ISLAMABAD: It is unfortunate that journalists always highlight issues of marginalised segments of society but when they lose their own lives in the line of duty, no one remembers them.
This was stated by senior journalist Nawaz Raza while speaking at an event held on the ‘Remembrance Day of Journalists’.
The event was organised by a non-governmental organisation, Journey of Journalists, at the National Press Club on Sunday.
Pakistan is one of the most vulnerable countries for journalists. During the last one-and-a-half decades, 117 journalists were killed in Pakistan.
Mr Raza said he remained the president of the press club for 16 years and knew that journalists were pressured by intelligence agencies, politicians, terrorists and mafias who wanted them to report in their favour or not report anything against them.
“In the 1970s there was a trend to open fires during public meetings but after 9/11 incidents of bomb blasts started. Similarly, in the past journalists were threatened and tortured but after 9/11 they have increasingly been killed,” he said.
“Nowadays it has become very difficult for journalists to work in Balochistan. On the other hand, it has become impossible for people other than the Baloch to live in the province,” he said.
Rafique Siddique said journalists had long duty hours and never got proper reward for their work. The government should ensure that journalists get their rights and are paid enough to live a reasonable life, he said.
Another journalist, Daniyal Khan, said there should be proper arrangements to train young journalists on how to report different events.
“During the ongoing sit-in at Faizabad, two journalists were beaten by the participants. Unfortunately, young journalists do not know how to work in such a situation,” he said.
Azhar Hijazi said a number of newspapers faced pressure from the government and terrorist groups but no one listened to their grievances.
Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2017