'Reporting Peace: Enhancing Access to Human Rights' -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

‘Reporting Peace: Enhancing Access to Human Rights’

By Amar Guriro

KARACHI: Sindh Independent Media Association (SIMA), in collaboration with ActionAid Pakistan, arranged a two-day workshop on ‘Reporting Peace: Enhancing Access to Human Rights’. The event arranged to promote independent and responsible media was attended by young journalists, mass communication students and well-known professors and activists.

Addressing on the first day, Dr Tauseef Ahmed of the Federal Urdu University for Art Science and Technology, Department of Mass Communication said media in developing countries like India and Pakistan must play its responsible role while reporting different events.

Referring to the Mumbai attacks, he said the irresponsibility of media on both sides of the border had taken the countries on the verge of war and if President Zardari had not intervened, the situation could have been worse. He also said most newspapers in Pakistan report routine events from India without having any stationed reporters there.

“Media must be responsible while reporting any event and must avoid exaggerating any aspect of a news story,” he added. Dr Muttahir Ahmed of the Karachi University, International Relations Department applauded the boldness of the Pakistani media in disclosing the news about Ajmal Kasab, the only captured gunman of the Mumbai attacks in 2008, adding, “It is not possible now to hide any fact as sooner or later, the world would find out the actual facts related to any news.

Therefore, it is the responsibility of the media to tell the truth.” Addressing the workshop, ActionAid Pakistan Programme Manager for Sindh and Balochistan Tasleem Mazhar said independent and responsible media is more important for the sustainability of any country, adding, “In countries with independent and responsible media, natural disasters like drought cannot come entirely and will not be intensified.” She also said increasing poverty is a policy failure on the state’s part.

“Following renowned economist Amartya Sen’s belief that reduction is important, ActionAid started working on education and health to reduce poverty,” she added.

Talking on the occasion, young journalist and child rights activist Salam Dharejo informed the participants about rising child militancy in rural Sindh due to tribal conflicts among different communities.

Quoting the tragic events in Karachi and other cities in which criminals were burnt to death, human rights activist Akhtar Hussain Baloch of Society for Development and Human Rights said most Pakistani newspapers encourage such incidents and report them in a positive light, indirectly encouraging the readers to continue such activities.

Young journalists and mass communication students, including Numita Gul, Dur-e-Shehwar, Sanam Sindhi, Naila Nizam, Shireen Soomro, Tahira, Asma, Rabia, Rashida Soomro, Najia, Shumaila, Raima, Hina Bhatti, Ruby Baloch, Huma, Imdad Khoso, Shams Bhutto, Wali Muhammad, Hafiz Magsi, Mehran Qazi, Bilawal Qazi, Fawad Ali Shah, Zameer Awan, Zafar Khan, Wasim Nizami, Wajid Baloch and Wahid Rajpar, also attended the workshop.
Source: Daily Times
Date:11/22/2009