US dispels notion of funding Pakistani media outlet

ISLAMABAD: Terming recent statements by political leaders and
journalists alleging foreign funding for a specific Pakistani media
outlet as “misleading or inaccurate,” the United States on Monday
clarified that the embassy provides funding and support to a broad
range of organisations to facilitate professional development and
capacity building activities.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan had announced complete
boycott of Geo TV and the Jang Group for allegedly helping the
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) emerge victorious in the 2013
General Elections.

Khan had also lashed out at the media group during his Sunday’s speech
at D-Chowk in the federal capital, where the party staged a protest
rally against alleged rigging in the May 11 poll last year.

The boycott coincides with the tensions simmering between the
embattled media house and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) over
the channel’s treatment of allegations levelled in the wake of the
attack on senior journalist Hamid Mir.

The press release, issued here said the US government strongly
supports vibrant, professional, and independent media in Pakistan as
they do elsewhere globally. The US government assistance supports
Pakistan’s media sector broadly, to include a range of print,
broadcast, and radio formats, it added.

Naming services offered by the US to media representatives, the
embassy said that these programs are not targeted to any one media
group, but are geared towards supporting the community of journalists
as a whole.

These programs aid the efforts of journalists to pursue balanced
reporting and accurate messaging on events in Pakistan and elsewhere,
said the press release.

“Suggestions to the contrary are inaccurate, and aim to mislead,” it added.

Source: Dawn

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