Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) monitored 95 news items in both newspapers and TV channels during the week. Majority of the news makers were 71 males, 12 females; while in 12 news items gender of spokesperson was not mentioned.
According to PPF monitoring 41 news items were related to freedom of expression, 21 media development and media safety news items were 12, 10 news items regarding media ethics; while three of media obituary and eight related to general category.
PPF monitored 33 items out of which there were 11 detailed news, seven tickers, nine breaking news, five programs and one headlines related to Pakistani media that were covered in the following television channels: 92 News, Aaj News, Abb Takk, ARY News, Capital TV, Dawn News, Dunya News, Express News, Geo News, Jaag News, Neo News, News One, Samaa and TV One.
Out of 62 news items there were 37 events coverage, 15 press releases, six press briefings and three opinions published in English and Urdu dailies including Dawn, The News, The Nation, The Express Tribune, Business Recorder, Pakistan Today, Regional Times, Balochistan Express, daily Jang, daily Dunya, daily Express, daily Nawa-i-Waqt, daily Intikhab, daily Amn, daily Pakistan.
Journalists’ protection bill
The Minister for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb said proper laws should be made to secure the jobs of journalists in the country, a journalists body should be formed to prepare effective policies for media persons. She claimed that for the first time in the history of Pakistan a bill for the protection of journalists will be presented in the National Assembly soon, reported The Express Tribune, Dawn, daily Pakistan on December 5.
Safety of journalists
Sindh Information Department has appointed a focal person to tackle the issues being faced by journalists and media workers followed by a meeting. A meeting was held between Secretary Information Department Imran Atta Soomro and Owais Aslam Ali, secretary general of PPF.
Focus person will be responsible to monitor the crimes against journalists and will follow the cases of slain/ attacked journalists and media houses. PPF secretary general Ali said “PPF will provide details of slain and attacked journalists as their cases were pending since years and media professionals and their families had been waiting for justice”. Regional Times reported the story on December 8 and 9.
On the International Day for Human Rights, The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) organized a conference entitled ‘no right without the right to freedom of expression’ at Lahore Press Club. Dr Mehdi Hassan discussed media and its evaluation and said that the lack of editorial control by the media as to what to disseminate and increasing role of state in gate keeping of news had left little depth in terms of coverage.
The HRCP’s I A Rehman and Asma Jahangir urged the authorities should protect journalists and rights defenders from violence and threats related to their work, provide compensation for victims of violence and bring to justice perpetrators of acts such as targeted attacks, enforced disappearances, extra-judicial executions, etc. The Nation reported on December 11.
Dawn, The News, Jang on December 6 reported that participants of a two-day conference urged the government to take steps for the safety and security of journalists in the country and formulate effective legislation on the matter as Pakistan is the most dangerous place for practicing journalism in the world.
The conference titled 5th National Media Conference was organized by Individual land Pakistan in the collaboration with Friendrich Nauman Foundation. The conference was attended by senior journalists, civil society and media support organizations.
Award for Journalist
92 News aired ticker on December 10 while daily Express on December 11 reported that, President Mamnoon Hussain awarded ‘The National Human Rights Award’ to the President of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, Rana Azeem.
Notice to a channel on airing voice recording of Plane crash
Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) issued a show-cause notice to Channel 24 for airing an unverified audio tape of passenger’s of ill fated Pakistan Airlines plane before the crash at Havelyan. According to PEMRA notice, various viewers have lodged complaints through twitter as well as with the complaint centre, terming the act of Channel 24 “inhuman” and “unethical”.
Soon after the crash an audio clip went viral on social media in which people were crying for help however later it was found that the audio was of another crash. The authority asked channel management to file a reply by December 15. The News and Business Recorder reported the story on December 9.
SC upholds verdict of IHC on Neo Channel
A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, heard and rejected Neo TV channel’s appeal against Islamabad High Court’s verdict and said the media should be very careful while airing programmes and reporting on the judiciary.
The court also issued notices to the PEMRA chairperson for personal appearance on December 7 along with its order of suspending the channel’s licence for a week, ARY News, Capital TV aired breaking news on December 5 and 6 while Dawn, The Nation, daily Jang on December 6 reported the event
Journalists of Karachi, Sujawal, Kotri and Larkana stage a protest demonstration against PEMRA’s decision to suspend licence of Neo News, reported by daily Intekhab on December 5, 6, 7 and 8 while Abb Takk, Dawn, News One aired detailed news and breaking news on December 5.
Standing Committee to summon BOL CEO, anchor
The National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privileges decided to summon Chief Executive Officer of BOL TV and Anchor Amir Liaquat Hussain in its next meeting in connection with the question of privilege raised by Maulana Fazlur Rehman, MNA, regarding “baseless” assertions leveled against him by the anchor in his programme.
The committee also directed PEMRA to check persistent violation of media code of conduct and initiate necessary action against TV channels and anchors found guilty of casting false allegations on public office holders and elected representatives. Business Recorder, The News, daily Jang reported the story on December 7.
Info minister seeks action against ARY News
Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Ms Aurangzeb asked PEMRA to take action against ARY News channel for airing baseless propaganda on civil-military relations, Geo News aired a ticker on December 5 while The News reported on December 6.
International Media Conference
The first International Marathon Conference on Media Education was held at the University of Karachi on December 7, bringing together over 65 journalists from all over Pakistan and abroad, and was attended by over 500 students from the media education discipline.
The keynote speaker at the inaugural session was Dr Lawrence Pintak, the founding dean of Edward Murrow College of Communication, Washington State University, the US; termed the profession of journalism ‘under siege’. Pintak said the present time was both challenging as well as exciting for journalists. The Nation, Dawn, The News, The Express Tribune, daily Express, daily Dunya reported the story on December 8.
In other story reported by Business Recorder, daily Dunya, daily Intekhab on December 9, Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhtar has asked the media to help resolve the local bodies’ issues and said, “Media should highlight the local bodies’ issues giving them maximum coverage.” He expressed these views at a dinner reception organized by Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s hosted in honor to the participants of the first international marathon conference on media education at Frere Hall.
Health reporting workshop at CEJ
Institute of Business Administration’s Center for Excellence in Journalism in collaboration with Sanofi Pakistan organized a workshop on critical reporting skills and competencies in healthcare with the aim to polish the craft of knowledge-based reporting on health issues.
Veteran journalist Farooq Moin said, “In order to produce a credible and balanced news story, a reporter must verify facts from different sources and make sure accommodating the views of all parties involved in the issue”, reported by Business Recorder and The Nation on December 7.
Pakistan Today on December 5 published an article with the title “The Media” written by Kuldip Nayar (a veteran Indian journalist, human rights activists and a noted author). The writer highlighted the Dawn story issue and said that Indian media should learn from the newspaper that however powerful the government maybe, the media can raise its voice as long as they hold the ground. They do not have to wilt against the government’s pressure.
The writer further added that by confronting the government, The Dawn has reminded the people of Pakistan that they can confront the military rulers and restore democracy in the real sense.
Dawn published an article on December 10 with the title “Insensitive crash coverage” written by former editor of Dawn Abbas Nasir. The writer criticized the insensitive coverage of crash of PK 661 that happened on December 7. The writer said in such tragedies the chase for ratings inspires such absurd tactic that the viewer is filled with misery.
He further wrote that, “the graphics departments of some TV channels went into overdrive. The production teams put on a seemingly endless loop the graphic of a plane slamming into a mountain and bursting into flames. The one that caught my attention was downright offensive — it seemed to make a caricature of the tragedy.”
On December 11 Dawn also published an editorial with the title “Coverage of air crash” which also criticized the coverage of recent plane crash by TV channels.
Degree programme for practicing journalists
Allama Iqbal Open University will launch special M Phil degree programme for the practicing journalists, where senior media professionals will be invited to share their knowledge and skills, reported The News on December 5.
Media played essential role in restoration of peace
The Nation on December 11 reported that, Commissioner Kohat Division Musarrat Hussain said media played an effective role in restoration of peace in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
He was addressing as a chief guest at launching ceremony of a web-based television channel on December 10. He said that print, electronic and social media had achieved the status of an essential part of the society and is considered forth pillar of the state because of its admitted importance across the world.
Police “operation” against journalists
Regional Times on December 8 reported that, police officials have started operation against journalists of Setharja and other towns. They also registered cases against journalists including Shakil Ahmed Kubar, Muhammad Shahid Kubar and others. This came soon after the publication of news against poor performance of the Khairpur Police. On the other hand local journalists also staged a protest demonstration against police officials for harassing them.
Qari Hasan Javaid
Former senior sub-editor of Nawa-i-Waqt Karachi Qari Hasan Javaid passed away at the age of 74, reported daily Nawa-i-Waqt on December 5. He worked for Jang, Hurriyat and daily Masawat.
Former Deputy Editor of The Nation Mazhar Qayyum passed away at the age of 82, reported The Nation on December 6. He retired as deputy editor of the Nation about three years ago. He had masters in English, French and Arabic.