September 18-19th, 2002 Workshop for Journalists "Monitoring Press Freedom in Local Communities" at Larkana, Sindh. -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

September 18-19th, 2002 Workshop for Journalists “Monitoring Press Freedom in Local Communities” at Larkana, Sindh.

Date: September 18 – 20
Location: Hyderabad

Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) organised a workshop on “Monitoring Press Freedom in Local Communities” at Larkana on 18-19 July 2003. The workshop held at a local hall was attended by 17 press correspondents, including two women, representing national, regional and local newspapers and magazines.

The PPF instructors’ team consisted of Mr. Fazal Qureshi, Chief Editor Pakistan Press International and Vice Chairman of PPF Mr.S. Iqbal Babu, senior local journalist and correspondent PPI. Miss Andaleeb Kausar Jhatial, representing the Amnesty International in Larkana gave an overview of the situation of freedom of press in Pakistan with special reference to the rather gloomy state of affairs in the province of Sindh. She welcomed and praised PPF for organising the workshop.

Mr. Fazal Qureshi in his opening remarks informed the participants about the concept behind the monitoring of press freedom workshop. He also explained how PPF had been playing a notable role in the defence of freedom of press in Pakistan in collaboration with national and international media organisations.

The opening session was devoted to “Understanding the Legal Basis of Press Freedom”. Mr. Fazal Qureshi gave a detailed overview on the legal situation of press freedom in Pakistan as guaranteed by Article 19 of the Constitution of Pakistan and reviewed laws relating to the media such as the Telegraph Act, The Official Secrets Act, the laws of defamation and contempt of court. Mr. Fazal Qureshi also explained essentials of persuasive writing saying that persuasive writing was based on an in depth investigation of the issue. It was in the form of “situation reporting” as different from “event reporting”. He highlighted technique and requirements of designing action alerts to report press freedom violations. It was explained that an Action Alert was a report of the event or issue, which was sent out to individuals and organisations to seek their support and suggest action to resolve the issue. This was followed by an open discussion on the subject in which some of the newly introduced press law including the Contempt of Court Ordinance were discussed and criticised. This was followed by an open discussion on constraints to press freedom in Pakistan and the importance of monitoring press freedom”. The consensus was that despite considerable freedom of press prevailing in the country, there was still need to be vigilant.

The closing session was presided over by Mr. Sultaan Ali Khowaja, District Police Officer, Larkana, who himself was a journalist before joining police service. He delivered a brief talk on the subject of press freedom and emphasised that the press should exercise its right of freedom of expression with responsibility towards rights of the common people. The question answer session that followed, was devoted to a free and frank discussion about the issue of freedom of press, the importance of ethics and the role of a free press. The participants were advised to form a Press Freedom Vigilance Committee consisting of impartial senior local newsmen. This committee was to deal with issues of press freedom, not only in their own area but also throughout Pakistan. The committee when formed could coordinate its work with PPF.


List of Speakers
Mahmood Sharif Siddique
The News (International) Karachi
Syed Moazzam Sultan Bukhari
Associated Press of Pakistan (APP)
Khalid Chandio
Dr. Safdar Abbasi
The Nation
Nadeen Soomro
Daily Ibrat Hyderabad
Daily Sindh Mohammad Ashique Pathan
Daily Khabrian Karachi
Mehmood Pathan
Daily Express Karachi
Asif Ali Tunio
Daily Ibrat Hyderabad
Syed Amjad Ali Shah
Daily Sach Karachi
Munir Soomro
Daily Ibrat
S. Sabir Ali Shah
Daily Jang
S. Iqbal Baboo
Pakistan Press International (PPI)
Zafar Abro
Daily Ibrat Hyderabad
Murtaza Kalhoro
Daily Hulchal
Aijaz Hussain Chandio
Andleeb Jhatial
Awami Awaz
Kawish Shaam
S. Mehdi
Daily Awami Awaz Karachi
Abdul Jahanir Mitani
Kawish Ibrat