Press freedom with responsibility advocated
KARACHI: The Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) organized a seminar on ‘Freedom of the Press’ at its premises.
The speakers included the Director of Press Institute of Pakistan (PIP), Prof Zakariya Sajid, Chairperson of the Department of Mass Communication, University of Karachi, Prof Dr Shahida Kazi, a former provincial information minister, Agha Masood Hussain, Chairman of All Pakistan Newspapers Employees Confederation (APNEC), Abdul Hameed Chhapra and Secretary General of PPF, Owais Aslam Ali.
In his speech, Prof Zakariya called for fostering the spirit of professionalism in the realms of journalism. He said that along with knowledge, stress should also be laid on new skills to keep abreast with the technological advancement. “There is no freedom without responsibility,” he remarked. He said that there should be a certain code of conduct, while the point of view of the person against whom a news item was being published should also be given a place to defend his position.
Prof Dr Shahida Kazi said that the present age was the best one for the press. However, she pointed out, freedom of the press in the country had been secured after a great deal of struggle. This freedom of the press should be valued,” she said.
Agha Masood Hussain termed the World Press Freedom Day as a very important occasion. Pointing out that more than 60 journalists are languishing in prisons in some 25 countries, he called for the release of these journalists or their production before the court of law.
Chief of APNEC, Abdul Hameed Chhapra spoke of the role of working journalists during the past several decades that made possible the present day freedom of the press. He lauded the role of former Prime Minister Mohammad Khan Junejo. “The press should be responsible,” he remarked. There are press councils in some 52 countries but there is no such thing in Pakistan, he said.
The General Secretary of PPF, Owais Aslam Ali said there was a freedom of the press in the country. He maintained there should be an end to impunity on attacks against media.
Source: The News