Safety of journalists during polls coverage demanded

May 3, 2013 Off By Web Desk

KARACHI: In Pakistan journalists are facing immense problems regarding their safety and it is necessary that all the stakeholders including government take concrete steps to ensure their security while covering the coming general elections, said speakers of a moot here Friday in connection with World Press Freedom Day.

The roundtable discussion on “Safety of Journalists During General Election 2013 Coverage’’ was organized by Pakistan Press Foundation PPF at a local hotel.

Secretary General PPF Owais Aslam Ali, Bureau Chief Geo News Faisal Aziz Khan, President Karachi Union of Journalists KUJ G M Jamali and Editor Pakistan Press International PPI Nasir Aijaz were among speakers.

Owais Aslam Ali said law and order situation is deteriorating in the country. As general election 2013 is coming nearer the journalists are facing several threats during coverage of election activities. He urged the journalists unions, print or electronic media groups to devise strategy for the safety of journalists.

Faisal Aziz Khan said media groups were purchasing costly equipments for their institutions but taking buying insurance policies for their reporters who put their lives in danger while covering risky events.

G M Jamali informed that KUJ is working to provide insurance and health facilities to journalists. He urged the media group owners to ensure availability of bullets proof jackets, first aid kits in DSNGs when they go for outdoor assignments.

Nasir Aijaz stressed for safety training for journalists along with their professional training. He urged the journalists to take care of their safety.

Speakers said safety of journalists is the responsibility of their media groups.

PPF also unveiled a press freedom report which disclosed that 54 journalists were killed in Pakistan from 2002 to 2013, out of them 35 directly targeted, while six journalists killed in the first four months of current year.