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

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ISLAMABAD, Jan 18 (APP):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.
Earlier, Arif Nizami highlighted the financial crisis faced by media industry and urged the government
to come up with an effective policy to support media which was dubbed as fourth pillar of the state.
However, he admitted that the advertisements were not given on merit in the past. He criticized the
government’s idea of establishing a media regulatory authority to govern media through one window.
He viewed that a democratic media would be more beneficial for the country as both media and democracy
should sail and sink together.
Earlier, General Secretary Abdul Jabbar Khattak apprised the audience about the objectives of the
convention that analyzed the issues faced by media industry in different sessions attended by
representatives from all stakeholders.
He said the media convention also emphasized the ethical use of freedom of press and that a draft
code of conduct had also been formulated that would also be shared with the government.