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Media Ethics

World trends in freedom of expression and media development

Publication title: World trends in freedom of expression and media development
Publisher: UNESCO, 2014

UNESCO has released a report documenting world trends in freedom of expression and media development.

UNESCOrepEach of the report’s four chapters, on freedom (chapter 1), pluralism (chapter 2), independence (chapter 3) and safety (chapter 4), contains a section of gender .

In the foreword section, Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO explains the impetus for the report. “At the 36th session of the General Conference (November 2011), Member States  mandated UNESCO to explore the impact of change on press freedom and the safety  of journalists”.

Bokova underlines four angles of analysis adopted “to review emerging trends, through the conditions of  media freedom, pluralism and independence, as well as the safety of journalists. At each  level, the Report has also examined trends through the lens of gender equality”.

On media freedom for instance, the report highlights the continued “relative exclusion of women in news content by mainstream media and even online media”, echoing findings of the Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) research in 2010.

Download the UNESCO report here.

40 journalists in the Balochistan had lost their lives in the line of duty

Quetta: Journalists on Tuesday resumed their protests for the sixth consecutive day against the targeted killings of senior journalist Irshad Mastoi and two other media personnel here.

The law enforcement agencies have failed to find any evidence regarding the incident. Protesters raised slogans against the government for failing to protect the lives and assets of Quetta’s inhabitants. Senior journalist Shahazada Zulfiqar claimed that over 40 journalists in the province had lost their lives in the line of duty.

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Irshad Mastoi, 34, was among the veteran journalists in Balochistan and wrote for local and national newspapers. PHOTO: INTERNATIONAL NEWS NETWORK

However, he insisted that such brutal attacks would not prevent media personnel from doing their job to reveal the truth. Leader of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists Saleem Shahid said that such incidents indicate that the writ of the state was being undermined.

“We do not have security guards to protect journalists and it is out of the question to arm our journalists,” he said.

Police Attack: 28 media persons injured during rioting in Pakistan

28 journalists, cameramen and media workers were injured in attack by Punjab police in Islamabad on August 31. The police attack came during clashes between personnel of law enforcement agencies and activists of two political parties, Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI)

attack-on-journalistsThe media persons came under attack while they were covering heavy police teargas shelling on PTI and PAT activists who are continuing their protests police beat up the media persons ruthlessly and also damaged vehicles of seven media houses. The attack on media persons has widely been condemned across the country.

Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Pakistan Broadcasters Association, Hyderabad Union of Journalists, Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of Journalists, National Press Club and various other journalist organizations have strongly condemned the incident and demanded action against the police.

The injured media persons were Khuram Fayaz, Samma TV cameraman; Ajab Khan, Samma TV cameraman; Awais Qazi, Samma TV cameraman; Atif Yousuf, Waqt TV cameraman; Imran Iqbal, Waqt TV cameraman; Mohammad Zahid, Waqt TV DSNG operator; Jameel Kiyani, Waqt TV driver; Essa Naqvi, Dunya TV reporter; Asad Ayub, Dunya TV reporter; Adnan Dunya TV DSNG Engineer; Anjum Fatemi, Dunya TV cameraman; Asif Abdullah, ARY News cameraman; Iqbal Zaib, ARY News cameraman; Kashif Abbasi, DawnNews cameraman; Naushad Abbasi, DawnNews cameraman; Yasir Malik, DawnNews reporter; Samar Abbas, DawnNews reporter; Ashfaq Hussain, DawnNews cameraman; Imran Chaudhry, DawnNews cameraman; Mansoor Ahmed, DawnNews cameraman; Amir Alam, Express News cameraman, Majid Shah, Express News cameraman, Usman Afzal, Express News Cameraman; Rana Tariq, Aaj TV reporters; Haroon Khursheed, Aaj TV cameraman; and Ghulam Ali, Aaj TV cameraman.

On September 1, hundreds of activists of PTI and PAT barged into headquarters of state owned Pakistan Television (PTV). All entrances to PTV headquarters were occupied by protesters as they began to damage the property, working their way through the first, second and third floors. Wires were cut off as protesters entered the panel room.

They took over the programming control room after which transmission was taken off air temporarily. However, the transmission was later restored after the army intervened and expelled the protesters from the PTV building.

The attacks on Sunday and Monday followed attacks on 12 media workers and on media houses in since the start of the protests by PIT and PAT on August 14.

Protesters leave PTV building, transmissions restored

Pakistan Army arrived to vacate the premises of the state-run Pakistan Television Monday after protestors entered its premises and ransacked and occupied its building.

Samaa reported that protestors entered into PTV building after breaking main gates. They ransacked the building forcing closure of transmission of PTV World – one of its several channels.

Several hundred employees of PTV got besieged inside the building and were reportedly really worried about their safety.

Soon after protestors occupied the building, a contingent of the Pakistan Army arrived to control the situation.

Pakistan Army made announcements for calm and urged protestors to clear the building.

Protestors said that they were vacating the building in respect of the army. Afterwards, they gathered outside the building.

PTV Director News Athar Farooq, later talking to Samaa, said that protestors forced them to shut the transmission.

“They cut our cables and got hold of our equipment…our 20 to 22 cameras have been stolen,” he said.

He said that they have restored PTV World signals after army evicted protestors from the premises.

The protesters engaged in street battles with policemen after a long stand off in Islamabad, had broken the gate of Pakistan Television building and entered in the premises in federal capital.

The protesters of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), vacated the building after military troops ordered them to leave.

The protesters after their entry at the television headquarter buildings forced shut down of the transmissions of PTV News and PTV World.

Federal Interior Ministry came into action after the incident and called the troops for assistance to the civil administration so as the protesters could be removed from the television building.

The military rushed to the premises and directed the protesters to leave the premises within 10 minutes.

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Islamabad: Protesters shut down PTV transmission, army called in

The anti-government protesters stormed PTV building and held staff members hostage.  According to details, army has also been called in to control the situation.

The protesters have reportedly forced the management to shutdown the transmission of PTV News and PTV World.

Fighting raged between police and anti-government protesters for the second consecutive day after the latter stormed Pak secretariat early Monday.

Hundreds of protesters attempted to force their way into Pak secretariat early morning after the tear gas shells became unproductive due to rain.

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According to reports, the protesters have also broken the gate of Pak secretariat. It is important to mention that Pak army is also present inside the Pak secretariat building.

The officials have confirmed that at least three people have died while hundreds of people injured in the ongoing clashes in Islamabad.

 

Pakistani journalists protest in front of Karachi Press Club for Faizullah Khan’s release from Afghanistan jail on Thursday. – PPI Photo

Pakistan seeks pardon for jailed journalist in Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday appealed to Afghan president Hamid Karzai to issue a pardon to a journalist facing a four-year jail term in Afghanistan for “contacting terrorists.”

Faizullah Khan, a reporter with the Pakistani private TV channel ARY news, was arrested in April by Afghan security forces in Nangarhar province.

He was sentenced earlier this month to four years in jail for entering without travel documents and communicating with militant sources.

Pervez Rashid, Pakistan’s minister for information, urged Karzai to issue a presidential pardon.

“I appeal to Afghan president Hamid Karzai to use his powers,” to pardon Faizullah Khan, Rashid said in a press conference in capital Islamabad.

Rashid said Pakistan was also using diplomatic channels for the release of its journalist.

“Both the ministry of interior and the ministry of information have been pursuing this matter from day one, the day he was arrested,” he added.

Pakistani journalists protest in front of Karachi Press Club for Faizullah Khan’s release from Afghanistan jail on Thursday. – PPI Photo
Pakistani journalists protest in front of Karachi Press Club for Faizullah Khan’s release from Afghanistan jail on Thursday. – PPI Photo

Rashid said Pakistan respected Afghanistan’s judicial system and was appealing the verdict in an Afghan court.

Wafiullah Usmani, the head of the national security court of Nangarhar, in eastern Afghanistan, last week told AFP that Khan had no travel documents at the time of his arrest.

Khan was arrested with two members of the Pakistani Taliban on the Afghan side of the border, he said.

Pakistani journalist organisations have staged protest rallies across the country and have demanded the Afghan government release Karachi-based Khan before the Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Fitr, expected on Tuesday.

Source: AFP

Senate body approves amendment in Right to Information Bill 2013

The Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting and National Heritage on Tuesday approved the Right to Information Bill 2013 with proposed amendments.

Senator Farhatullah Babar told the committee that the Upper House has already passed Right to Information Bill 2013 but the government has proposed amendments. After finalisation of discussion of amendments the bill was again referred to both the Houses for approval. He objected that the government’s proposal to pass this bill and not notify its implementation whenever it wished. He apprehended that the government will implement this bill in the last year of its tenure and will demand votes from the general public on this bill’s basis.

right-to-informationFederal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Pervaiz Rashid asked the committee to give a time frame for its implementation or to remove this clause totally. The minister said the main purpose of the delay for notification of the law is due to the establishment of proper infrastructure including purchase of a photocopier and other necessary equipments like offices and furniture etc. “We have no intention to implement this law in the fifth year of our tenure”, he clarified on which the committee rejected this point and vowed to implement the law when it was passed by both the houses.

The committee also suggested and approved amendments in the definition of Public Body. The names of Parliament and SC but it could not specify the NGOs that obtained funding from the government or other form of facilitation. The committee said that those NGOs who were directly or indirectly receiving funds or received in the past, any tax concession or given property or any other benefit was to be included in this law.

The committee also discussed in detail the Information Council and nomination of commissioners. The three commissioners will be appointed on a specific criterion. The first commissioner, the committee removed the words “only retired judge” and broadened the scope to include as “any retired civil servants of BPS 21/22”, persons that qualified as SC/HC judge. Federal government will appoint the first commissioner under the aforementioned criteria. Senate and NA standing committees on information and broadcasting will select the second and third commissioners. The fourth commissioner will be from a civil society including a media professional. The age limit for these commissioners has been increased from 62 to 65 years.

The committee also suggested forming a committee for removing complaints against these commissioners. A three-member committee suggested two MNAs and one senator, to submit recommendations to the federal government within 30 days after receiving any complaints against any commissioner and the federal government will also make a decision within 15 days.

The meeting was attended by Senator Saeed Ghani, Senator Dr Abdul Qayoom Soomro, Farhatullah Babar, Ms Farah Aqil, Shirala Malik, Daud Khan Achakzai, Zafar Ali Shah and Rubina Khalid.

Daily Times

500 journalists will present themselves for arrest, in protest against ARY News closure

LAHORE:  According to details as reported by ARY News, media men staged a demonstration outside PEMRA office here and strongly protested against state oppression on journalist fraternity.

On this occasion, President of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Rana Azeem termed the ban on ARY News as a prohibition of the entire journalist fraternity.

ary-newsRana Azeem said that 500 journalists will present themselves for arrest, in protest against ARY News closure. He demanded PEMRA to withdraw its decision and the Information Minister to apologize for taking an action against the freedom of expression.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader, Shaukat Basra labeled ARY News as the voice of truth in the country. He said that democracy in Pakistan is threatened by no-one, but the authoritarian behavior of Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister of Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif.

 

Appointment of MD PTV declared illegal

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday declared illegal the appointment of Mohammad Malick as its managing director (MD) at Pakistan Television.

Hearing a petition, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui observed that the appointment of Mr Malick was not transparent. He directed the federal government to fill the post in a transparent manner and in accordance with the set procedure.

In April last year, Justice Siddiqui had declared the appointment of Yousuf Baig Mirza as the PTV head illegal after which the state-run channel remained ‘headless’ till February this year when Malick took over the charge.

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From April 2013 till the appointment of Mr Malick, the PTV was headed by senior director Mustafa Kamal Qazi.

A couple of months ago, Mr Qazi challenged the appointment of Mr Malick. In his petition, Mr Qazi alleged that the committee constituted for the appointment of the PTV chief had recommended the names of Jamal Shah and Mr Malick. He claimed that the committee had awarded 67 marks to Mr Shah and 66 to Mr Malick and forwarded their names to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who selected Mr Malick.

The petition also alleged that being only a graduate Mr Malick did not qualify for the post.

Nazir Jawad, the counsel for the PTV, however, maintained that the prime minister had appointed Mr Malick under his discretionary powers.

He said Mr Malick had earlier worked as the controller PTV and possessed administrative experience which Mr Shah lacked.

Mohammad Akram Sheikh, who also represented the PTV, contended that the petition was frivolous and liable to be dismissed.