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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid