Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Media’s Missing Conscience

A journalist is obligated to spread the true information to the targeted audience. On the other hand, biased reporting or getting indulged in cheap practice of sensationalizing/hyping sends the misleading messages to the general public and all concerned; hence depriving the audience of their right to true information. Probably, there is connivance or manipulative strategy at work to divert public opinion for any unknown motive.This time around, Declan Walsh (New York Times) wrote an article apparently pressuring/maligning the Pakistani IT company AXACT. In the past, he was expelled due to false journalism against Pakistan and for violating his terms of stay by visiting prohibited areas without permission. The report says that the journalist has, overtime, produced inaccurate and defamatory pieces about Pakistan. High-profile expulsion: Declan Walsh declared persona non grata. http://tribune.com.pk/story/571671/high-profile-expulsion-declan-walsh-declared-persona-non-grata/. Amazingly, Pakistan didn’t sue New York Times for damages despite the clear case of slander/libel for false reporting on Pakistan.
Maybe, AXACT is being victimized by the rival TV channels that are afraid of BOL TV channel. What’s going to be accepted as truth remains a mystery.
Back to AXACT: Was Pakistani media really too shy or too scared to break this story to Pakistani audience? Most probably, they were.
Pre-emptive strike: It seems as if Axact is being targeted, and the red hot issue is being exploited because of their BOL channel launch.
Nevertheless, AXACT contends, it’s only responsible to check if university or school is legitimate in that specific country. Axact clearly states: We give no degrees real or fake since it has nothing to do with us. AXACT claims it has been involved in providing technical support to the educational institutions around the World. Mr Shoaib of (AXACT) maintains, we only provide services to universities.
It means that Axact is only responsible to check if that particular university or school is legitimate in that specific country. The AXACT big shots clearly state: We give no degrees real or fake since, it has nothing to do with us.
But the AXACT admits to being involved in providing technical support to the educational institutions around the World. While going through the whole website, one finds valuable information to substantiate AXACT’s point of view on the puzzle.
In a statement Axact called the allegations "baseless, substandard, maligning [and] defamatory" and threatened legal action against the New York Times.
The allegations have drawn attention in Pakistan as Axact has a high-profile media arm preparing to launch a TV news channel and publications in English and Urdu.
In other words, the real problem seems to be the BOL TV’s offer of much higher wages and benefits package attracting the media workers of other channels, Most of all, BOL TV employees would own the channel as share holders.
Axact's offices in Karachi were also raided as part of the investigation. The FIA (Federal Investigation Agency) has found no proof against AXACT. Mr. Shoab has visited FIA centre and has categorically denied of selling degrees.  The FIA officers are still clueless.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan ordered the probe after the New York Times published its report on Sunday. The Minister said, we will seek help from FBI, and Interpole.

Negative Perception: The AXACT is selling Fake degrees. However, Axact’s boss mentioned during “Off the Record talk show with Kashif Abbasi” that they were providing services to online universities to use Axact's system as course management, student management etc., which also included providing services to online universities to print and give degree to students on behalf of university. He suggests that those, who do not have a clue about the online services being offered there, need to learn and find out more. There are thousands of companies and individuals out there offering these services as well as there are many businesses in the West offering essay/thesis writing services. It is not a crime in those countries. Same goes for online degrees. It is not illegal to issue a degree that is not accredited and is based upon work experience. Their side of the story is quite the opposite of the one they are being accused of. Fortunately, there are no charges yet.
Six AXACT directors have already been interrogated and more investigation is ongoing. Government of Pakistan is in touch with British authorities to find further material -information if any.

Bad thing is the Media has destroyed the whole company without any proof; Government has put pressures on their employees, journalists to leave that company. That’s a disgrace the country has to suffer. How can we expect foreign investment if Pakistan suffers another setback adding to its already tarnished image?
Caution: Journalism being one of the noblest professions provides tools to professionally handle the information in its true form in the proper context regardless of race, culture or creed. And, there is no room for bias and dishonesty. Crime reporting and investigative reporting are all subject to legal and ethical limits indeed.

Globally and locally, there is an urgent need of eliminating the “non-genuine” students; it can be done by identifying real students. As fake degrees violate the rights of hard working real students, the united nation must put a ban on such non-genuine educational institutions worldwide to protect the students with talent. http://www.geteducated.com/college-degree-mills/204-fake-agencies-for-college-accreditation. One may go through the following List of Fake College Degree Accreditation Agencies.
Also, make sure if the university is accredited to offer degree or diploma program by the relevant authorities.
The government of Pakistan must play smart to deal with this national issue of international importance.

Update:
Since thousands of fake degrees of various bogus universities, diplomas and
student cards were found and seized, the Federal Investigation Agency
lodged a fraud and forgery case against the Axact CEO Shoaib Shaikh and
others on Wednesday. There is confirmation of the registration of the FIR
under sections 420, 468 and 471 of the Pakistan Penal Code (fraud and
forgery charges.
The big shots are in custody now.
If proven guilty, AXACT will add to Pakistan’s misery.
When national honor is at stake, the frustration is wide spread.
Let’s wait till the dust settles.


SOURCES: The Hindu, nation.com.pk, dawn.com, bbc.com, ARY, ZEM TV

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