Two conferences and a paper

covering an event with a video camera

File photo, courtesy European Broadcasting Union, alliance of alliance of public service media 

Two conferences this past weekend reminded me of a media conference in Warsaw, Poland, that I attended earlier this year. The Nieman 80th Reunion at Harvard featured intense and thought-provoking discussions on journalism, democracy, human rights, and peace — topics that the Asma Jahangir Conference in Lahore took forward as well while honouring the work and legacy of a great human rights defender. More on both later. Below, the paper I presented at the Warsaw conference. My take on the topic they gave me, Digital and traditional media – conflict or complementarity?, ties in with the conferences this weekend.  I’m also sharing my report about the Poland conference, Journalists at Media Conference vow to uphold journalistic values, ethics, which references the Conference declaration about journalistic ethics and values and challenges arising from violence, threats, commercial pressures and false information.  Continue reading

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My Princeton journalism class re-visited

JRN 457 at SAPNA

The class took a trip to NYC. Here, we are interviewing two Bangladeshi migrants at SAPNA, a Bronx-based non-profit helping migrant women from South Asia.

Thrilled and touched to see my class listed among a student’s favorite classes at Princeton, where I was a visiting professor of journalism last fall. Here’s what he wrote: 

Kevin: I can’t stress it enough: Journalism (JRN 457): “Politics, Causes, and Culture in a Changing Media Landscape,” essentially a journalism ethics class, is by far my favorite course that I’ve had at Princeton. Pakistani journalist Beena Sarwar led the course, and brought all of her friends; almost every week we were visited by the who’s who in journalism.  We talked to some pretty incredible people, including journalists who work in television and print, writers for The New York Times and Reuters, and international reporters from Nepal and the Netherlands. Two of the nine visitors were Pulitzer Prize winners. 

The best thing is that journalism classes are seminars with 10-15 students.  With a small class and required biweekly meetings, students always get to know the professor. I’m working for The GroundTruth Project, an international news non-profit, this summer in Washington, D.C., because my professor recommended me for the job!

The class wrote the blog theprincetonglobe.wordpress.com, if you’d like to learn more about what kind of work we did in the course. 

Thank you Kevin, it was a pleasure and honor being your teacher 🙂 

Joint statement of solidarity by senior Pakistani journalists against censorship, urging media unity against threats and attacks

press-freedomDozens of senior Pakistani journalists have signed a statement expressing unity and solidarity with each other in today’s divisive times. Many of us have associations with different companies, we have fought long and hard against censorship and for media ethics, and we will not let ourselves be used against each other. Note: This was released on May 3, World Press Freedom Day, with 50 signatories. More are being added as they come in.

Joint statement of solidarity by senior Pakistani journalists against censorship, urging media unity against threats and attacks

Continue reading

Dunya TV, jawab do, badtameezi ka hisab do – Citizens for Free and Responsible Media

CFRM logo
Letter from Citizens for Free and responsible Media, Pakistan, emailed to top executives of Dunya TV News, Mr. Mian Amer Mahmood, Mr Naveed Kashif, and Mr Sami Abrahim, signed by prominent journalists, academics, and professionals in support of Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy

Dunya TV screenshot

Screenshot from the show

Dear Dunya News,

We are writing to express our concern about the shameful incident at your TV channel on Oct 26, 2013, in which the anchor Kamran Shahid allowed his guest Prof. Pervez Hoodbhoy to be abused and shouted at by another guest, violating Dunya News’ own code of conduct for anchors that is supposed to be monitored by a three-member editorial Board. Continue reading

CFRM letter to editors The News and Jang re: an unethical, false and irresponsible report

The Citizens for Free and Responsible Media, Pakistan, has sent an email to the Editors of The News and Jang regarding an unethical, false and irresponsible report about Ali Dayan’s testimony before the US congressional hearing on Balochistan, in response to a private member’s proposed resolution in the House of Representatives. Text of the email posted in a Note in the CFRM facebook page; also copy-pasted below. (Note: Contrary to the impression given in some sections of the media in Pakistan, the U.S. has not passed any ‘bill’ on Balochistan; even if such a bill does pass, it will have no legally binding status unless it is debated and presented for a vote in the form of a bill that would need to pass through both the lower house and the senate).  Continue reading

Citizens’ response: Thank you Mr Siddiqi…

Maya Khan: fired for refusing to tender an unconditional apology

From: Dr Kamran Iqbal (cc’d to signatories below)
Date: Sat, 28 Jan 2012
To: Zafar Siddiqi

Dear Mr Siddiqi,

Thank you for your prompt and courageous response. We appreciate the moral courage of SAMAA TV’s stance. We hope you will continue to lead by example in developing a code of ethics and directives, which you have issued for your channel that we urge, should be made public on your website. You may want to have a look at the code of conduct guidelines of the Society of Professional Journalists, to consult while drafting your guidelines. Continue reading

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