Media officials and journalists held rallies across the country in protest against downsizing, discontinuation of advertisements and steps taken to curb the circulation of newspapers and TV Channels’ transmission in certain areas.
According to a local media report, the protest rallies were held on the call of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ-Afzal Butt group).
In Islamabad, a procession started from the National Press Club and ended at a roundabout near the Parliament House and people from all walks of life joined them to express their solidarity with media houses. Furthermore, the local media report stated that he PFUJ President Afzal Butt demanded that the government addresses the issue.
Senior Lawyer of Supreme Court Ali Ahmed Kurd said that “free thinking and freedom of expression were basic rights of the people and these rights were must for the progress of any society and the nation”.
The protestors also condemned the owners and management of some media organisations who were not paying salary to their staff in time and said that “in some TV channels, anchors and top executives had been hired at hefty salary packages, but the salary of low-paid workers was being delayed for two to three months”.
Meanwhile, in Karachi, journalists along with human rights activists and political leaders marched from the Karachi Press Club to the Governor House and staged a sit-in against the same.
The march in Karachi was organised by the Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) and All-Pakistan News Employees’ Confederation (APNEC).
In Lahore, the PFUJ, APNECand Punjab Union of Journalists held a protest at the Chairing Cross on the Mall Road. The journalists said the censorship was damaging the media industry and resulting in downsizing.
Similarly, in Peshawar, a protest march was held from the Peshawar Press Club and gathered at Sher Shah Suri Road which was organised by the Khyber Union of Journalists (KhUJ) on the call of the PFUJ.
In Quetta and other parts of Balochistan, hundreds of journalists, editors, media workers and local newspapers’ owners also staged protest rallies outside the Quetta Press Club.