World Press Freedom Day is being observed on Monday (today) to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom, defend the media from attacks on their freedom and pay tribute to journalists for their efforts in the exercise of their duty.
This year theme of the Day is: ‘Information as a Public Good’ to explore what can be done in utilizing journalism to advance empowerment of people across the world and tackle misinformation and harmful content.
In his message on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhary Fawad Hussain said the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan regards the freedom of press as a fundamental, democratic and constitutional right.
The information minister made it clear that there was no concept of media censorship in the country. He said the media in Pakistan enjoyed unprecedented freedom. He said the government neither believed nor practiced any press advice. Rather, it encouraged self-regulation by the media, he maintained.
Chaudhary Fawad Hussain said the government was taking all possible measures to create a congenial environment for the journalists to perform their professional obligations. He said the steps undertaken to ensure welfare and security of the journalists and media workers included the 8th Wage Board Award and the establishment of Information Commission. He said his ministry fully supported the idea of Journalist Protection Act which will go a long way in ensuring safety and security of the journalist community.
The minister said, “We are also keen to equip the media with modern technologies and improve the human resource.”
Chaudhary Fawad Hussain said the working journalists under a certain criteria will be accommodated in the Prime Minister’s Housing Scheme. He said the government is also contemplating to award health cards to the journalists to enable them avail healthcare facilities for themselves and their families.