US dispels notion of funding Pakistani media outlet
ISLAMABAD: Terming recent statements by political leaders and journalists alleging foreign funding for a specific Pakistani media outlet as “misleading or inaccurate,” the United States on Monday clarified that the embassy provides funding and support to a broad range of organisations to facilitate professional development and capacity building activities.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan had announced complete boycott of Geo TV and the Jang Group for allegedly helping the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) emerge victorious in the 2013 General Elections.
Khan had also lashed out at the media group during his Sunday’s speech at D-Chowk in the federal capital, where the party staged a protest rally against alleged rigging in the May 11 poll last year.
The boycott coincides with the tensions simmering between the embattled media house and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) over the channel’s treatment of allegations levelled in the wake of the attack on senior journalist Hamid Mir.
The press release, issued here said the US government strongly supports vibrant, professional, and independent media in Pakistan as they do elsewhere globally. The US government assistance supports Pakistan’s media sector broadly, to include a range of print, broadcast, and radio formats, it added.
Naming services offered by the US to media representatives, the embassy said that these programs are not targeted to any one media group, but are geared towards supporting the community of journalists as a whole.
These programs aid the efforts of journalists to pursue balanced reporting and accurate messaging on events in Pakistan and elsewhere, said the press release.
“Suggestions to the contrary are inaccurate, and aim to mislead,” it added.