Pak journalism is developing under terror threats: Cyril

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 05 December 2014 17:07 IST

Journalism in Pakistan is developing under the threats from terrorist groups, but still in an independent way, says Cyril Almeida, assistant editor of Dawn, Pakistan’s leading daily.

Speaking on Media 2014: Compromised Independence? at Goa Art and Literary Festival today morning, Almeida said the Pak media is facing threats from militancy on one side and government on the other side.

“A leading TV channel like Geo was forcibly shut down because it accused the ISI chief. It has thus become difficult to function in an independent manner”, said Almeida, narrating some experiences.

While Almeida said Pakistani journalism is at least five years behind Indian media, both Rajdeep Sardesai and Samar Halarnkar, veteran journalists from Print and TV praised the courage with which Pakistani media is fighting terrorism.

“We don’t need to do journalism at gunpoint like in Pakistan, even in Jammu and Kashmir”, said Sardesai while appreciating the guts of Pakistani journalists.

Halarnkar however said the situation is India is also not very good as some journalists are killed in areas like Chhattisgarh.

“It’s our job and any media person has to do his or her job with passion. That’s what we do”, he said, when Halarnkar asked what the driving force behind such a bold journalism is.

Unlike in the past when Pakistan had only one government-owned channel, Almeida said over 20 new channels have come up in Pakistan today, promoting independent journalism.

According to him, the new entrants in the media are coming with business background, which is leading to commercialisation of media.

Not like India where newspaper is sold for Rs three to five, Pakistani newspapers are sold for not less than Rs 25.

“Indian media is largely subsidised due to advertising revenue and Pakistan has started following this model”, said Almeida.

Almeida, having Goan origin, said the Urdu media however is slowly coming out of its shell of conservatism and pro-establishment.

“I don’t see very bright future for Pakistani journalism”, predicts Almeida. is now on Telegram & also Youtube. Kindly subscribe for free & remain updated.

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