'Journalists at risk' -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

‘Journalists at risk’

THIS is with reference to the editorials ‘Journalists at risk’ (Sept 6) and ‘Attack on journalist’ (Sept 7). The humiliating treatment meted out to journalist Umar Cheema is highly contemptible and strongly condemned. It indicates another vain attempt to intimidate and coerce professionally dedicated and committed journalists into following the dictates of undemocratic elements and suppressing the voice of their conscience. It’s an abortive effort to pressurise and muzzle the media in general.

The government is urged, again, to do some soul-searching and weed out the negative elements from its ranks which are hell-bent on pitting both the media and the government against each other. Conflicts between the pillars of the state will always result in chaos, ultimately harming the country. With tolerance, broad-mindedness and mutual understanding, things, I am sure, can move in the right direction.

Since the oppressed and downtrodden people consider the media as their messiah, thanks to the hard-earned credibility it now enjoys, the media should be responsible in reporting the news.

Sometimes it has been observed that some news organisations, in their wild attempts to be ahead and number one in bringing sensational news, jeopardise the lives of their reporters, who perform their duties in perilous situations and dangerous locations amidst suicide bombings, indiscriminate fire and tense and volatile situations, risking their own lives to fulfil their professional commitments. This irrational and heartless rat race among the TV channels must end now.

Our honest journalists are our great assets. They must be encouraged, appreciated and helped to enable them to perform their duties diligently to uphold the truth and expose the evils of society. Provision of body armour or flak jackets and availability of first-aid kits in their vehicles are some desirable measures for their safety, especially in potentially violent venues.

Every patriotic Pakistani wishes to see an independent and impartial media growing in power and would love to see both the government and the media performing their respective roles and responsibilities to mitigate the sufferings of the people of Pakistan.

We demand the government bring the culprits who tortured Mr Cheema to book and give them severe punishment.

KHADIM HUSSAIN SUBHPOTO
Hyderabad
Source: Dawn
Date:9/11/2010