Editors want protection for journalists -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Editors want protection for journalists

ftikhar Gilani

NEW DELHI, March 30 2006: Senior editors from South Asia have asked for complete overhauling of the Geneva Conventions to provide adequate protection to journalists working in strife-torn areas.

A two-day seminar organised by the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), the Press Institute of India and the Mass Communication Research Centre of Jamia Millia Islamia debated the handicaps that the media encounters in conflict reporting.

Inaugurating the seminar, former Indian chief justice JS Verma said: “All conflicts arise in the minds of men and that is where they need to be tackled. The impact the media makes in influencing the mind is so great and it can make all the difference.”

The first session considered modern conflict, international law and state responses to terrorism. While discussing legal arrangements under international law for journalists in conflict areas, Indian born Melbourne University law professor Bruce Oswald concluded: “The protection afforded to journalists by the Geneva Conventions are inadequate.

The final session considered the roles and responsibilities of the media in conflict reporting. While discussing perspectives on independence and ethics Raj Chengappa, editor of India Today, opined: “All we can do is provide perspectives on truth. The states and other participants need to decide that the media is out there to seek the truth and therefore must be given a chance.”

Press Institute of India Director Arun Chacko said journalists had responsibility not to use their power to harm individuals or groups within your society.
Source: Daily Times
Date:3/30/2006