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April 13, 2019

Print media will be there for a long time to come: German journalist

Karachi

April 13, 2019

The print media will no doubt be phased out one day, but that will be a long time from now and for the foreseeable future they will rule the media scene.

These views were expressed by Ingrid Mueller, senior editor of the Berlin-based daily, Der Tagesspiegel, while replying to a question from a media person at the Karachi Press Club on Friday afternoon.

She said the printed word could be preserved for future references and posterity and there would be a more in-depth and detailed analysis of news and views, which was not so with the digital technology.

Talking about journalism in Germany, Mueller said, “We as journalists are, by law, fully within our right to ask the government bodies for information and the government is bound to comply.”

She said they had press laws, a press code and a press council. In a nutshell, she said the code of ethics of journalism in Germany lays down that we should not violate the privacy of any individual or subject; we should speak the truth and nothing but the truth; and distinguish between journalism, public relationing, and advertising, as the aims and principles governing the three pursuits vary.

She advised the mediafolk to write about social and other activists but not to get involved in their campaigns. She advocated a purely neutral position in this regard. Asked as to how many, if any, journalists had been penalised in her country for violation of a citizen’s privacy, she said she couldn’t cite any cases off the cuff, but there had been cases in the courts to that effect.

Mueller said that it was the courts that were competent to deal with such cases. When a questioner pointed out that here in Pakistan, the journalists’ wages were governed by the wage board award and asked how it was in her country, she replied that in Germany, the matter was governed by rules, including the wages framed by the government, and that the question of payment of the wages just could not be kept pending and they had to be paid promptly, come what may.

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