JournalismPakistan.com May 20, 2014
ISLAMABAD: Rahimullah Yousafzai (pictured), Resident Editor of The News in Peshawar Tuesday regretted the practice of declaring rivals as Indian or Jew agents.
“Add to it the allegation that the accused is getting money from abroad to advance a foreign agenda and you have a dangerous mix that can cause financial losses or even put lives at risk,” the senior journalist wrote in his column captioned Jealousy and Journalism.
He said in the background of the media battle, the employees of Jang media group, especially Geo TV, were facing the backlash across Pakistan. “At a recent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf protest rally in Kohat, the Geo correspondent Yasir Shah was threatened that his house would be torched if he didn’t stop working for the said TV channel.”
Tacitly admitting “mistakes have been made” and that the organization “could be punished under law if found guilty”, Rahimullah rapped rival media groups and journalists for questioning others’ patriotism.
Regretting the loss of unity among journalists, he maintained: “Unity among publishers and broadcasters as well as journalists was already becoming a mirage, but this episode has dealt a death-knell to any hopes of standing together for a common cause.”
For him, the main reason for disunity is commercial interest. “Earlier, professional rivalry mattered more but now commercial interests dictate policy and the way journalism is practiced.”
The rest of the column discusses the attack on Hamid Mir and the conspiracies to present it as self-inflicted. “Those trying to portray this as stage-managed would not say such things if they or someone close to them were to become the target of an assassination attempt. In fact, it was callous to make such insinuations when Mir was bed-ridden after having bravely fought for life.”
Saying that the 48-year old Hamid Mir achieved fame at a young age, Rahimullah termed him a “clever and articulate” person who travelled widely and worked hard to overcome shortcomings in English language and understanding of local, regional and global issues.
“Self-confident and sometimes boisterous, Mir was intelligent and witty. This enabled him to stand out among the scores of television anchors who emerged on the scene in the last decade as private TV channels mushroomed. Other anchors knew they had to do better than Mir to eclipse Geo TV’s flagship current affairs show, Capital Talk.”
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