Five key problems for media coverage of February’s legislative elections
Reporters Without Borders - January 9, 2008
Despite President Pervez Musharraf’s reassuring statements, Pakistan’s media are not free to provide proper coverage of the legislative elections scheduled for 18 February because of a climate of censorship that is sustained by the permanent threat of fines, closures of news media and arrests of journalists, Reporters Without Borders said today.
The government has introduced a series of regulations that drastically restrict the broadcast media’s ability to cover the election campaign. The ban on Geo News, the freest and most popular of Pakistan’s TV broadcasters, proves that press freedom has not been guaranteed for the polls. At the same time, journalists are exposed to great dangers, with the security forces being responsible for most of the violence.
Reporters Without Borders has identified five key problems:
1. The censorship imposed by the print and broadcast media ordinances
2. The unacceptable ban on Geo News
3. The violence and intimidation by police and government supporters
4. The lack of guarantees for journalists’ safety
5. The lack of balanced news reporting on PTV, the government station
For details about the report, click here