Founding Editor: Shafqat Munir   

Govt, Media- Everyone should respect people’s right to information 

10 Augustus 2010 11:20:10

Govt, Media- Everyone should respect people’s right to information

Recent attacks on media should be seen not only as an attack on freedom of speech and expression but also as an attack on people’s right to information.

Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) Tuesday condemned these attacks in strongest possible terms. Citizens exercise their right to information largely through media and, therefore, any attack or restriction on media in performing its duties tantamount to trampling upon peoples’ fundamental right to information, which has also been recently given constitutional protection through Article 19-A.

All stakeholders of the democratic process - government, politicians, media organizations, citizens - need to nurture and strengthen democratic norms by respecting diverse and divergent opinions and recording reservations or protests, if any, through peaceful and lawful means. It is a responsibility of political leadership to educate their cadres in expressing and registering their protest and reservations in a civilized and democratic manner.

CPDI suggested that media also needs to reconsider how it should prioritize and give space to detestable and violent acts such as shoe throwing at the Head of the State. No act of violence can be or should be justified under any circumstances; and the act of throwing a shoe on anyone certainly and clearly amounts to indulging in violence.

Such acts should not be glorified through headlines or allotting space or time beyond a minimal reasonable limit. CPDI demands the government to ensure media freedom in the country; while simultaneously urging the media organizations to give primacy to best interest of the citizen through people centric editorial policies. Trivial issues should not consume space, time and energy of our media at the cost of major issues confronting our nation, which include acceptance and glorification of violence as a legitimate means of expressing differences.