#WPFD Syed Hassan Abbas: “Media is the only effective medium between the state organs and the public in this health crisis”

Syed Hassan Abbas is a senior journalist from Pakistan and has been defending media freedom and rights for more than 20 years. He has been President of Karachi Union of Journalists, one of the Pakistan Federation Union of Journalists (PFUJ ) affiliate units with over 2500 working journalists in membership.

Credit: IFJ

1)      What is your biggest concern for press freedom in your country?

"I have many concerns. The safety and security of journalists in a country like Pakistan is always difficult. And, the fact that the important work of journalists is not recognised. The importance of the media and their rights must be guaranteed". 

 2) What are your daily challenges as a journalist? 

"We have to face different challenges in Pakistan. One has to work in an uncertain atmosphere. We have to fight against job insecurity, irregular salaries and censorship pressures from different quarters. The Pakistani media industry has been going through its worst period over the last one and a half years. Thousands of journalists are jobless while others are facing delay in salaries and salaries have been slashed by 10, 15 and 30 per cent".

 3) What are the most important stories to cover right now?

"No doubt, the biggest stories are COVID-19 related. The media is the only effective medium especially nowadays between the state organs and the public in this health crisis. Also, the deteriorating and fragile economic situation in Pakistan".

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