On February 5, I blogged about three vicious bomb blasts in Pakistan in the previous two days—“one in Lower Dir that wounded three reporters on Thursday, and Friday’s double attack in Karachi that we’re still investigating.” I argued that media companies in Pakistan must start taking responsibility for protecting their employees in the field. I had trouble rounding up names and numbers of those hurt in the second Karachi blast, at Jinnah Hospital, left, but the Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF), which is based in Karachi, has come up with a tally of 12 journalists and media workers injured. PPF is a go-to organization for us, a place where I always check in when I’m in Karachi. If you’re a Pakistan media watcher, it’s a fundamental, extremely reliable source to have bookmarked.
The PPF article says that, in addition to those injured in the bombing, ““[Pervez] Bashir of Rohi TV told PPF that he fell down when the blast occurred in the hospital. Immediately after the blast, an angry mob assaulted the media workers with stones and batons. He received injuries on his waist and shoulder. His camera was also partially damaged. Yousuf of Samaa TV told PPF that Muzamil and Gulzar were injured in the blast while he, Ahmed and Ali were injured by mob attack. They also lost one camera while another was damaged.”
In the comments section of my February 5 posting, Ahmad Raza Khan, who identifies himself as the president of the Electronic Media Reporters Welfare Association in Lahore, points out that reporters and camera crews and photographers are getting hit from all sides, a point that is important to make. I would only add that safety training for journalists includes more than dodging shrapnel from bombs, and includes reading crowd reactions and how to protect yourself when you’re under assault from civilians.
It’s a tough world out there, and journalists need as much support as they can get.