Critical thinking must for objectivity in journalism

August 11, 2022

Islamabad : The importance of objectivity and critical thinking in journalism is paramount as it separates truth and facts from propaganda and dogmas. As a matter of impartial reporting on issues of...

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Islamabad : The importance of objectivity and critical thinking in journalism is paramount as it separates truth and facts from propaganda and dogmas. As a matter of impartial reporting on issues of communal and national concern, the journalists must not convey their own opinions, feelings or biases in their reporting to ensure dispassionate coverage.

These ethos of journalism were discussed during a training workshop on ‘Working for collective peace and development: how to defeat fake news,’ organised by the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) for Baloch journalists representing different districts of Balochistan here Wednesday.

Zaigham Khan, political analyst and columnist, The News, noted that only through access to credible sources of information and critical mindset, can a journalist inform the public opinion positively. A substantial onus lies on the broader journalism fraternity to prevent the truth from being distorted and separate their biases from profession.

Iftikhar Shirazi, emphasised how the proliferation of fake news on social media became a major concern in recent years. An alarming trend in this regard is how people tend not to critically evaluate news which happens to resonate with their pre-existing beliefs.

Responsible journalism - as well as citizenship - demands verification of the sources of news and only share ones with evidential support. Given how the adversaries of Pakistan were systematically promoting dogmatic narrative and fake news and information to polarise Pakistan’s minority groups, religious sects, and ethnic communities, the regulation of social media becomes crucially important to safeguard the socio-political fabric of the country already dealing economic and security challenges, he concluded.

Sabookh Syed, stated that the role of journalism goes way beyond merely helping with the flow of news and information where it can effectively deter hate speech and foster an environment that accommodates and respects different viewpoints.

He added that the way media deals with different public and national issues and shapes the desired narrative and public opinion clearly manifests the heightened stakes and onus on the journalism community.

Fauzia Rana, emphasised on how digital media is the biggest platform being abused for the disseminating false information with distorted facts. Deepening political polarisation in Pakistan provides an ample space for twisting information, which could worsen Pakistan’s internal and external vulnerabilities, she opined. Stressing the importance of critical thinking as one of the factors key to counter misinformation and fake news, the Executive Director, CRSS, Imtiaz Gul noted that the young journalists should develop and practice critical thinking on how to truthfully report the information and question preconceived notions and narratives about media.



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