Freedom of Expression top on the UNESCO Agenda,says Director Ms Tarja Virtanen


Tarja Virtanen

Women perspective is missing in news from rural areas of Pakistan.President RMNP Ehsan Ahmed Sehar

Islamabad.November 24,2009>Director UNESCO Islamabad Ms Tarja Virtanen has underlined the need for extending media coverage to the rural areas with especial focus on women.These views were expressed by her while talking to President Rural Media Netwok Pakistan (RMNP) Ehsan Ahmed Sehar who called her in UNESCO Islamabad office. She said that UNESCO considered freedom of expression as a fundamental value.This was in conformity with article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,which proclaims that “everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression”Ms Tarja Virtanen added.She ,however regretted that in this era of electronic media and internet,most people in developing countries did not earn enough to own a computer or to get connected to the internet.She said the main focus of the UNESCO was on arranging professional training for journalists.But,as the mainstream media continued to ignore rural areas,the UNESCO was trying for the capacity building of rural journalists.She listed poverty,illiteracy,isolation and social exculsions as the major barriers to access.The UNESCO,she told had established a large number of community radio stations in different developing countries which are highlighting the social and economic issues and enhancing local communities’ access to information. Ehsan Ahmed Sehar,President Rural Media Network Pakistan(RMNP) said though there had been improvements in many aspects,such as the level of freedom ,technical quality of production and media impact in raising the awareness of the people.”We still have a very long way in terms of media reach,quality and impact.”There is need to raise the professional competence of journalists about the problems of rural areas,he said adding the womens” perspective was missing in news from rural areas.”.President RMNP briefed Director UNESCO about RMNP activities in defending press freedom in rural Pakistan and highlighted the RMNP training programmes for the capacity building of both male and female rural journalists.He told Ms Tarja Virtanen that RMNP had also organised two training events for electronic media journalists in the districts of RahimyarKhan and Bahawalpur this year without any donor organisation support and provided them training manuals in country Urdu language.He informed Director UNESCO about RMNP plans for the capacity building of rural publishers and editors,mid career journalists and district correspondents of both print and electronioc media.Ehsan Ahmed Sehar also thanked UNESCO for supportng RMNP efforts in past.

Source. RMNP



Similar Posts