CPNE to release press freedom report in Jan
KARACHI – The Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors has decided to issue an annual report on the state of press freedom in the country. The first report will be released in January 2005.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the CPNE’s standing committee in Karachi on October 21, where it was also agreed that the council would go ahead with the formation of a media complaint commission of its own due to the continued failure to set up a press council as mandated under law.
According to a press release, the meeting discussed a letter sent to CPNE President Arif Nizami by the federal information ministry on certain news items relating to the ongoing campaign against terrorism and interviews of certain persons.
The standing committee decided the letter was uncalled for and rejected it. It pointed out that the member publications of the CPNE had always condemned all forms of terrorism.
It also regretted the ‘veiled threat’ contained in the federal information minister’s recent statement of possible action against newspapers “projecting” terrorists.
The standing committee heard details of the pressures being exerted on newspapers in Balochistan to influence reporting of events and editorial policy and described this as a blatant violation of the constitutional guarantees on freedom of the press.