FAISALABAD: Media should play the pivotal role of apprizing the government about the plight of minorities in Pakistan.
According to details, the Association of Women for Awareness and Motivation organized a media refining workshop. The aim was to create awareness about the role of media for “holding the government accountable through media attention towards plight of minorities.” The workshop was intended to animate the media to play an instrumental role by creating awareness, using appropriate language and correct terminologies while addressing minorities. The Human Rights Defenders stressed upon the importance of highlighting the plight of minorities.
This media sensitizing workshop was attended by in excess of 25 renowned journalists from various media channels; expressing unity to support “human rights and social harmony through media.”
The workshop was intended to be decisive on issues for instance professional ethics among media anchors, increasing sense of responsibility to play vital role in addressing human rights violations principally regarding right to freedom of belief.
Naseem Anthony- Program Director of AWAM while addressing the participants said, “The media anchors have to be well-informed about human rights issues in order to responsibly play a critical monitoring and reporting function in the observance of human rights as part of its broader watchdog role. Media should set the benchmarks for best practice through informing, educating and critiquing.”
Zarfishan Nasir- Monitoring Officer of AWAM said, “The duties and rights of journalists are derived from this right of the public to know facts and opinions. The media has a significant role in educating rights holders about human rights, exposing human rights violations, enabling human rights protection and observance through its role as a provider of strategic information to society. The media persons must fulfil their vital role effectively of gathering information and reporting by adopting spirit of the truth, no matter what consequences it may bring. Because the media is looked to as the agent and means through which citizens learn about human rights violations.”
One of the attendants of the workshop, Wajahat Masood -a senior journalist and renowned human rights defender said, “The journalists must educate citizens about the implications and effects of the sectarian hatred on the grounds of belief, language and ethnicity, and emphasize on the importance of promotion of religious tolerance, social harmony and protection of religious freedom for the sake of preservation of human civilization. The media should avoid publishing and airing material which promotes ideas contradictory to the social harmony and harming peace environment among diverse communities, and incites hatred against any minority group leaving them with sense of insecurity and vulnerability,” he added.
He further added, “The discrimination transfers from laws to society, from social customs to politics, and political norms to economy and this vicious cycle of discrimination continues, and creates an intolerant society. Therefore, proper terminologies must be used for minority groups as a foremost step in the laws and media, which they like and feel proud to be called with, as a contribution to social harmony, and respect for fellow citizens and communities.”