PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
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.

May 26 5 Comments

As Lethal Heroin Overdose Numbers Rise, Families Find Solace In Organ Donation

Organ banks around the country have noted an increasing number of organs from donors who have died of overdoses.

May 26 3 Comments

NEADS Assistance Dog Bailey Graduates From Service Dog Training

NEADS provides dogs like Bailey, a yellow Labrador, for deaf and disabled Americans.

May 25 Comment

Celebrating The Class Of 2016: Peace Odiase

Odiase is one of two valedictorians at Fisk University, a historically black college in Nashville, Tennessee.

May 25 8 Comments

NEADS Service Dog Meets His Match

Here & Now has been tracking service dog Bailey, who recently met his new owner, since last year.