Journal of Media Studies, Vol 35, No 2 (2020)

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Applications of Media Ethics in Pakistan: Examining Journalistic Standards in Mainstream Print Media

Aqeel Ahmed, Mudassir Mukhtar, Khalid Sultan


This article focuses on examining the extent to which journalistic standards, a genera of the applied media ethics, have been followed in leading Pakistani English and Urdu newspapers by observing the front pages of four major newspapers; two English (The News and Dawn) and two Urdu (Khabrain and Express) for a period of four months (September-December 2015). The research is an investigation of the construction and placement of headlines and intros, the story structures, photographs and the element of objectivity. Resultantly, the English newspapers are balanced as compared to the Urdu newspapers as the Urdu newspapers look muddled-up by placing content, four-times more than the English ones, on the front pages. Out of 9682 content categories, 80.82% content has been published by the Urdu newspapers, while 19.18% content was placed by the English newspapers on the front pages. Out of a total of 6628 news stories examined in the study, more than 90% stories of the English newspaper completely met the standards in this regard while Urdu newspapers' content remained below 10 percent for the same category. In context of ignoring the standards, none of the stories were witnessed to follow the trend in English newspapers and all content came from the Urdu newspapers. Almost 65 percent photographs in the English newspapers completely met the standards while about 90% photographs in the Urdu newspapers ignore the professional standards.


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