Imperative that govt, journalists design roadmap to address difficulties faced by media fraternity: Awan

Updated 25 Jan 2020


SAPM Firdous Ashiq Awan speaks to reporters after visiting the family of Fayyaz Ali. — DawnNewsTV
SAPM Firdous Ashiq Awan speaks to reporters after visiting the family of Fayyaz Ali. — DawnNewsTV

Prime minister's aide Firdous Ashiq Awan on Saturday insisted that it was important that journalist bodies, government and all stakeholders of the media industry come together and design a roadmap to address the difficulties being faced by the media fraternity in Pakistan.

Awan made these comments while talking to reporters after her visit to the house of Fayyaz Ali, a Capital TV reporter who had passed away earlier this week after suffering a heart attack. Ali was reportedly terminated days before his death and was not being paid.

The special assistant to the prime minister on information and broadcasting (SAPM) said that it was "extremely tragic that a man, who kept fulfilling his responsibilities, was paid after his death".

"This is a moment of reflection for us," she said.

"It is extremely important that journalist bodies, media workers, government and all stakeholders sit together and address all the problems that are being faced by our workers, owners of media houses along with societal challenges, Pakistan's economic condition and the financial situation of our private sector.

"After that, a roadmap should be created with a consultation with all stakeholders. And if it is not implemented, an accountability mechanism should also be developed," Awan said.

She regretted that even though regulatory bodies were in place, they were not fulfilling their role "with the spirit and commitment required".

She then announced that Capital TV's owner and the government had decided to pay Rs1 million to Ali's family. In addition, she said, Ali's brother would be given a job in the information ministry.

Furthermore, the government would also allot a house to the family under the prime minister's housing scheme.

She said that the media industry was facing problems because of the country's "financial crunch". Addressing the media's difficulties, Awan said that a data bank will be created to keep track of workers whose salaries were not being paid.

The premier's aide rejected reports that the government was curbing the number of advertisements awarded to DawnNewsTV and Geo News.