BREAKING: 21 International Media Organizations Write to Government About The Nation

Nov 17th, 2009 | By | Category: The Nation

BREAKING: A group of 21 international media organizations has written a letter to Minister of Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira expressing concern about The Nation.

The letter is in response to an article by Kaswar Klasra in The Nation earlier this month that – with no evidence or factual support – accused a fellow journalist of being a spy. This group letter to the Minister comes following public condemnation from Committee to Protect Journalists and an appeal from the editor of The Wall Street Journal.

The letter is signed by Editors from ABC News, Agence France-Presse, Associated Press, The Guardian, BBC, The Independent, CNN, Al Jazeera, The Economist, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, France Info, McClatchy Newspapers, National Public Radio, Reuters, The New York Times, TIME, Newsweek, The Times, Radio France Internationale, and The Wall Street Journal.

The letter reads as follows:

TO: Qamar Zaman Kaira,
Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Government of Pakistan
4th Floor, Cabinet Block, Pakistan Secretariat, Islamabad

RE: Nation article about Wall Street Journal reporter

16 November 2009

Respected Minister Kaira,

We are writing to register our strong concern at a recent development that has caused alarm among international media organizations working in Pakistan.

On November 5, The Nation newspaper published a front page article accusing Matthew Rosenberg, a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, of working for the C.I.A., Israeli intelligence and the U.S. military contractor Blackwater.

Mr. Rosenberg is a respected journalist of high standing. Not only was the article unsubstantiated, it critically compromised his security and raised questions about whether he can return to Pakistan to work safely in the future.

The article also has broader implications. These are difficult times for all journalists in Pakistan. Our employees already face an array of threats, including violence and kidnapping, as they strive to provide timely and accurate coverage. Now those risks have been needlessly increased.

We strongly support press freedoms across the world. But this irresponsible article endangered the life of one journalist and could imperil others. It is particularly upsetting that this threat has come from among our own colleagues.

We recognize that courageous Pakistani journalists routinely face greater dangers than their international counterparts. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, five Pakistani journalists have been killed in the past 12 months alone. And we are heartened that several Pakistani media organizations have denounced The Nation’s story.

But we are also concerned that an incident of this kind – tarring a foreign reporter as a spy – could occur again. We ask the government of Pakistan to take note of this story and to take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of all media personnel in future.

Page 1 of the letter

Page 1 of the letter

Page 2 of the letter

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Page 3 of the letter

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  1. […] Letter From International Media Organizations: Letter source – Pakistan Media Watch Categories: News & Articles Tags: Dawn News, media, NewsEye, Saima Mohsin, Shirin Mazari, […]

  2. […] A copy of the letter is available at:… […]

  3. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by pakmediawatch: BREAKING: 21 International Media Organizations Write to Government About The Nation

  4. […] media do not stop with harmless conspiracy fantasies. Take, for example, the recent international outcry around Pakistani newspaper The Nation in which a respected American journalist was accused, absent any evidence whatsoever, of being a spy […]

  5. This is highly irresponsible, and we should NOT take this lightly.

    Have we already forgotten what such unsubstantiated theories of being a “Jewish Mossad Spy who lives in India” did to Daniel Pearl?

    His wife Marianna Pearl is herself on record blaming a similar piece written ky Kamran Khan to be the reason Daniel Pearl was beheaded. She referred to it as the “Death Sentence” – Daniel was mercilessly killed days after that article was published, the fact of him being a Jew featuring on the video his killers shot.

    It’s high time Pakistani media comes clean on this. WSJ should simply sue such irresponsible and dangerous media outlets to bankruptcy. Either PROVE your allegations, or be prepared to PAY heavy damages.

    However, opposite seems to be happening. Only days after she was condemned worldwide for her attitude, she published another rubbish story insinuating another unsubstantiated theory with a picture of a journalist. In this case, it was Daniel Berehulak, an award winning Australian photographer.

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  7. […] presence in Pakistan has been talked about endlessly – it has also made for some of the worst reporting to have come out of Pakistan and contributed to the general sense of paranoia in the […]

  8. […] The Nation may be one of the worst offenders in this regard, receiving international attention for recklessly calling foreign journalists ’spies’, they are certainly not the only media outlet to ‘report’ this type of story. Why do […]

  9. This is another step by the retrogressive forces of pakistan to keep the people ignorant of truth by discouragng the international media to play active role in pakistan. The apt and timely response by international media is commendable and minister must act.

  10. If our national media would have played a positive and effective role in the past, we must have been experiencing improvement in all spheres of life but like all other sectors of society media most often has been falling in the laps of undemicratic and dictators’ laps. Money has been the motive for most of the unpopular journalists and Newspapers as well and they made money by both hands in this lap-tap.

    So if some mediamen are raising their voices for the good of the country and for refinement of this rotton system, they must be encouraged at all levels. Only media can give a voice to this suppressed nation, so keep it up positively without prejudices and biases but never stop moving as Pakistan needs a bold, powerful and honest…MEDIA

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