February 02, 2017
KARACHI - Freelance journalists from across the country have decided to form Pakistan Freelance Journalists Group (PFJG) to promote their rights, safety and professional development.
The group will comprise freelance reporters, editors, editorial writers, photo journalists, and camera persons working in print and electronic media.
The need to form the group was stressed at the National Consultative Dialogue which is facilitated by Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) with the support of Open Society Institute.
“The freelance journalists are the most ignored segment of the media industry as they are not treated at par with regular employees in terms of remuneration, employment conditions, and privileges. They are also ignored of training and other opportunities necessary for their professional advancement,” noted a statement made at the event.
The participants said that although most of the journalists killed or injured are freelancers, media organizations do not provide safety training, insurance, guidance or advice to them. In many cases, local and foreign media organizations abandon their local correspondents and fixers in case of any mishap. Journalists shared horrifying stories where they faced dire situations but the organizations they worked for did not support them.
“Freelance media professionals feel isolated and undervalued as there was no organization or platform that could work for their interests and wellbeing,” stated the participants. Further, they asserted that they would give voice to the issues and concerns being faced by freelance journalists and also support their professional development.
The group decided to develop a directory to promote and highlight the work of reliable freelance media professionals and to create a website to provide advice and guidance on contract rights, insurance, training, and fellowships. It also decided to work on developing best practices for freelance journalists and organizations that use their services. - PPI
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