Workshop on ‘journalism in security environment’
LAHORE: Journalists and media students have underlined the need to uphold the high values of profession, especially within the new security environment, in which there is a clear danger of losing the truth and credibility when faced with violence and hostile ground realities.
They expressed these views at a workshop organised by the Individualland, a non-partisan consultancy, under the umbrella of Free, Independent and Responsible Media (FIRM) in collaboration with Fur Die Freiheit.
Senior journalists observed that though with the advent of electronic media in the last few years, true journalistic values had been compromised a bit as the new media entities tried to outshine each other in their quest for breaking news.
However, the group agreed that in the face of tremendous challenges faced by the media, there were journalists out there who did not compromise on facts and truths and those were the real unsung heroes and flag-bearers of the profession.
The journalists and mass communication students observed that though freedom of speech and independence of the media were provided by the Constitution of Pakistan, there were numerous factors out there which hampered the pursuit of truth and threaten the integrity. The pressures, the journalists observed, were manifold and multi-dimensional. A journalist braved numerous pressures from all sides including from own organisation, advertisers and the security institutions that the independent nature of the profession was threatened. Moreover, there was no security and insurance for the journalists who laid down their lives in the line of duty.
However, the group at the workshop realised that with freedom to speech and freedom to write comes responsibility. Without responsibility and accountability, freedom and independence could prove harmful. The participants of the workshop said that determining national interest was too important a business to be left to the security institutions. The parliament, civil society and the media must get together to evolve a consensus over what constitutes national interest. The participants, a vibrant mix of individuals, also exercised to find out how the stakeholders and vested interests tried to influence the media through money and advertisement revenues. The group called for a clear paradigm shift in the changing security environment.
The workshop concluded on Wednesday with the morning session focused on various journalism tools and techniques that could equip the journalists in reporting in new and dangerous environment. The participants included a range of journalists hailing from several cities of all the four provinces.