Good relations stressed between journalists and police

Khairpur: The journalists and police officers have stressed for good relation between on first day of workshop on Safety and Security for Journalists here at Police Recruit Training Centre (RTC), Khairpur. They agreed to develop mechanism to coordinate each other and to maintain law and order situation and report crimes in district. The participants visited RTC where they were given guidelines to secure themselves during the coverage of crime scenes and civil disturbance.

The workshop is a joint effort of Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) and Free Press Unlimited.

Javed Shaikh, the Chief Law Instructor (CLI) said that ‘Media is playing a great role in highlighting the crimes and irregularities but sometimes, journalists, in search of breaking news, danger his/her life security.’

The participants of workshop were first asked to share their safety and security related experiences they faced in past. One of them said that, ‘During the recent incident of seven chain bomb blasts, we threatened our life security because our organizations were urging us to stay on phone line and release quick breaking news.’ Another journalist said that ‘For every exclusive and breaking news, we threaten our lives.’

Later, Ms. Naseem Shaikh, the PPF coordinator for workshop on Safety and Security for Journalists, highlighted major issues which included risk assessment, stress management, tackling the mob, protection of evidence and how to deal with trauma. Participants at the workshop were hopeful that during the three days workshop, journalists will learn to tackle safety and security issues during their jobs.

The police law instructor Mr. Hidayyatullah briefed the journalists about civil disturbance. He stressed for the strong coordination between journalists and police and said that ‘everyone should know his/her limits. Police should know how it should work and so do the journalists.’ He further briefed the participants about police work procedure. He emphasized the need for journalists to maintain safe distance from incident place, specifically during bomb blasts and cross firing.

Participants were also briefed about commonly used weapons by Police and criminals, including G3 riffles and AK47. They were informed about weapon ranges and possible directions so that they should know and keep safe distance.

A mock bomb blast and mob scenes were also established inside RTC where police instructors practically briefed the journalist about dos and don’ts. They were kept on safe distance and told how to ensure their safety. The instructor requested journalists to always prioritize their safety and let first police clear the area.

Mr. Altaf Hussain, the police instructor appreciate the efforts of PPF and said that such steps will help in increasing awareness among masses and build good relationship between police and journalists. Ms. Naseem Shaikh, appreciating the efforts of RTC, said that such steps will result in changing of attitudes of officials on both sides. Mr. Naveed Shaikh, the CLI thanked the participants and organizers on behalf if the principle of RTC.

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