World Press Freedom Day being observed today

Source:  Samaa Published in World on Wednesday, May 03, 2017

KARACHI: World Press Freedom Day is being observed across the globe including Pakistan today (Wednesday) to pay tribute to journalists who lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

The day was first announced in 1993 by the United Nations General Assembly following a recommendation adopted at the 26th Session of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) General Conference in 1991.

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Giving his message for the day, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government values freedom of press as an essential part of democracy.

Sharif said that responsible media helps in eliminating corruption, lawlessness and terrorism by playing its role neutrally.

To highlight the importance of the day, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) called upon journalists to observe the day by holding rallies throughout the country.

Meantime, several media houses will air stories, interviews, seminars, conferences and in-depth reports in connection with press freedom issues.

Find the ranking of the countries in connection with the press freedom issued for 2017 by Reporters Without Borders (For Freedom of Information) on its website.

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According to Reporters Without Borders website, India slumped three positions to 136 in 2017. The website said, “Journalists are increasingly the targets of online smear campaigns by the most radical nationalists, who vilify them and even threaten physical reprisals.”

On India, the organization said, “Journalists working for local media outlets are often the targets of violence by soldiers acting with the central government’s tacit consent.”

Pakistan was at 147th position in the ranking; however, in the 2017, it is now ranked at 139. The organization said, “The Pakistani media are regarded as among the freest in Asia but are targeted by extremist groups, Islamist organizations, and the feared intelligence agencies, all of which are on RSF’s list of Predators of Press Freedom.”