Press Freedom Day: Quality journalism is voice of voiceless people: Sharmila

KARACHI: On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day today, Sindh’s Culture and Tourism Minister Ms Sharmila Farooqui said on Sunday that quality journalism is voice of voiceless people as it ensures real development in the socity and helps end injustices with the people belonging to all segments of the society.

“The quality journalism is must as it works to expose injustice, corruption, and the abuse of power. For this, journalism must be able to thrive, in an enabling environment in which they can work independently and without undue interference and in conditions of safety,” she said in a statement in connection with World Press Freedom Day.

She said that the government is committed to provide security to journalists so that they could perform their duty without fear and intimidation. Media is the voice of voiceless and helpless people and it also committed to make fforts for resolving public issues and developing harmony with government for bring sustainable development, she said.

Sharmila informed that World Press Freedom Day was announced by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference, which is observed to ensure the fundamental principles of press freedom, assess the state of press freedom throughout the world, defend the media from attacks on their independence, and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

She said that the media faced a lot of troubles during previous dictatorial governments but we are making hectic efforts to ensure complete freedom to it. The government will do its best to mitigate the sufferings of media persons at all costs.

The minister said: “Press freedom is necessary for strengthening democracy, so all the stakeholders should play their due role in solving the problems faced by journalists. Media and culture go together and a balance should be maintained between the two.”

She said: “There are many positive developments that should also be considered by the media. She said approval of NFC Award, passing of 18th Constitutional Amendment, devolution of power to the provinces, improving security situation in Swat and once again hoisting the national flag there during previous PPP regime are some of the major successes that should not be overlooked by media.”

“Freedom of expression and press freedom are critical to the successful implementation of good governance and human rights around the world. For peace to be lasting and development to be sustainable, human rights must be respected. Journalism must be able to thrive in an enabling environment in which they can work independently. This is our message today, to let journalism thrive, she said.

The culture minister said media has a huge responsibility to conveying facts to the people and the government, that is why the government has taken several steps for safeguarding journalists community so that they could perform duties without fear. “Media in Pakistan is very proactive and busy to unearth conspiracies against Pakistan. It has always played its role of save guard against foreign attacks to the culture and ideology of Pakistan. Journalists are busy in making Pakistan strong while the government is fully committed to take care of them all the times.”

“Everyone must be free to seek, receive and impart knowledge and information on all media, online and offline. Quality journalism is voice of voiceless people,” Sharmila concluded.

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