SAFMA for safety of journalists during polls
LAHORE: The South Asian Free Media Association and the South Asia Media Commission have urged the authorities in Pakistan to ensure that the media works freely while covering general election in the country.
In a joint statement on Press Freedom Day, SAFMA Secretary General Imtiaz Alam and SAMC Secretary General M Ziauddin showed concern over reports of threats being received by journalists from political parties contesting election and from militants attacking political campaigns.
“Democracy can flourish only by ensuring a culture of tolerance and coverage of diversity in views and opinion. Democracy’s strength lies in a free and vibrant media. So, all democratic parties should guarantee safety of journalists and respect their freedom,” they said.
On the other hand, SAFMA and SAMC officeholders expressed disquiet at incidences of violation of the media code issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan. “Good journalism practices demand that media follow the code in letter and spirit,” they said in a statement.
Mr Alam and Mr Ziauddin called on the interim government and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to unblock YouTube forthwith.
They expressed concern over the cases in courts, Sindh High Court in particular, where journalists were being asked to reveal their sources of information. “Revealing sources will jeopardise the security of whistleblowers and journalists, and restrict the right to seek and impart information. This will adversely affect investigative journalism and the media’s mission to secure overall public interest.”
Source: Daily Times