‘We have 100% media freedom, but not 100% truth’

Report launched on attacks on journalists and media freedom.


Our Correspondent March 17, 2012

KARACHI:


Journalists in Pakistan face hardships and are threatened during and after reporting but they don’t have job security, said participants during the launch of a report on attacks on journalists and media freedom.


The report has been prepared and published by the Media Commission of Pakistan (MCP) after deliberations with journalists and civil society representatives in the four provinces with the collaboration of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), the Karachi Press Club and the Karachi Union of Journalists.

During the press conference on Friday, speakers stressed that media persons should be given security, life insurance and a stable recruitment system.

“Intolerance is getting in political, religious, ethnic and nationalist parties or groups and that is very dangerous for journalists. The role of secret agencies is also a matter of concern. Several journalists have been targeted in the last 10 years because of their bold reporting,” said Babar Ayaz of SAFMA. “The Saleem Shahzad commission did not trace his killers but its recommendations are significant.”

Tahir Hasan, the KPC president, pointed out that there was a 100 per cent media freedom in Pakistan. “But 100 per cent of the truth is not being accepted.”

The MCP and SAFMA organised a set of activities from October to December 2011 across Pakistan to discover what has earned it the tag of being the most dangerous country in the world for journalism.  Reading the summary, SAFMA’s Aamer Mahmood said reporting has become harder and more dangerous than ever. Referring to the report he said that the lack of training in covering conflicts and the lack of awareness about safety measures was making things worse for reporters.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 17th, 2012. 

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