The News: No Safe Place

Jan 21st, 2010 | By | Category: The News

The News today includes the following editorial about harassment of journalists in Pakistan.

Journalists in Pakistan do not have to go to zones of conflict to find themselves at risk – they merely have to stay at home. The home of an investigative journalist who works for a local news organisation was attacked by ‘unknown miscreants’ in the early hours of Tuesday morning. His house was pelted with rocks, his car damaged and the family were trapped inside when the ‘miscreants’ put locks on their gates. He (and another of his colleagues) had been receiving threats for a fortnight, allegedly from representatives of a sensitive agency who were displeased with the stories they had filed exposing corruption and malfeasance.

This is disgraceful but not unexpected. Much of the upper echelon of the establishment has yet to adapt to the new realities of a media which is more robust, less willing to be pushed around and increasingly prone to questioning and investigating that which was previously hidden. Accountability is being drip-fed into the veins of the body politic through newspapers and magazines and the myriad TV channels — and the body-politic is by no means sure that the medicine coming its way is to its liking. We therefore offer our support to fellow journalists who all now face the reality of reporting conflict – from the Home Front; and hope that the offer of an ‘in-depth enquiry’ by Interior Minister Rehman Malik into this shameful attack is more than a knee-jerk reaction.

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