Firdous calls for roadmap to address difficulties faced by media fraternity | Pakistan Today

Firdous calls for roadmap to address difficulties faced by media fraternity

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan Saturday underlined the need for devising an effective mechanism to ensure protecting rights of media workers in collaboration with all stakeholders.

She was talking to media persons after visiting the residence of a private TV’s deceased cameraman Fayyaz Ahmed here, who was passing through financial crisis and died of heart attack a few days ago.

Appreciating professionalism and dutifulness of the deceased in hard time, she sympathized with members of the bereaved family and assured the government’s full assistance in mitigating their financial woos.

The SAPM said the private TV management and the government had decided to give a compensation of Rs 1 million to the bereaved family.

Besides, a brother of deceased would be given employment in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, while the government would also arrange a residence under the media workers/government housing scheme and enroll the family in the Benazir Income Support Programme.

“Now, the time has come to revisit the comprehensive and long term implementation plan for resolving the issues faced by media workers like Fayyaz,” the SAPM said, adding it was a collective responsibility to protect rights of all media workers including journalists. “Protecting their rights is our responsibility and top priority of Prime Minister Imran Khan.”

She said it was regrettable that Fayyaz performed his duties diligently but got wages after his death, describing it an alarming situation and against the Islamic philosophy.

Dr Firdous vowed to bridge the gap between ‘employee and employer’ by getting together all stakeholders including journalist bodies, representatives of media workers and the government at one forum.

“It will help find solution of the problems confronted by the workers and [media] owners,” she said, adding the prevailing social and economic situation in private sector needed a ‘minute observation’ and finalizing a ‘road map’ in consultation with all stakeholders to solve the problems. Under which, she also suggested to devise a system of reward and punishment to ensure fair-play.

She also stressed that the regulators like Press Council of Pakistan (PCP) and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) should proactively play their ‘defined role’ as per law to streamline the matters related to media workers.