Representatives of Pakistan’s independent online forums got together in Lahore for a two-day conference this week and unanimously agreed to form an association.
It will be the representative body to safeguard the rights and interests of independent online journalism platforms in Pakistan.
Freedom Network (FN) organized the conference that discussed at length issues and challenges faced by these online organizations.
Adnan Rehmat, a prominent media analyst, and journalist, representing International Media Support, Muhammad Aftab Alam of Institute for Research, Advocacy, and Development (IRADA) and Ayesha Mumtaz of Freedom Network were part of the event.
The participants outlined the association’s following mission and core charter:
To support and practice independent online public interest journalism in Pakistan.
To strive to be, from across Pakistan, the voice of the voiceless, the deliberately silenced or the often unheard and the regularly ignored.
To represent the rights and interests of all the socio-political and economically marginalized communities ignored by the mainstream media.
To represent, from the sidelined margins of power, Pakistan’s demographic diversity and pluralisms, including geographic, ethnic, linguist, religious, cultural, and class.
To promote the development and professionalism of the independent online journalism sector in Pakistan.
To be the representative body to safeguard the rights and interests of independent online journalism platforms in Pakistan.
All signatory platforms listed below became the association’s founding members.
They agreed to formally outline the mandate in follow-up meetings, including support of existing members, rules for new membership, and collaborative ideas to strengthen both the association and the charter.
Balochistan 24 – Mr. Ghulam Murtaza Zehri
Balochistan Voices – Mr. Adnan Aamir
HumSub – Mr. Adnan Wahab Khan
IBC Pakistan – Mr. Sabookh Syed
Journalism Pakistan – Mr. Imran Naeem Ahmad
Native Media – Mr. Kashif Baloch, Afshan Masab
Naya Daur – Mr. Syed Ali Raza Zaidi
Sabaat – Mr. Shahzada Irfan
Sujag – Mr. Badar Alam, Mr. Tauqeer Mustafa
Tajziat – Mr. Muhammad Amir Rana
TheReporters – Ms. Shazia Mehboob
Tribal News Network – Mr. Tayyeb Afridi
Voicepk – Ms. Xari Jalil