President urges media’s active role on social, health issues

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi Friday while eulogizing media’s struggle to safeguard democracy, called for its active role to highlight the social and health issues like malnutrition and stunting of children’s growth. Addressing the Pakistan Media Convention organized by Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors on ‘Media and Democracy: Towards free, independent, sustainable media in Pakistan’, the President drew attention towards 40 percent cases of stunted growth and deprivation of women of their rights, particularly inheritance.

The convention was also attended by President CPNE Arif Nizami, General Secretary Abdul Jabbar Khattak and various renowned figures from media industry.

He felt that almost 90 percent of women in Pakistan remained deprived of their inheritance rights and urged media to support the government on such issues by allocating considerable space and time for public awareness. He also hinted at conferring award to the media outlet allocating maximum space to public service messages on social issue.

Responding to the financial crisis faced by the media, the President hoped that their economic condition would improve through trickle-down impact following the improvement of national economy.

However, he said print media would have to evolve itself to cope with the challenges like digital and social media. He said considering the very challenges, some of the newspapers had opted for e-editions. He said the interest of the young generation in print media had diminished.

The President viewed that the media could not become self-dependent till the strengthening of the national economy that would ultimately impact the advertising business.

Calling for unbiased role of media, the President drew attention towards fake news phenomenon spreading globally.

He said the freedom and self-responsibilities of media must not be diluted and said self-regulation would be the most effective way to handle media.

However, he called for a threadbare discussion between the government and media on the issues of finances as well as regulations. Earlier the President also conferred lifetime achievement awards to renowned journalists including Mehmoodul Aziz, Yousuf Shaheen, Abid Sanaullah, Anwar Sajidi, Zia Shahid, Ajmal Dehlvi and Ziauddin. The CPNE President also presented a shield to President Alvi.