ISLAMABAD – Senator Mushahid Hussain said that health and life insurance of journalists will be started this year and in case of accidental death, Rs 1 million will be given to the affected family.

He said reporters, sub-editors, news cameramen and photographers will be the beneficiaries of this scheme. He was addressing the launching ceremony of four provincial reports on “ State of Journalism in Pakistan 2011”, here Thursday, on the occasion of Press Freedom Day.

The report was produced under the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) with the support of International Federation of Journalists, under the Media for Democracy in Pakistan project. In 2011,PFUJ in partnership with the International Federation of Journalists deployed four missions to Balochistan, Interior Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, FATA region and Punjab.

The missions were led by Pakistani journalists in collaboration with local journalists associations. The aim of the missions was to assess the situation on the ground in some of the most dangerous and under-reported provinces for journalists in the country. The journalists led unstructured group and individual interviews, and developed a set of recommendations for the international media development community and local journalist associations to address issues of journalists’ independence, safety and press freedom. The missions found that problems for journalists and media personnel working in Pakistan’s conflict zones are multiple and complex.

Addressing on the occasion, President PFUJ, Pervaiz Shaukat said independent Pakistani media see themselves as playing a key role in reporting the prevailing situation in Pakistan ensuring an independent, ethical and critical media that provides full, fair and impartial information.      

It is hoped that the report recommendations will promote better targeted and scaled press freedom and media for development initiatives in Pakistan. Secretary General PFUJ Amin Yousaf, Chairman APNEC Nasir Naqvi, Chairman local APNEC Qurban Satti, President RIUJ Waqar Satti, General Secretary RIUJ Bilal Dar, Member FEC (PFUJ) Tahir Rathore, Raja Riaz PUJ, Chairperson Omar Asghar Foundation Ms. Rashida and General Secretary (PML-Q) Sindh Haleem Sheikh and large number of journalists from different media organizations were also present on the occasion.