Journalists protest bad-mouthing by Taseer
ISLAMABAD: The journalists on Friday staged a walkout from the press gallery in the National Assembly in a protest over the remarks of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer who bad-mouthed the media in a press conference.
Journalists ended their protest after Information Minister Sherry Rehman apologised on behalf of the federal government. Reaffirming the government’s commitment to the media’s independence while speaking in the National Assembly, Sherry Rehman said that freedom of expression is part of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) manifesto. “The PPP government can never think of gagging the media, as it is against its fundamental ideology.”
The minister said press plays an important role in the coverage of parliamentary proceedings. “Parliament is a forum for public representatives. There can be no concept of parliament without the media as its support is critical for communicating the assembly developments and decisions to the public.”
She said the PPP has the highest regard for the media as our partners have earned this freedom after a long struggle. “We have always supported the journalist community for their brave and tireless efforts for free press, and the PPP remains committed to work for an independent media.”
She stressed the need for the media to adopt a unified code of conduct in covering events and in their commentaries over important national matters. “Freedom comes with responsibility. The media being an important institution must protect public interest and respect fundamental ethics to ensure balanced process of news and information flow.”
Source: The News