Responsibility of free media
By: SHAHZAD KHALIL
Sialkot: Freedom comes with responsibility and efforts by Hamid Mir and Absar Alam to restore credibility of our print and electronic media are a step in the right direction. When journalists get complimentary memberships of clubs like the controversial club built on land belonging to Pakistan Railways, eyebrows are raised, or they get expensive cars and SUVs free or at half market price, questions arise implicating conflict of interest and gross financial irregularities. Without an across the board self scrutiny by media, the fast eroding credibility will be dented beyond repair and harm the cause of democracy and freedom of expression in Pakistan.
The assets acquired by prominent journalists and media house owners should be evaluated with their tax returns filed since they started their careers. A series of fixed interviews on electronic media or analysis and doctored reporting by our print media, has exposed the few within this vital fourth organ of state.
Few have infiltrated ranks of land mafia by blackmailing landowners of their rented offices and residences to part with the big chunk of their property in exchange for vacating rented premises. Scions of few icons of our media, men who contributed to our freedom movement, are also involved in this mad rush to acquire assets through blackmailing and shady business deals including insider trading.