Pakistan is ranked as the most dangerous country in
which to work as a journalist.
The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), in
partnership with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), recently
deployed four missions to assess the situation on the ground in some of the
most dangerous and under-reported provinces for journalists in the country -
Balochistan, Interior Sindh, the Khyber – FATA region and Punjab.
The missions found that problems for journalists and
media personnel working in Pakistan’s conflict zones are multiple and complex.
Independent Pakistani media see themselves as playing
a key role in the reporting of the ongoing civil unrest in Pakistan ensuring an
independent, ethical and critical media that provides full, fair and impartial
information. In doing so, they have
become targets. With key journalists gagged, others beaten and arrested,
independent broadcasters banned from the airwaves, and censorship under the
guise of a new "code of conduct," press freedom is under attack.
In conflict-ridden provinces such as Balochistan and
the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), media personnel sandwiched
between insurgent elements and government security forces find it virtually
impossible to conduct their work freely. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the tribal
areas, the safety situation is just as precarious for media, as Taliban and
other groups pressure the Government by launching attacks in public places,
pro-government gatherings, mosques and religious seminaries.
While safety and security remain priority concerns,
journalists in Pakistan also confront enormous difficulties due to lack of
decent wages and job security, mass retrenchments and poor workplace
environments. These compound the pressures of journalists working on the front
Journalists’ unions in Pakistan continue to struggle
for implementation of minimum wage under the Seventh Wage Board Award. Journalists are commonly employed under
insecure short term contracts which are not accountable to the Wage Board and
salaries are held for months at a time causing great distress to working
journalists and their families.
PFUJ will launch the four reports The
State of Journalism in Pakistan, at their headquarters in Islamabad on May
3 to mark World Press Freedom Day.
are available on the IFJ website.
For further information
contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 9333 0950
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