News / Asia

Report: Pakistani Journalists Face Threats From All Sides

Report: Pakistani Journalists Face Threats from All Sidesi
X
May 01, 2014 10:19 PM
May 3 is World Press Freedom Day, and according to Amnesty International, journalists in Pakistan face grave dangers from that country’s intelligence agencies as well as militant groups like the Taliban. At the same time, the Pakistani government is moving against one of the country’s major news channels, accusing it of broadcasting what it calls “false” and “scandalous” reports. VOA’s Kokab Farshori has more on the state of press freedom in the South Asian nation.
Kokab Farshori
May 3 is World Press Freedom Day, and according to Amnesty International, journalists in Pakistan face grave dangers from that country’s intelligence agencies, as well as militant groups like the Taliban. At the same time, the Pakistani government is moving against one of the country’s major news channels, accusing it of broadcasting what it calls “false” and “scandalous” reports.

Thirty-four journalists have been killed in Pakistan since 2008 -- making it one of the most dangerous countries for reporting. In a report released this week, Amnesty International says journalists face threats from the country’s intelligence services, political groups and militant groups like the Taliban.

The independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan is echoing the report, raising concerns about journalists’ safety in the country.

I.A. Rehman, the Commission's chairman, said, "We have already pointed out that 11 journalists were killed in Pakistan in 2013. So, we are extremely concerned and we feel that journalists are at risk in Pakistan and they are not receiving the protection that they not only as journalists, but citizens of this state deserve."

Competing charges

The latest attack on a journalist came in April, when prominent reporter and talk show host Hamid Mir was shot six times by unknown gunmen. Mir survived the attack and his brother claimed that Mir suspects the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI of planning to kill him. Geo News, the channel Mir works for, repeatedly aired the accusation and blamed the ISI and its chief for the attack.

A large section of Pakistani society, including other media outlets, objected to Geo's reporting of the allegations and accused it of irresponsible journalism and  trying to undermine the country’s security forces.

While he could not comment specifically on Geo’s reporting, VOA’s Executive Editor Steve Redisch said it is important for a news organization to be careful with such charges.

"Before broadcasting any kind of allegations that are sensational, that have impact on national security, they have to be carefully and properly vetted before going out and broadcasting what could be damaging information," he said.

Responsible journalism

Though Geo has since softened its criticism, its accusations led the Pakistani Ministry of Defense to file a complaint seeking to cancel the channel’s license, a move that could shut it down. Redisch disagrees with that approach.

"Radio stations, television stations, newspapers, magazines have the freedom of expression, freedom of speech, freedom of the press," he said. "I do not believe that any of them should be banned from publication, banned from the airwaves. It is really about how the audience perceives those stations and whether or not trusts the information that is given."

Experts in Washington -- both in and out of journalism -- say press freedom also demands responsible journalistic practices. But they say if a news outlet fails to live up to those standards, shutting it down is not the right solution.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: jimmy from: pakistan
May 01, 2014 7:57 PM
a news funded by the indian media to exploit the image of pakistan in worlds community.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs