Zaffar Abbas

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Blog   |   Pakistan

More safety guidelines for Pakistan's field reporters

Pakistan's journalists, watching the domestic stories they are covering become increasingly more dangerous, have started taking safety matters into their own hands. Zaffar Abbas, editor at the English-language daily Dawn, just forwarded to me a safety guide for journalists he has been circulating around his paper. His explanation:

August 1, 2011 4:40 PM ET

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Blog   |   Pakistan

Pakistan renews effort to restrict coverage of extremists

It’s not the first time the Pakistani government has tried to restrict broadcast coverage of extremist activities—and it probably won’t be the last. On Monday, a legislative committee forwarded a bill to the National Assembly that would restrict coverage “of suicide bombers, terrorists, bodies of victims of terrorism, statements and pronouncements of militants and extremist elements and other acts which, may, in any way, promote, aid or abet terrorists or terrorism.” 

July 1, 2010 5:08 PM ET

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Blog   |   Pakistan

Time to step up protection for media in Pakistan

The blast in Lower Dir, seen here, was just one of many recent deadly explosions in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province. (Reuters)Three vicious bomb blasts in Pakistan in the last two days—one in Lower Dir that wounded three reporters on Thursday, and Friday’s double attack in Karachi that we’re still investigating—highlight just how dangerous it has become for journalists, particularly TV camera crews and photographers, but certainly any journalist assigned to cover a public event or military operations in the country.
February 5, 2010 12:09 PM ET

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Blog   |   Pakistan

TV coverage guidelines drawn in Pakistan as violence rises

In November 2009, I received this e-mail message from a few people in Pakistan:

TOP NEWS MANAGERS AGREE ON TV COVERAGE GUIDELINES

ISLAMABAD—Top news managers from Pakistan’s eight television channels have evolved a first-of-its-kind voluntary framework to standardize professional guidelines governing terrorism coverage. [A PDF of November’s message is here.]

Since then there hasn’t been much more news about the issue, and I thought that might be a good thing. I’m always wary when I see words like “guidelines” or “rules” or “regulations” for news coverage, terrorism-related or not. But the November announcement seemed to have broad industry support, and the guidelines were being called “voluntary”—always better than having them mandated by the government. 

January 27, 2010 3:44 PM ET

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