Monday, January 3, 2011

2010 one of worst years for journalists in Pakistan, says PFUJ

2010 one of worst years for journalists in Pakistan, says PFUJ

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists has T described 2010 as one of the worst years in the country's history as 19 media persons lost their lives in floods, targeted killings, bomb blasts and suicide attacks during the period.

PFUJ contended the number of mediapersons who died in such incidents was the highest in the world.

The past year also witnessed the "record retrenchments of over 1,500 media-related employees", including 850 of the electronic and print media "without any legal formalities and payment of legitimate dues", it said in a statement.

Media houses had not taken any measures for the safety and training of their employees despite the "heavy casualties" during the performance of professional assignments, PFUJ said.

Media organisations had also failed to provide insurance to employees working in hostile environments, it added.

The year 2010 proved "deadly" for media practitioners as they were "callously deprived by media owners of legitimate and fair wages, job security, life insurance, training (and) capacity building while they were increasingly targeted by terrorists and pressure groups".

"A review of the year suggested that like the preceding years, from 1996 onwards, media persons were continuously denied their legitimate benefits by the owners, including a conducive working environment, security of job, wages under a Government announced wage board and an unbiased gender policy, and the contract system introduced in media organisations by the media owners...Was not abolished," the statement said.

According to PFUJ, there was no protection of life and media persons continued to work under stress. Besides the 19 who lost their lives in 2010, at least 327 media persons were "wounded, tortured and extended threats by Government agencies in Balochistan". PTI

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