‘Criticise the govt, but also appreciate it where deserved’: Shibli advises journalists

Information minister says media's focus should be on issues concerning public and not on specific subjects


News Desk March 17, 2021
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz speaks at a seminar in Islamabad on March 17, 2021. SCREENGRAB

ISLAMABAD:

Minister for Information Shibli Faraz said on Wednesday that no democratic government could find the strength to function or encouragement for its actions without the presence of a supportive and thriving media.

The minister's remarks came at a seminar held by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) in Islamabad.

In what appeared to be a reference to complaints of censorship concerning the incumbent government, Shibli observed that there are always some concerns, and that "there is no perfect world after all".

Nevertheless, he maintained, that the media's focus should be on issues concerning the public and not on specific subjects.

Read Shibli vows to facilitate independent, responsible journalism

"I don't ask you to not criticise the government, but to also praise it on its appreciable actions," Shibli remarked.

He noted that every era has requirements of its own, and technology has been a part and parcel of every era.

The minister termed the growth of social and electronic media imperative, stressing equal opportunities for the same.

He further asked journalists' associations to appoint representatives on the basis of their qualifications, and not on the basis of who can help them during elections.

Read more Pakistan among countries with the worst online censorship

On the issues facing the media fraternity, Shibli said, "The government is working progressively on the issues facing journalists, including of outstanding dues, protection of their rights, and providing them safety against Covid-19 while reporting the news.

"A journalists' protection bill is also in the pipeline and consultation is also underway in this regard," he added.

The information minister also emphasised on the need for strengthening relations between the government and journalists. "We need to boost this interaction," he maintained.

 

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