Journalism And Democracy vital For Each Other: Marriyum

ISLAMABAD, Feb 21 (APP):Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb speaking at a seminar on ‘Challenges Facing the Country and Role of Media’ under the auspices of CPNE here Wednesday said that journalism and democracy  sine quo non for each other and independence of media without democracy was almost impossible.
She said that democracy was a behavior that allowed the independence for writing and speaking according to one’s own will and thinking respectively.
She that the media and screen did not allow the attacks on democracy to succeed adding that media had a key role in its continuity. The minister said that media had yet to do a lot more in the national interest, like moving forward with a collective thinking. Marriyum said that the promulgation of the Access to Information Act was a big achievement of the PML (N) government and access to information was only possible during the democratic era.
She said that for the first time the country was witnessing uninterrupted continuity of democracy for a decade and the next thing was to set a direction and determining the constitutional role. The minister revealed that the government had decided to review the pending cases against Media houses in PEMRA and to resolve the issues amicably without having to pay heavy fees to the lawyers.
Marriyum said that the media had played a very positive role in regards to CPEC saying that it was a gift for the country, region and posterity. She said that the journalists based at Gwadar were projecting the benefits of CPEC in a much better way. The minister said that a number of countries including European nations were interested in CPEC and its success would herald the success of all the stakeholders.
The minister said that history was witness to the fact that during dictatorship the newspapers were brought out with empty pages and TV programmes were censored. She said that the news should be presented truthfully with proper context as sensationalizing it was tantamount to breach of trust.
The minister referring to the news about federal health minister Sara Tarar said that in such cases taking and publishing the version of the affected party was also part of the media ethics. She said that the media was also carving a niche for itself like democracy.
Marriyum observed that the country was passing through a new era wherein the constitutional role of judiciary, parliament and executive was being discussed through pen and dialogue instead of in the drawing rooms.
The minister said that the curricula of the Information Service Academy had been revised and from now onward capacity building courses for journalists would also be organized. She said that the government was also working on the legislation for protection and safety of the journalists which was in the last stages of its finalization.
She said that she was making efforts to have it passed before the completion of the tenure of the government so that the media could benefit from it.
While congratulating CPNE over the completion of 60 years of existence she observed that it had played its role with unfaltering determination against all odds during political as well as dictatorial regimes. She also revealed that the recommendations given by the CPNE during a meeting with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had been approved by him.
The seminar was attended by leaders of political parties, representatives of CPNE and a great number of editors of the news papers from all over the country.

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