Media bodies slam curbs on journalists
KARACHI: Media organisations on Thursday expressed grave concern over the curbs on media and said the journalist fraternity would make every possible struggle for freedom of expression and people’s right to information.
In a joint statement, the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors Association said it was very worrying that people were being deprived of the right to information by taking away the freedom of media. They said it was surprising that the coverage of important cases, including that of cipher, had been banned.
The statement said the ban imposed on media coverage of important cases was nothing but depriving the people of their right to information. It added that newspapers and channels were facing challenges such as pressure from state institutions, illegal and unannounced censorship, emphasis on promotion of desired content, restriction on judicial and political coverage and pressure on journalists and channels.
The statement said the judiciary was the only door of relief in this tense environment, but if this door was closed, the situation would worsen.
The media practitioners’ representative organisations said an atmosphere of terror was being created for the media persons through pressure from state institutions and the regulator Pemra, adding that they faced illegal and unannounced harassment and restrictions on a daily basis.
They said the journalist fraternity would not accept any curbs on media in any way, adding that it was the right of the media to know what is going on and to take all possible steps to ensure the freedom of expression. They expressed the determination that they would do every possible struggle for the freedom of expression in the country, for which all legal means would be taken.