Karachi - Editors and directors news of a large number of newspapers and television channels met here yesterday and decided to formally establish Editors for Safety, an organisation to focus exclusively on the issues related to violence and threats of violence against the media.

Editors for Safety will focus on the alarming level of insecurity of media professionals and institutions in Pakistan. Dawn Editor Zaffar Abbas was elected as its first chairman.

The basic philosophy of Editors for Safety is that an attack on one journalist or media house will be considered an attack on the entire media. Those in the organisation will assess such situations and jointly make decisions regarding media coverage of violence and threats of violence against any media house as if it were an attack on them. Beyond coverage, Editors for Safety would also assist any journalist or media house that needs help in dealing with such issues by providing resources, sharing information and expertise or reaching out to the stakeholders involved.

The formal creation of Editors for Safety has ensured close, timely coordination between many newspaper editors and television news directors in case of attacks/threats on media professionals, and has already resulted in improving the quality of media coverage of such attacks. The decision has been taken so that media houses can speak with one voice against the prevalent culture of impunity as journalists across the country are being attacked on a regular basis while perpetrators are rarely brought to justice.

The meeting decided to approach all newspaper editors and television news directors to join Editors for Safety. The meeting also decided to consult All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) and Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) and ask them to nominate representatives to the organization.

Those who attended the meeting and formed Editors for Safety included Wamiq Zuberi (Business Recorder), Mujibur Rehman Shami (Daily Pakistan), Ali Kazi (KTN and Kawish), Fahd Hussain (Express News), Azhar Abbas (Geo News), Shahrukh Hassan (Jang Group), Abdul Khaliq (Online), Anwer Sajidi (daily Intekhab), Aamer Ahmed Khan (Aaj TV), Tahir Najmi (daily Express), Jabbar Khattak (Awami Awaz), Zahid Mazhar (Dawn News), Jahanzaib Haque (Dawn.com), Naveed Hussain (Express Tribune), Farhan Raza (ARY News), Imran Saleem Dar (AVT), Zaffar Abbas (Dawn) and Owais Aslam Ali (Pakistan Press Foundation).

Those who could not attend the meeting, but have been part of the consultations on Editors for Safety and have given their consent include Arif Nizami (Pakistan Today and Channel 24), Rameeza Nizami (Nawa-i-Waqt/The Nation Group), Kamran Khan (Dunya News), Kazi Abid (Ibrat) and Siddiq Baloch (Balochistan Express).

The meeting decided that Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) would be the secretariat of Editors for Safety.