The fearless Media Practice in Pakistan and Journalist Safety


In Pakistan the crackdown on Freedom of expression is intensified over 10 years and our journalists lives is at stake, we must need to ensure their safety and training while reporting a violent news story through proper legislation to safety journalism and  its implementation on national level.

Pakistan is from one of those countries where journalists killing rate is very high and journalist are under siege from threats, violence and killings.

“EXPOSURE TO DANGER IS NOT ALWAYS EXPOSURE TO DEATH” that is what we have been imparted through three -days training on Safety for free-lance Journalist in Pakistan held at Karachi by PPF a self independent  non government organization that aims to foster and defending right to “FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION “of every individual contributing to Press  and media for value news reporting and coverage.

The training session was given to have safer journalism techniques including, planning before going to cover a news event that involves:

1)  Assets Planning

2)  Risk Assessment

3)  Threats Assessment

                 and

4)Mitigation techniques

1)As a journalist we must plan before to cover any story ,we must have assets like “camera ,mike, mobile phone, well equipped DSNG and well informed DSNG engineer about the area and routes or otherwise office van and jacket.

2)The reporter and cameraman must know the risk that they may face while covering a news story, the risks may be “sudden cross firing, shelling, no mobile signals and breakage of camera and violence between two parties.

3)Threats may be, life threat, Personal enmity and biased reporting and excitement to do or die.

4)When we have enough information to the news story and its surroundings e are able to implement some mitigation techniques like, wearing body armor, having first aid kit, water bottle, how to duck and cover safely and when to call important contacts, what should be done if injured? how can be first aid given? so we may reduce chances of death and severe injury to journalist to have prepared our self before going to cover such story and apply mitigation.

Every journalist must be careful itself how to cover a news event safely because no one is responsible for our safety! we are responsible to our safety at first!

Every Journalist must know how the first aid be given and what techniques can be used to protect the life of people including his-self/herself like  CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and ratio of breath to compression for CPR.

Some situations are unexpected and sudden, not give us time to even think what is happening around us, this situation is called Stress and does not only weak us emotionally but  also isolate our self  to our room so this condition is very alarming and takes time to recover.

We are all open to stress all the time because we can minimize risks to our day to day life but cannot eliminate them and that is why we all experience stress. Sometimes, these pressures are stronger than our ability to deal with them and creates anxiety, and this makes us more vulnerable to trauma.

 Trauma is a reaction to an event – or a series of events. These events may happen to us directly or indirectly or we may witness traumatic events happening to someone else. It may takes the form of violence, unexpected death, or exposure to threats and danger can overpower our psychological respond to defend such kind of thoughts and feelings and  change the chemistry of our brain, and cause emotional injury and take us to traumatic phase where we need help and  consultation of a Doctor.

Trauma warning signs may  be:

• Angriness  (your body trembles)

 • Numbness (you don’t feel any emotion at all)

• Hyperactive (you can’t sit still, you cry)

    and it may be:

• Immediate • Delayed • Short term • Long term

We should always remember that we are resilient and sometimes may not be able to help what happens to us, but can help how we think about it!

What can be done first to stay relaxed at workplace? We can better evaluate our mental health condition bad or worst to tackle with it and if we are failed to do so then we should talk to our supervisor, team lead and have some support by them.

We all need mental and physical fitness and for that we should not be feel shy to consult a doctor and should develop strategies to our mental  fitness in forms of :

 1)Nutrition

2)Social support

3) Breathing techniques

 4)Healthy thinking

5) Reading your own signs

 5)Physical exercise

When we see that our colleague is not good and feeling tensed what can be immediately done? These basic steps should be kept in mind:

Go close to your colleague and ask he/she is ok

If he/she feels uncomfortable or shy then go to someone else of same gender and try to get her/him helped.

If you find that the person’s condition is becoming critical and cannot be handled then immediately inform your boss and take him /her to the hospital without any delay or call for an emergency.

Sometimes we do not care about what we feel and ignore our self that leads to Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

“Many people who go through traumatic events have difficulty adjusting and coping for a while. But with time, and taking care of yourself, such traumatic reactions usually get better. In some cases, though, the symptoms can get worse, or last for months or even years. Sometimes they may completely shake up your life. In a case such as this, you may have post-traumatic stress disorder.” (Mayo Clinic)

(PTSD)involves:

Reliving the event (re-experiencing)

Avoiding Situations and People

Feeling of numbness

Feeling tensed (hyper arousal) that eventually result in irresponsiveness and isolation ,restlessness and grief so this condition is critical and needs to be addressed immediately and we should reach out to our doctor or a health professional trained in trauma and we may also contact  the Pakistan Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. Tel: 09221-35838130 to get rid of (PSTD) and its adverse effect on patients.


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