Pak media independent, growing: Pak journalists

Notwithstanding attempts by some groups to infringe on its freedom, media in Pakistan is quite independent and is growing.

Last Updated: Dec 31, 2011, 14:51 PM IST

Hyderabad: Notwithstanding attempts by some
groups to infringe on its freedom, media in Pakistan is quite
independent and is growing, visiting Pakistani journalists
said here.

"From government point of view, there is total freedom.
Government is not interfering in print or electronic media.
But there are some pressure groups, religious groups, there is
Taliban, they are pressurising their point of view," Tariq
Mahmood Shaam, Head of Editorial Board, ARY Network of
Pakistan, told a news agency here.

"Sometimes, there are some efforts by secret agencies,
government and establishment, they approach some anchor
persons or the programme producers. They influence. There are
examples," he said.

Suhail Warraich, Director Political Affairs/Anchor Geo TV
and senior Editor, Editorial, Daily Jang, said, "Many people
think that media is too independent. Sometimes, there are
efforts to curb the freedom of media. But, I think it has
become an institution. I think in any democratic set up,
something becomes an institution, it is difficult to curb the
freedom.

The two senior journalists were here to attend the World
Urdu Editors Conference being organised on December 30 and 31.

"Militants are there. Sometimes, establishment is there.
But I think we crossed that limit. We have come to an age
where it would be lot of resistance if somebody tried to,
Warraich said.

Warraich said the Pakistani media has given consciousness
to the people which has led to reforms in various spheres.

"Pakistani media is progressing. Pakistani media is quite
independent. In a way, it has given consciousness to people.

Because of that consciousness, there is lot of reformation
going on in political as well as in the institutional reforms
like independence of judiciary, the pressure on the government
to stop corruption, like there are cases in judiciary.

"Media is always on toes about the accountability of the
politicians, accountability of the government. So, almost 99
per cent of things are not hidden before the media, they are
being exposed to the people," he said.

Shaam felt that investigative reporting needs to grow in
Pakistan and that electronic media is still evolving in the
country.

Literacy level need to grow in the country for the media
to expand further, he said.

The growth of electronic media has not affected the
newspaper reading habit of people as new newspapers are taking
birth, he noted.

Warraich, however, felt that the growth of electronic
media has had some impact on the papers and that they need to
evolve ways to attract the readers.

PTI