Information age, handicapped media | By Malik M Aslam Awan

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Information age, handicapped media


Beyond the shadow of even an in kling of doubt it is evidently clear that nuclear technology can devastate the whole humanity in seconds but in the ongoing age information technology has enveloped the world in its ever growing effervescent grip, that a touching news reach the far corners of the world within no time.

Information age is much more important than nuclear age. Misinformation can prove convulsive and dangerous to the whole world and positive information can play constructive role for humanity.

Constructive information is the most pressing need of the hour. Electronic and print media is vocally meant to step forward to be conducive to produce congenial atmosphere for the betterment of humanity.

Media men are facing pressing restraints in the way of performing their duties. Generally speaking the whole world and particularly Pakistan is a country where mafias are strictly interwoven in civic structure and these ill-woven sinister formations harbour ill-motives against media persons because they are fully aware of the glaring fact that it is the duty of the media to rake out vices which are pernicious to humanity.

Keeping in view the above circumstances the mafias are always hellbent to entangle the media persons in awkward situation, to put barricades in the performance of their duties.

To hide their negative activities mafias even put the resilient media man’s life at risk. When we had a cursory glance at the killing of media men over a decade we come to know how pressing life a media person is living on in raking the truth. Ill-motive organizations of perverse mind persons suffocate the voices of journalists.

A total of 50 journalists were killed worldwide in 2020, according to the second part of the annual round-up of abusive treatment and violence against journalists, published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

UNESCO is the United Nations Agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom.

Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.

“To realize this purpose the Organization is required to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image”.

On 12 November 1997, UNESCO’s General Conference, at its 29th session, adopted the Resolution 29 “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists” inviting the Director-General to condemn assassination and any physical violence against journalists as a crime against society, since this curtails freedom of expression and, as a consequence, the other rights and freedoms set forth in international human rights instruments and to urge that the competent authorities discharge their duty of preventing, investigating and punishing such crimes and remedying their consequences.

Print and electronic media combined with social media is most important instrument to disseminate constructive, positive image, ideas to educate the humanity, especially youth of the nation.

Youth is the precious asset of the nation and no nation can thrive, prosper and move forward to amelioration unless it gives the youth easy access to information age, news constitute the vibrant essentials of information. Killing or assassination attempts on journalists connote to suffocate the voices of truth.

Efforts to suffocate the truth mean to unleash the pent up pressure to sweep away all the dust and vices of society.

Media is the voice of the poor and indigent living a miserable life, a mirror to depict and reflect miseries of life. The world is moving fast towards information age but the power corridor segments in an endeavour to hide information is pushing the society back to stone-age.

The deliberate endeavour to stall the dissemination of information to the public is, in fact, a crime against state and the rules, regulations enacted to facilitate such hidden, nefarious motives are draconian laws pushing the society to the age of darkness.

—The writer is a journalist, author of English Book on current affairs.

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