industry of human deaths of this
region which is being projected as an amusement and number game for
media outlets. Nowadays, newspapers publish more and more photos
to attract the readers and a handsome space of newspaper pages filled
with photos. The newspapers often paste a colorful photograph of a
celebrity specially beautiful female in mid of front pages without any
news. The papers do not justify its policy of framing and highlighting
such pictures. We find sensationalistic and manipulative images
frequently in Pakistani Urdu newspapers. There are also a number
of advantages of publishing photographs in newspapers for example,
photos of criminals help in their search, photos of lost children and
missing people help in identifying them easily. Photos of certain
mishap, earth quack, flood and other calamities help in estimating
this intensity or the happening of the event. Some critics of the media
include sex and violence as unethical. In short all the Urdu newspapers
give a reasonable and prominent place to photos. Specially, after the
digital and colorful photography it becomes common and necessary
part of news items. Modoodi  says that:
|Today’s newspaper is decorated with different poses of young girls,
dance photos, fashion photos and photos from film industry, music
shows, theatres, dancing clubs, all photos exploit and utilize beautiful
|Sex appeal is prominent in photojournalism of this part of the
world. The recent mushrooming of private TV channels has drastically
changed the whole scenario of our news and information consumption
pattern. Due to cross media ownership of Pakistani media landscape,
the same policy of commercialism is being adopted in most of the
media outlets by giving much space / time to soft and entertainment
news. Fear, sex, beauty, sufferings, crime, violence, fashion, terror
and shocking news are some main ingredients of our media. Most
of the media outlets (Print and Broadcast) are constantly in search
of sensational and shocking news which is a negative sign for the
growth of media institutionalization and democracy as well. We have
witnessed a recent media circus, especially TV media that has covered
the issue of Pakistani Cricket Star Shoaib Malik and Indian Tennis
player Sania Mirza out of proportion. It was intrusion into their private
life that was not allowed legally. After the invasion of digital technology
the newspapers consider photographs as an important part of any news
items which is to be primed or highlighted. Glamorous culture is being
promoted though projecting young females from film and showbiz. It
is interesting to mention here these papers approach even to a political
news using such criteria of exciting readers through short dressed
females. This practice of newspapers increases viewership but the not
readers. Majority of newspapers in Pakistan devote half of the front
page to some advertising stuff and it is a common phenomena to use
young females in shorts. Big size pictures increase the sensational value
of the event. Such kind of sensational and exploitative approach has no
utility to the nation. According to a survey by Weekly Asia  that “it
was revealed that there is rush of photos of actresses and artists with
costly dresses and heavy make-up trying to occupying maximum space
of the newspapers and magazines.” Sometimes there is no news but a
picture of celebrity is published to capture the attention of the reader.
|According to Riaz :
|Press photographers have no right to capture people’s privacy.
Photos of injured and dead bodies should not be published. Lady Diana
always escaped photographers. The time he died, the photographers
were chasing her. The press was much criticized in U.K. and people
asked the govt. of making reporters responsible and they should not
interfere in privacy of the people.
|There are some ethics of photojournalism and photographers can
not be given any privilege to invade people’s privacy in the name of
freedom of expression. They have some responsibilities and ethical
codes to follow in all their journalistic activities. Different countries
have formulated codes of ethics for photojournalism, but in Pakistan,
after a long history of restrictions on media, the phenomena of media
freedom is being considered as unquestionable job. Sensitized and
violent images of dead bodies, are considered as exploitative and
irresponsible act of the photographer or media outlet. Since war on
terror is underway in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the violent acts of
terrorism like suicide attacks, bomb blasts and indiscriminate firing
are common things. Therefore, the newspapers and electronic media
have an easy access on such images whom they use in prime places of
newspapers or in other media. Martin  of the view that:
|An understanding of a law is important to a photographer working
for the media. Ignorance can result in a fine, imprisonment or payment of damages if the publication of a photograph leads a photographer in
court. So knowledge will enable journalist to keep clear of the court.
|Photojournalists and photo editors have an ethical and moral
responsibility not to publish violent, sexual, offensive and terrorize
images unless and until it is significant and necessary for the story.
As we know, a picture is the ability to plant an image about particular
person or thing. The newspapers do not much care about the
appropriate size and they are also not much cautious about newsworthy
of the pictures. Engineered images like projecting and digitizing small
gatherings into large one and small into big one are against the norms
of photojournalism. Terrifying pictures which result terror, unrest
and uncertainty should not be covered. Social norms and values
must be in mind while picturing and publishing on sensitive issues to
avoid any unpleasant situation. In recent years there were many cases
of burning alive of the dacoits in Karachi by mobs and print media
publish these in most prime places. Photographing and publishing of
two young brothers who were beaten by police in front of hundreds
of people in Sialkot was also an irresponsible and unethical. Even
some news channels repeated that footings for weeks. Such practices
are clearly unethical and immoral on the part of a photojournalist and
media outlet. In the light of literature review the researchers posed the
|H1. The newspapers use bloody, violent and terrible images on
front pages and do not follow ethical codes in photojournalism.
|Nature of Photojournalism
|The detail of some front page photographs of Daily Jang, Nawaiwaqt
and Express is given in the following:
|The Jang, 28 Oct, 2007, Rawalpindi-Pakistan
|The Nawaiwaqt, 28 Oct, 2007, Islamabad-Pakistan
|The Jang, 28 Dec, 2007, Rawalpindi-Pakistan
|The Nawaiwaqt, 28 Dec, 2007, Islamabad-Pakistan
|The Jang, 2 July, 2010, Rawalpindi-Pakistan
|The Express, 2 July, 2010, Islamabad-Pakistan
|The Jang, 21 Oct, 2011, Rawalpindi-Pakistan
|The Nawaiwaqt, 21 Oct, 2011, Islamabad-Pakistan
|Interpretation and Conclusion
|The print media has shaped a higher attentiveness toward violence
in recent years after 9/11 all over the world. After the invasion of
private news channels in Pakistan the tastes of news consumption
have been changed alot in the society. Due to the advance technology
in photography and consant war on terror in the recent years have
increased the ratio to cover violent and horror images in mainstream
media of the world and particularly of Pakistan. Self censorship and
ethical bindings are integral part of media freedom. According to
social responsibility theory, the media organizations and journalists
are responsible for not presenting immoral stuff to their audiences.
Mushrooming of media outlets (print and electronic) in Pakistan
during the last decade have multiple effects on people’s psychology.
Merriam-Webster defines “ethics” as, “the code of good conduct for an individual or group,” and lists synonyms as, “morality,
morals, principles, and standards.” Since Media have been enjoying
restrictions free environment in the country after a series of media
limitations at different times. There is an ethical framework designed
by print media organizations, moreover a code of ethics has also been
framed by All Pakistani Newspapers Society. The ethical approach
in photojournalism is an integral part of freedom of press but it has
been observed that mainstream newspapers have been consciously or
unconsciously involved in depicting violence as main tool to attract
the readership regardless of the negative impact. Depiction of violence
images has been a controvercial phenomena for media institutions and
media consumers as well. The findings of the study showed that the
news about violence have drastically been increased since war on terror
in Pakistan. The unrest and fear of being targeted has gradually been
risen during these years. The researchers also noticed that news about
crime and violence became delocalized. The media love to cover an
incident of violence which takes place away the media base, the media
creates alertness toward terror and violence acts. A recent example is
of Moammar Qaddafi (Late) when his violent death become front page
headline with its bleeding dead body. The analysis show that Pakistani
Urdu newspapers are prominently displaying bloody dead bodies and
human remains in their main pages. Though some newspapers use
small amount of pictures but they present full of terror and horror
stuff to sensationalize the news. It is also observed from the analysis
that there is no discrimination between suiciders and victims of these
incidents while showing dead bodies or remains. USA and some other
advance countries restrict the media not to show the bloody dead
bodies of their soldiers of wars and citizens, and try to keep prominent
of enemy’s deads in their media for showing good taste. Though it is
also dehumanization to project deads or their body parts in media and
considered unethical and immoral in journalistic norms. It is clear
from the pictures that elite Urdu newspapers in Pakistan do not take
care of the journalistic norms and ethical principles in conducting their
journalistic activities. It is happening at the end of a photojournalists
and the desk incharge of the concerned paper. They take immediate
emotional response in shape of rapid increase in their newspapers.
It is the prime responsibility of the editors to make sure that images
of dead body of a murder or victim are really considered necessary
to tell the story. Photographers and journalists have to explain the
truth and reasons of conflics rather than to show dreadful events. The
competition among media outlets to break the news or to explore
the event has become greater than ever before. Commercialization
in media organizations has also increased such cheap thrills to catch
the maximum audiences. The readers and audiences want to have
detail circumstances of dreadful event and they do not want to have
uncomfortable details of such events. The study shows that all the three
selected newspapers covered these four deadly horrifying incidents
in the prime places. It is beyond the ethical limits when such bloody
horrifying images are published and it is nothing to do with responsible
journalism. Due to the absence of self censorship mechanism in media
organizations, the ‘unchecked photojournalism’ has shaped as a tool to
enhance the consumers. Easy access and availability of terrible pictures
and images of bloodshed is another cause which has contributed a lot in
flourishing the phenomena. It is not reasoned and objective journalism
rather spread of fear and horror among readers to boost commercial
objectives. Unfortunately, we have a tragic and bloody incidents
almost everyday as a result of war on terror. Thereore, to find burned
and incomplete bloody dead bodies is not a difficult job. Our press and electronic media is using such terrible and horrifying shocking images
since 9/11. It is pertinent to mention here that English newspapers
have some different policy while projecting such deadly events in their
pages. The English press is more responsible and has ethical approach
towards violence and terror etc. The people of this country were not
aware of sucide bombers before 9/11. The media have become habitual
and made the audiences addicted to such violent images during the
last decade. The question arises here that, what movties an editor has?
Irresponsibility at the part of a photojournalist and an editor in the
name of media freedom. Social responsibility theory works here. It is a
soul responsibility of the journalist to make sure that nothing perceive
wrong through its angling or priming to the news story consciously or
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