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Social, economic uplift linked to free press

Lahore

May 4, 2021

LAHORE:Empowerment of a society is linked with the right to freedom of expression and access to information and if we need to remove poverty and illiteracy, our press has a crucial role to play.

These views were expressed by the participants of a webinar in connection with the World Press Freedom Day organised by the University of Okara Department of Communication Studies.

The keynote speakers included UO VC Prof Dr Muhammad Zakria Zakar, Head of Communication Studies Department Dr Zahid Bilal, journalist Wajahat Masud and Chairperson of Punjab University Department of Film Studies Dr Lubna Zaheer.

The speakers discussed the current state of press freedom in Pakistan and argued that social and economic development is linked to freedom of press from all biases and pressures. Highlighting the role of press for social development, Dr Zakar said, “Empowerment of a society is linked with the right to freedom of expression and access to information. If we need to remove poverty and illiteracy, our press has a crucial role to play”.

Recalling the role of the Muslim Press in the subcontinent, Dr Zahid said the missionary journalism of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Maulana Muhammad Ali Johar and others enlightened and empowered the Muslims.

Commenting on the scenario of press freedom in Pakistan, Dr Lubna argued, “The situation of press freedom in Pakistan, according to the ‘Reporters without Borders’, is very precarious. This is the time we must take practical steps in this regard”. Wajahat Masud maintained that Pakistan must learn from the past and mend the future accordingly.