LAHORE - Unending adventure is needed to know the truth, and the media is providing this opportunity to the masses. Talk shows and debates on TV channels should continue, and they would be more matured with the passage of time. Democracy and media of this age are still tender saplings as such care must be exercised while dealing with them. Masses should play role to bring positivism in media debates and organise a media consumer society to put check and balance on shows because they are the taxpayers. Media in Pakistan is not as free as in other countries because of the government control on advertisements, which limits press freedom. A free but responsible media is the need of the hour. These views were expressed at a seminar titled Media Debates and Responsible Use of Press Freedom held at the Hameed Nizami Press Institute Auditorium here on Monday. Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Syed Samsam Ali Bukhari presided over the seminar. Punjab Universitys Behavioural Sciences Department Dean Dr Mugheesud Din Sheikh and Former Ambassador/Political Analyst Shamshad Ahmed Khan were the chief guests while Khushnood Ali Khan, Bushra Rehman, Mehnaz Rafi and Salman Ghani also spoke on the occasion. Director PIP Absar Abdul Ali introduced the guest speakers and conducted the proceedings. Speaking on the occasion, Minister Samsam Bukhari said that our society on one side produced the custodian of Pakistan Ideology while on the other it consisted of people damaging the very objectives of the country. He said that a journalist should be free but responsible. He said that most of the talk shows being aired these days were guiding the government as well as the nation while some among them were sending the impression as if Pakistan was going to vanish from the world. He said that it was not a correct trend either. He said that credibility and truth must be appreciated at all levels, and the present government was doing the same. He challenged that the present government did not harm any journalist rather believed in democratic culture. He hoped that after passage of some time the black sheep in politics, bureaucracy and media would find no place in the society. Shamshad Ahmed Khan said that it was a reality that among our anchorpersons many did not have the ability to perform on such posts, but they had not been blamed as they owned channels. He said that our talk shows lacked intellectual debates as their anchors were capable of handling them properly. He said though all the talk shows were not presenting the real picture, but still many of these were proving helpful for the people. He said media was our helper to understand the truth. Dr Mughees said that a study showed that debates on TV channels commonly had nil affect on the people, and the politicians should not worry about them. He said recently TV channels self-imposed a code of conduct which was a healthy sign and now an ombudsman in every TV channel was needed to monitor the programmes. CPNE President Khushnood Ali Khan said that the media was not as free as it should be today. He said still it was a question that how much freedom should be given to the media. He said the government bar on advertisement was a big hurdle for press freedom. He said that print media was mature but electronic media needed more maturity and with passage of time it would attain that level. Columnist Bushara Rehman said there might be a difference between an anchorperson and an actor, which was in some cases mixed. She said the debates should be with consequences, adding that media should allow to gather information and to present news with facts. Nawa-i-Waqt Chief Reporter Salman Ghani said that Nawa-i-Waqt Group was the standard bearer of free but responsible media. He said that free media always placed national and state interest at high place. He said now the national press would not compromise on its freedom as it was gained after a long struggle. He said unfortunately some media debates were not putting a positive influence on the society and the need was to bring these towards positivism. SVP Human Right Society of Pakistan Mehnaz Rafi said that democracy could not exist without free media. She said countless TV channels in our society brought imbalance and diversity of thoughts. She said social liberty and social work was the least debated on our talk shows. She urged the anchors to bring harmony among masses on common issues and national interest.