Rural Media Networks Pakistan presented 14 demands which are being submitted to government and media houses and organizations on the eve of UN International Day to End Impunity of Crimes Against Journalists.
The government –
1. Should take immediate steps to ensure safety of journalists and security of media houses; should not compromise on freedom of expression and media while talking with any group in the name of peace, as this issue is directly related with the survival of our country; should immediately arrest the criminals behind attacks on media persons
2. The newspapers and private TV channel owners must be taken onboard for security and safety of journalists and for this purpose the All Pakistan Newspaper Society (APNS), Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA), Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) and other media associations must be taken into confidence
3. Special workshops on safety and security for journalists working in rural areas should be planned in small towns, and international media organizations should focus on such areas which are more vulnerable
4. National and regional newspapers and TV channels should form unity. If a reporter or correspondent of one channel is attacked or killed, other channels should mention his and his organization’s name while broadcasting the news and avoid indulging in blame game
5. Militant, extremist organizations and political parties should stop harassing media for the coverage of their news
6. International journalists’ organizations should be requested to write letters to the media houses to provide security to their staffers working in sensitive areas
7. Coordination should be improved between news room and field teams as well as with correspondents and contributors on safety and security issues, and anchors should avoid pressing reporters for details which may put their lives in danger
8. A legal aid mechanism should be evolved and safety fund created for the families of journalists killed in terrorist attacks
9. A special public prosecutor should be appointed to exclusively take up and pursue cases of attacks on media and media workers to promote a culture of justice and accountability
10. All media houses must formulate standard operating procedures (SOPs) for journalists
11. An Eminent Group of Journalists should be set up to serve as mediation platform to forge consensus between media and the government authorities on the issue of safety; representation of rural areas be given in the Pakistan Coalition of Media Safety (PCOMS)
12. Media houses should help their staffers to change work place if necessary for their security
13.The owners of newspapers and TV channels should provide complete insurance cover to their correspondents working in sensitive areas
14. A dependable mechanism must be evolved to identify the dangers and collect the information in rural areas to alert the journalists. RMNP has stressed again and again on this point.