KARACHI (Staff Report) – Editors and news directors of newspapers and television channels have decided to formally establish Editors for Safety, an organisation focused exclusively on issues related to violence and threats of violence against the media in Pakistan.
Editors for Safety will focus on the alarming level of insecurity for media professionals and institutions in Pakistan. Zaffar Abbas, Editor, Dawn was elected as its first chairman during a meeting yesterday.
The basic ideology of Editors for Safety will be that an attack on one journalist or media house will be considered an attack on the entire media. Those in the organisation will assess such situations and jointly make decisions regarding media coverage of violence and threats of violence against any media house as if it was an attack against themselves.
Beyond coverage, Editors for Safety would also assist any journalist or media house that needs help in dealing with such issues by providing resources, sharing information and expertise, or reaching out to stakeholders involved.
The formal creation of Editors for Safety has ensured close, timely coordination between many newspaper editors and television news directors on cases of attacks/threats on media professionals, and has already resulted in improving the quality of media coverage of such attacks.
The decision has been taken so that media houses can speak with one voice against the prevalent culture of impunity where journalists across the country are being attacked on a regular basis, and perpetrators are rarely brought to justice.
The meeting decided to approach all newspapers editors and television news directors to join Editors for Safety.
The meeting also decided to consult with All Pakistan Newspaper Society (APNS), Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) and Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) and invite them to nominate representatives to Editors for Safety.
Those who attended the meeting and formed Editors for Safety included Wamiq Zuberi (Business Recorder), Mujibur Rehman Shami (Daily Pakistan), Ali Kazi (KTN and Kawish), Fahd Hussain (Express News), Azhar Abbas (Geo News), Shahrukh Hassan (The Jang Group), Abdul Khaliq (Online), Anwer Sajdi (daily Intekhab), Aamer Ahmed Khan (Aaj TV), Tahir Najmi (daily Express), Jabbar Khatttak (Awami Awaz), Zahid Mazhar (Dawn News), Jahanzaib Haque (Dawn.com), Naveed Hussain (Express Tribune), Farhan Reza (ARY News), Imran Saleem Dar (AVT), Zaffar Abbas (Dawn) and Owais Aslam Ali (PPF).
Those who could not attend the meeting but have been part of the consultations on Editors for Safety, and have given their consent, include Arif Nizami (Pakistan Today and Channel 24), Rameeza Nizami (Nawa-e-Waqt/The Nation group), Kamran Khan (Duniya News), Kazi Abid (Ibrat) and Siddiq Baloch (Balochistan Express).
The meeting decided that Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) would be the secretariat of Editors for Safety.