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Journalism: an alternative history

14 11 0

In this last part of the series we discuss three reports published in 2018, and one book by Dr Tauseef Ahmed Khan, ‘Pakistan mein sahafat ki mutabadil tareekh’ published in 2019.

The lead author of the first report is Zahid Abdullah, an international expert on right-to-information issues. He is an activist and chronicler of RTI-related activism in Pakistan.

The full title of the report is: ‘Right to Information Legislation in Pakistan: Challenges and Success Stories’. Zahid Abdullah documents a concise history of the right to information (RTI) legislation and regime in Pakistan. Then he lists success stories, challenges, and lessons learnt from the cumulative efforts undertaken by all key stakeholders. Such stakeholders include civil society, federal and provincial legislatures, political parties, and rights activists.

The report also presents technical evaluation of the various RTI laws, both past and present, of Pakistan and lists their strengths and shortcomings. The report is highly educative and informative, not only for journalists but also for policymakers.

Pakistan Press Freedom Report of 2018 chronicles the changing threat patterns and demographics of Pakistan media landscape. The Freedom Network found that 35 percent of the total violence against journalists in Pakistan is perpetrated in Islamabad alone. The second is Punjab with 17 percent cases and the third and fourth are Sindh and Balochistan with 16 and 14 percent respectively. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata witnessed 10 and 8 percent of the violence committed in Pakistan. With just one percent of the population of Pakistan living in the federal capital, 35 percent violence is alarming and staggering. Proportionately, Punjab fares the best.

From May 2017 to April 2018, the report recorded at least 157 cases of attacks and violence in the four provinces, Islamabad, and erstwhile Fata — on an average 15 cases of violence a month, or one every second day. It included the killing of journalists, abductions,........

© The News International