Print, electronic media urged to highlight rural population’s problems

Staff Reporter

Islamabad

Speakers at a media conference on Tuesday said that both print and electric media need to highlight problems faced by the rural population of the country as to bring it into the notice of our rulers.
They were addressing the second day of the 5th National Media Conference organized by Individulland Pakistan in the collaboration with Friendrich Nauman Foundation. The conference was attended by senior journalists, civil society and media support organizations.
The discussion was focused on the mutual relationship of Media and Democracy and Development Journalism. Farah Zia senior journalist our media is urban focused and doesn’t highlight problems faced by rural populations.
Another senior journalist Zarrar Khuhro, was of the view that “for me actual development journalism is working on micro issues.” He further added that “issues faced by grass root populations are part of development journalism. Adding human angle to a story is important for development journalism
Ghazi Salah ud-Din, veteran journalist and famous media personality was of the view that “social change and development is the actual development journalism.” He further added that “until or unless we build our social capital, we will keep on moving around this vicious circle ”.
Zubeida Mustafa, a senior columnist while sharing her experience of reporting on development said that “when the Lyari expressway was being built a number of people were displaced. Although, they were given alternative land but that were very far. As a result, the displaced population faced a lot of problem commuting from there.”
Wusatullah Khan, senior analyst and columnist said that “editorial control is one of the biggest challenges for media organizations.” He further added that “commercial interests are a reality in contemporary journalism.” While answering a question raised by a participant, he further added that “owners only provide a guideline and policy.
They can’t have control over each and every function on an organization.” Matiullah Jan, senior journalist from Islamabad while criticizing the mainstream media was of the view that “the local media in our country is suppressed, controlled and not allowed to give out information on rights, local government and other important facts and ground realities.”
He further added that “centralization of power affects democracy. Devolution of power is only on paper but not in reality.” Highlighting the undemocratic culture within the media, Matiullah Jan further added that “trade unions are not allowed within the media. We, journalists are divided within ourselves.

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