Safety of Journalists

English: Chundrigar Road, with 20th century ar...

In the third world countries, the media is paying a high price for exposing truth. According to news reports, another Pakistani journalist was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in the Southwest Baluchistan province. The dead body of another kidnapped Pakistani journalist was discovered in Karachi last week. At least eight journalists have died in Pakistan since the beginning of 2011. Statistics released by the Committee to Protect Journalists said 42 journalists have been killed in Pakistan since 1992. According to the committee, Pakistan, Mexico, Iraq and Libya are still considered to be the most dangerous countries for journalists.

In countries, where all political and sectarian groups have their own armed militias, due to the public awareness created by the media, everyone wants to present their points of view. Different talk shows have got wide public attention and journalists have become prime targets of militants, ethnic and sectarian groups. The government and militants — both want to pressurize the media. The killing of another prominent journalist Saleem Shehzad by powerful agencies in the country was highly criticized by local media. Militant groups also issued their own guidelines for the media, which they want to use for propaganda purposes. Journalists are working on dangerous assignments without any protection in areas bordering Afghanistan. Even the Pakistani government has not been able to penetrate the tribal areas, where the presence of local media has ensured a regular flow of news for the rest of the world.

Khawaja Umer Farooq

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