ISLAMABAD – August 31, 2016 – Pakistani media rights watchdog Freedom Network has launched a dedicated website – Mehfooz Sahafi – the first ever in Urdu language that focuses on the issue of journalists’ safety and assistance mechanisms being provided to media practioners across the country with stress on preventive side while making all stakeholders aware of their respective roles and responsibilities to minimize risks that news providers in the country face.
“We are happy to announce the launch of the Mehfooz Sahafi website, which, we hope, will facilitate efforts to keep journalists safe as much as possible and provide assistance to journalists in distress,” Freedom Network, Pakistan’s first media rights organization, said in a press release issued here on August 31.
Pakistan is one of the most dangerous places in the world to practice journalism with over 100 journalists killed since 2002 and hundreds others injured or harassed or kidnapped.
The website – www.fnpk.org – is part of a comprehensive ‘Pakistan Press Club Safety Hubs Network’ set up in Karachi, Lahore, Quetta, Islamabad, Peshawar and Dera Ismail Khan, monitoring and documenting threats or attacks against journalists and media houses in Balochistan, Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Islamabad.
The website includes analysis of threats and safety and security issues based on data these six safety hubs generate on a monthly basis, interview of media stakeholders and blogs by journalists on safety and security issues and features on journalists’ safety concerns. The website also focuses on threats that women journalists in Pakistan face in line of duty.
Data, based on monitoring killing, threats, intimidation, harassment journalists face and generated by the six safety hubs, will be analyzed to assess evolving safety and security challenges that journalists face across Pakistan for their work.
The website also offers interesting materials and resources aimed at enhancing security for journalists and helping journalists in distress. These include profile of ‘Pakistan Press Club Safety Hubs,’ ‘Pakistan Journalists Safety Fund,’ and regular safety tips and guidelines for journalists apart from monthly monitoring of violations against the media.
“Journalists are encouraged to visit the website, the first of its kind in Pakistan, to benefit from rich material about safety and security and contribute by sharing blogs and personal stories of courage and commitment to continuing the profession while also staying safe,” the press release added.