Pakistan / Asia


Media rules could bring back the bad old days in Pakistan

On a day when Western media focused on the ramifications of the official visit of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Islamabad, I got a heads-up email message from Mazhar Abbas in Islamabad this morning. 

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Government, media can limit risk to journalists

The fighting along the border in Pakistan is a classic counter-insurgency: a large military force trying to oust an entrenched group from its base. Such armed conflict will always be risk-filled—especially for local journalists—but government leaders, military officials, and media executives can take basic steps to improve security.

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Local reporters finally confirmed that Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud was killed in this missile strike. (AP)

In Pakistan’s frontier, echoes of a 2006 murder

Local reporters like those in Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Swat, and Mingora are crucial to accurate, fully formed news coverage. Their importance was evident in August, when reports began to emerge that prominent Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud had been killed by a U.S.-launched missile apparently fired from an unmanned drone over South Waziristan in the…

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Pakistani soldiers in Mingora. (AFP)

Value, ‘collateral damage’ as journalists embed

During the height of the Pakistani military’s assault on militants, hundreds of local journalists were forced to flee the Swat Valley and neighboring areas. Coverage of the fighting was left in large part to Pakistani reporters from outside the region who had embedded with the military. These journalists faced their own set of challenges.

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Fighting displaced hundreds of thousands, including these people at a makeshift camp in Swabi. (AFP)

As combat raged, local reporting was stifled

Yesterday, I reported on the plight of Behroz Khan and Rahman Bunairee, two Pakistani journalists whose homes were destroyed by militants. Many other journalists in the North West Frontier Province, or NWFP, faced grave dangers and were forced to flee, undermining independent reporting in the region. The same early July night that Khan and Bunairee’s homes…

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A Pakistani soldier amid the rubble of Mingora. (AFP)

In Pakistan conflict, grave risks for reporters

The September 30 Daily Times in Pakistan headlined a story “Peace being gradually restored in Swat,” although daily skirmishes continue between the military and militants. A few days earlier, a massive car bomb in the heart of Peshawar killed at least 10 people and left some 70 wounded, while an explosion destroyed a police station…

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Pakistani soldiers on their way to Buner. (AP/Mohammad Sajja)

Briefing: Pakistani journalists face Taliban, military threats

Journalists in Pakistan have come under rapidly escalating pressure as the military confronts Taliban militants in the northwest region of the country. Threats and attacks from both sides have made reporting from Taliban-controlled areas more dangerous.

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Press freedom in the news 11/14/08

Making headlines today across the English and Spanish-language press is the brutal murder of Mexican crime reporter Armando Rodríguez.

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Press freedom in the news 11/10/08

The release of CBC correspondent Mellissa Fung, who had been abducted by a criminal gang in Afghanistan, is the focus of a few stories today. The Associated Press has coverage of her month-long ordeal, and that piece has been picked up by various papers including The Boston Globe and The Baltimore Sun. 

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