Right to information: ‘Tell us how RTI Act is good for us’

Participants of seminar on RTI urge govt to raise awareness about law, inform public how act was beneficial for them.


Our Correspondent May 02, 2014
Participants of seminar on RTI urge govt to raise awareness about law, inform public how act was beneficial for them. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE:


Participants of a seminar on the Right to Information Act on Wednesday urged the government to raise awareness about the law and inform the public how the act was beneficial for them.


The seminar, titled Right to Information As a Tool for Public Accountability, was organised by the Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI).

IT University Innovations for Poverty Alleviation Lab Director Mustafa the act would allow them to access information using mobile phone devices.

He said the government had a large reserve of data and researchers could use it for their studies.

Information, Youth and Culture Department Deputy Secretary Asad Khan said the government had appointed information commissioners and a website was being prepared through which people could get information from government departments.

He said there were 121 public entities in the province where 532 public information officers had been nominated.

He said a media campaign to educate people about these initiatives would be launched soon.

Zahid Islam, a civil society activist, said the government should guide people on what useful information would be made available through the law.

He said, “It is a good thing that right to information has now become fundamental right of people.”

Provincial Coordinator of CPDI Syed Rahat Qader Rizvi moderated the seminar.

 ‘Investigative journalism vital for society’

Investigative reporting is an important part of journalism and vital for society, speakers at a seminar on Investigative Journalism discussed on Wednesday.

The seminar was held at the Institute of Communication Studies (ICS) at Punjab University.

The speakers urged students to learn and practice investigative journalism as it informed the general public of important issues. Sharing his experiences, Maqsood Butt said it was the duty of journalists to uncover the details of a story. He said investigative journalism required honesty, objectivity and consistency. He said that without these three traits investigative reporting was not possible.

He stressed the need to train students and aspiring journalists so that they could understand the requirements of investigative journalism. Mian Saifur Rehman also highlighted the significance of investigative reporting. He said there were great opportunities for aspiring journalists in the field. Rehman said access to information in developing countries was difficult, which made investigative reporting even more challenging.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 2nd, 2014.

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