NEW YORK: Dean of Columbia University’s Journalism School, famous American author and journalist Steve Coll, while lauding the bravery of the Pakistani journalists working in the worst violence-hit part of the world, has said that Pakistan and Mexico are the worst places in the world for journalists.
“Journalists in Pakistan are another emerging professional core of the country I believe that Pakistan along with Mexico are the worst countries for journalists,” said Steve while talking to a group of eight select journalists from Pakistan during their visit to the Columbia’s Graduate Journalism School the other day.
According to Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), since September 2001 51 Pakistani journalists have been killed. Media organisations in Pakistan often raise voices on the security of the journalists in Pakistan too.
Steve Coll who has authored more than half a dozen books including Ghost Wars and The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century. Coll was named to head the Journalism School of Columbia last year.
Steve has extensively traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan for his journalistic adventures, avoided making any comment on the professional standards of the journalists working in this South Asian country saying, “he can’t comment on this as he is not following the Pakistani media these days”.
When asked about his views on Osama Bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan, he said that there is still need for a lot of journalism on the issue of Osama Bin Laden’s secret hideout in Abbottabad.
“There are open questions yet whether Musharraf knew about Osama’s presence or not. There is likelihood of a small cell that may have known about Osama, but no hard evidence has surfaced yet, and there is need for a lot of journalism on this,” said Steve while
When asked if he believes that Osama was hosted by the elements of Pakistani establishment, he narrated an incident saying that he met a senior Pakistani General who told him that the attackers of the General Headquarters (GHQ) kept planning the attack for almost three months under the nose of the GHQ but they could not know their plan.However he said that there are open questions yet which require proper answers and there is room for more journalism on them.