90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Monday, March 26, 2012

Pakistan Named The Most Dangerous Country For Journalists

Eleven reporters were killed in Pakistan last year. (AP)

For the second year in a row, Reporters Without Borders has named Pakistan the most dangerous country in the world for journalists. Eleven reporters were killed there last year — among the latest, 43-year-old Mukarram Khan Aatif, a highly respected veteran reporter for the Voice of America’s Pashto language radio. He was killed while he prayed at a mosque near his home.

The Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility, saying, “We have been warning him to stop his propaganda against us in the foreign media.”

Despite Dangers, Journalism Flourishes In Tribal Regions

Lawrence Pintak is advising journalism students in four universities in Pakistan’s tribal regions, where the Taliban is strongest. A professor at one of the universities told him, “We need to include conflict safety training in our curriculum,” because students face roadside bombs and Taliban threats while on class assignments, and professors are killed and kidnapped.

Even with the dangers, Pintak says journalism is still flourishing in the region, with men and women signing up for the programs. As Pintak told Here and Now’s Robin Young, young Pakistanis are pursuing journalism, “because they want to have a voice… journalism is another way for them to impact their communities and their country.”

Dangers From Military And Taliban

“Pakistani journalism is incredibly vibrant… every political view point is reflected in the media,” Pintak said. But the government itself is divided between civilian and military leadership, and journalists are in the middle of that battle too, meaning that “journalists are as likely to be threatened or killed by the Taliban as they are by the Pakistani military.”

Pintak says meeting journalism professors from the region put his problems as the head of a journalism school in perspective.

“While we worry about budget cuts, they are literally putting their lives on the line for journalism education, and that’s a very inspiring thing,” he said.

Guest:

  • Lawrence Pintak, Dean of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

July 21 Comment

Boxing Attracts More Than Would-Be Fighters

At the Ring Boxing Club, boxers range in age, are both men and women, and include an award-winning author.

July 21 Comment

Why Hot Cars Are So Deadly

An average of 38 kids die in a hot car every year in the U.S. We look at the science of why cars get so hot so fast, and why children are more vulnerable.

July 18 19 Comments

A Conversation With Immigrant Activist Jose Antonio Vargas

We sit down with the immigrant-rights activist, who has written extensively about the fact that he has been living illegally in the U.S. for years.

July 18 4 Comments

Will Israel Widen The War And Will Hamas Run Out of Rockets?

What will drive Israel's decision? What are the strategic calculations Hamas is making and how will it emerge from this conflict?