ISLAMABAD: Participants of a workshop on Saturday said responsibility of the media to highlight violation of fundamental rights of women, minorities, transgender persons and children had increased manifold as unfortunately government departments and officials take action only on media pressure.

The workshop organized by the PATTAN Development Organization in collaboration with Trust for Democratic Education and Accountability (TDEA) at local hotel.

They said media also need to adopt advance technology for the reporting as Covid-19 and other health related issues had limited their access to such incidents.

Aim of the workshop was to support media persons in highlighting and addressing different issues such as violation of human rights and deal with other issues during increasing challenges due to Covid-19.

Waqar Gilani, a journalist, said an optimum use of digital tools in journalism and awareness of laws and regulations related to media and journalists very much important for the role of free media in the democratic process, protection of journalists and accurate reporting of health and disaster related issues.

“Democracy guarantees the protection of civil rights because in this system there is freedom of thought, speech and writing without which the protection and determination of rights is impossible.

The role of free media is very much important to strengthen democracy. Independent media plays an important role in ensuring the basic constitutional rights of the people. Free media makes elected governments accountable to the people and helps promote and strengthen democracy,” he said.

“The media plays a vital role in raising the voice of the oppressed classes in the society and bringing them into the mainstream. The media has reported many incidents of violations of the fundamental rights of women, minorities, transgender, or children. Due to media pressure, government departments and officials are forced to take action on such incidents. It is as if the media assists in the process of bringing together all sections of society, the true spirit of democracy,” he said.

Another journalist Nadeem Chaudhry said that unfortunately journalists, healthcare workers and police officials were among the major victims of the Covid-19 and their effectiveness has been suffered due to fear of infection and a number of hurdles.

He said it was important for journalists to know the constitution and the law so that they can cover their news and analysis in their light. Journalists familiar with constitutional rights and laws can fi nd good news and write it in a better way,” he said.

Earlier, during a briefing, participants were informed that the 21st century is also called the information age, the digital age or the new media age. This is because the means of information transfer are faster.

Due to new technology, the media and journalism are also changing rapidly. Therefore, it is very important for journalists to understand the methods and art of digital reporting.

Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2020

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