Recently we noted that Daily Nawa-i-Waqt was accepting advertising from a banned group, Jamaat ud Dawa. We asked whether accepting advertising from banned groups would affect the reporting or editorial stance of the newspaper such as leading to articles that are sympathetic to or supportive of this group? The answer may be showing itself.
A page two column from Nawa-i-Waqt on Tuesday highlighted a claim that Jamaat ud Dawa “has made over 1 million suits for flood victims”. A staff reporter went on to report that JuD is providing milk packets to 7,000 children.
As shown in previous posts, this is a very small amount of aid to flood victims compared to that being organized and delivered by non-political NGOs as well as the government and military.
This blog has observed recently that some journalists, either unwittingly or for pay, appear to be providing PR for banned organizations. We have seen such examples in both English language and Urdu news media, including in The News (Jang), The Nation, Dawn, Daily Khabrian and now Nawa-i-Waqt.
Since Nawa-i-Waqt has also accepted advertising for banned groups, the question must be asked whether these illegal organizations are using advertising or PR methods to influence media coverage, or if the continued praise of illegal organizations reflects certain political bias by editors and reporters at these newspapers.