ISLAMABAD: President Dr. Arif Alvi has signed into law the historic Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals Bill 2021 to protect the rights of journalists community.
A ceremony to this effect was held at Aiwan-e-Sadr in Islamabad Wednesday.
Speaking on the occasion, President Dr. Arif Alvi expressed his pleasure over the consensus developed on this important piece of legislation. He said there is uniformity of views regarding the rights of journalists and with this act, the responsibility of both the government and the media owners has increased.
Arif Alvi said given the threats faced by the media professionals, this act provides for their right to life and protection against ill treatment.
The President said other salient features of the act include right to privacy and source non-disclosure and establishment of an independent media commission.
President Arif Alvi said whilst the society has a responsibility to demonstrate tolerance towards the journalists who are out to perform their duties, it is also for the journalists to act in a responsible manner and present the stories in the right context.
The President voiced his concerns over the fake news saying this poses a serious threat to the societies and the matter needs to be tackled effectively to avoid anarchy.
In her remarks on the occasion, Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said that this Act is extremely progressive and prepared after hectic consultations with all the stakeholders.
Shireen Mazari said the Act defines the media professionals and envisages journalist welfare schemes. It is now legal obligation of the media owners to provide insurance and training to the media professionals.
She said women have also been given representation the commission to be formed under this act. He said this commission will address the complaints of journalists community.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said this legislation is a leap forward to provide rights to our journalists available to the community in the first world.
He said the government is standing by the working journalists and the act provides employment protection to them. He said the media enjoys freedom in Pakistan.
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