‘Journalism in Pakistan going through transition’
LAHORE: Journalism in Pakistan is in a transitional phase and will take time to reach its destination, said speakers at a seminar on Press Freedom Day, organised by the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) on Thursday.
Lahore Press Club (LPC) President Arshad Ansari, LPC Secretary General Zulfiqar Mehtu, SAFMA Secretary General Imtiaz Alam, Arif Nizami, Khaled Ahmed, Professor Hassan Askari Rizvi and Khalid Chaudhry were guest speakers on the occasion.
Ansari said around 16 journalists had been murdered in 2010 and 2011, and thousands were being strangled financially. He said the freedom of press was linked with financial freedom of journalists. Ansari blamed media owners for the financial woes of journalists.
Khaled Ahmed said the liberalisation of media in Pakistan owed a great deal to the struggle of journalists. “Democracy cannot develop in society without independent media and democratic norms cannot sustain without free media,” he said.
Ahmed said Press Freedom Day was an opportunity to highlight the fundamental principles of the freedom of press, defend media from attacks on their independence and pay tribute to journalists who had lost their lives in the line of duty. Imtiaz Alam said the world had become a global village and people were using new digital tools and techniques for getting information. He said the print medium was shrinking in Europe and the US, but it was doing better in South Asia.
Arif Nizami said the press was enjoying comparatively a good time nowadays, but there was no institutionalised freedom in Pakistan.