LAHORE - Editor Daily The Nation and President CPNE, Arif Nizami, has said that with the arrival of multinational and corporate sector companies in Pakistan, newspapers are least depending upon the govt for advertisements as in the past various governments used advertisements as pressure tool on press. He expressed these views while addressing a seminar on the topic of 'Press Freedom Day' here at the Hameed Nizami Conference Room of the Institute of Communication Studies of University of the Punjab here on Thursday. The seminar was presided over by the acting vice-chancellor of the university, Azhar Ikram while Arif Nizami participated as chief guest on the occasion. Other speakers included Prof Dr Mughees-ud-Din Sheikh, columnist Sajjad Mir, Nazir Naji, former provincial minister Mubashir Luqman, Prof Ahsan Akhtar Naz and others. Arif Nizami, in his address, said that after the end of Press and Publication Ordinance in 1988 media took the sigh of relief and made progress. Afterwards, the general public became, not only, well informed, but also, its level of education was improved, he added. In past, he said that different governments used advertisement as pressure tool and a former government harassed management of Daily Jang and FIA officials were assigned duty to do this job, he added. Unfortunately, when a government took action against any newspaper, the judiciary did not provide any relief to that newspaper, he lamented. Mr Nizami said that the PEMRA was regulatory authority and its job was to give proposals to the media but it was engaged in dictating media. He was of the view that it was responsibility of the media to show a glass half empty and if government and media developed a friendly relationship, the later could not perform its duty, which was to highlight the areas where the govt was not performing up to the mark. He also pointed out some loopholes during live coverage of the electronic media saying that sometime it happened that anchor person used such words in the news which were not suitable or according to time. He said that often the government objected upon the performance of the media by saying that media was working against the national interest. But it was yet to be established that what was the national interest, he added. Nizami said that the government defined the national interest time to time in its own way, as there was no specific definition of it. "There is no reporting being done in the tribal areas and media has to depend upon the ISPR, in this regard. The ISPR sends the information about the tribal areas as it wants to provide it to the masses," he said. Though the journalists were not getting wages according to the Wage Board but they were drawing more than that, he added. In his address, acting VC Azhar Ikram said that the ICS was performing well to impart training to the students. He said that pressure groups from the government and masses should not impose restrictions to stop news in the media, as they were spokesmen of the general public. Good governance and social welfare demanded free press, he added. "In today's scenario, objective economic reporting can change the economic scene of the country," he further said. Speaking on the occasion, ICS director Dr Mughees-ud-Din Sheikh said that the governments, corporate sectors or pressure groups imposed restrictions on the media but on the other hand they provided advertisements to the media, which were motive to provide revenue to the media. He said that a news item could not be published against big multinational companies in Pakistan. The ICS director said that access to sources of information should be considered the right of every individual. Five thousand innocent people lost their lives in Myanmar only because they did not purchase information from the satellite observing the territory, he maintained. He said that there was a group in Karachi that not only tortured but also killed journalists but no one dared to expose them. Journalists in the modern world got insurance cover by their organisation whereas no such coverage was offered in our industry, he said. Multinational companies were sheltered by media only because they paid them huge amount in the form of advertisements, he said. Dr Mughees said that Arif Nizami graced the occasion as chief guest. While addressing the students, he expressed that the governments had always tried to establish their hegemony over media industry by using the pressures like banning the adds, supply of news print paper, engaging agencies like FIA to harass journalists. He opined that the rulers developed their own definition of national interest and then tried to diffuse it by hook or by crook. He further said that friendly relations between the government and journalists were impossible, if somehow they were on good terms then impartiality and objectively suffered. He criticised the negative role of the PEMRA and demanded permission for objective reporting in the tribal areas. Renowned columnist Nazir Naji, while addressing the audience, said that freedom of media was a myth. "Mobile phone companies are offering attractive packages to consumers but in real sense these are cruelly looting them and no body challenges it because these pay huge amounts to media for the ad-campaigns," he observed. "In capitalist society, no one enjoys freedom whereas media is a part and parcel rather agent of this mal economic system," said Sajjad Mir, a renowned journalist. He stressed that the freedom was associated with responsibility and media was rightly advocating the core feelings of a common Pakistani and was condemning the government's action of 3rd November against media and judiciary. While addressing the conference, ex-provincial minister Mubashar Luqman said that free media and responsible journalism were two different concepts. Media, nowhere in the world, was absolutely free, he said. Comparatively, media was free in Pakistan, Luqman added.