Sunday, 13 December 2009

K Chandrasekhar Rao has his `ancestral roots' in north coastal Andhra


December 13, 2009
By Syed Akbar

Hyderabad, Dec 12: The ongoing T turmoil has unwittingly taken a new twist over the ancestral roots of TRS
president K Chandrasekhar Rao, with those opposed to him tracing his family genealogy to the erstwhile Bobbili kingdom in north Andhra.
According to KCR baiters, his forefathers came to Medak district five to six generations ago, after leaving the Bobbili samsthan. Chandrasekhar Rao was born at Chintamadaka village near Siddipet in  Medak district 55 years ago. His father and grandfather were also born in the district.
TRS legislator and KCR's nephew T Harish Rao, however, denies the family roots being  linked to north Andhra."We are from here and our family has nothing to do with Bobbili," he said.
The powerful Velama community, to which Chandrasekhar Rao belongs, ruled over the Bobbili  kingdom before the area fell under the control of the Britishers. Historical records show that the Velama  community later "settled" in different parts of the State. Some of them including the forefathers of Chandrasekhar Rao
are said to have settled in Telangana about 150 to 200 years ago, while others preferred Godavari and Krishna  districts.
Though the talk of KCR being a "settler" and "non-local" has been making rounds ever since he broke away from the Telugu Desam to float the Telangana Rashtra Samithi in 2001, it has of late gained  momentum. Not only leaders from Andhra and Rayalaseema, but those from Telangana too trace the lineage of KCR to
Vizianagaram (then Srikakulam) district.
Sangareddy legislator T Jayaprakash Reddy, who once rubbed shoulders with KCR, went to the extent of giving "KCR Bobbili Bhago" call in retaliation to the TRS chief's "settlers" and "Andhra" talk.  Chandrasekhar Rao should not forget his roots. He himself is a settler in Telangana as his ancestors had migrated  from Bobbili," he pointed out.
The Uttarandhra Vidhyarthi Sena, which is spearheading united Andhra movement in north  coastal districts, is of the view that KCR's forefathers had lived in Buddipeta village in Sitanagaram mandal of the  present Vizianagaramdistrict. Argues Vidhyarthi Sena president SR Murthy, "the TRS chief should first talk of
the backwardness of his ancestral region (north Andhra) before talking up the cause of Telangana. He should not forget the past of his forefathers."
Interestingly, the TRS contested in several Parliament constituencies in coastal Andhra during 2004 general elections to claim the status of a "regional party". The party fielded candidate, G Venkatesh, in  Bobbili (now Vizianagaram) Lok Sabha seat. He polled 14131 votes including 3444 votes in Gajapatinagaram Assembly
segment.
The TRS chief is also known for "settling" from one constituency to another, shifting from native Siddipet to
Karimnagar and then to Mahbubnagar.
Senior citizens from Bobbili claim that KCR’s great grandfathers used to frequent north Andhra for trading. Their visits have been regular since beginning of the 19th century, since Bobbili was one of the civilised towns in that era nurturing art and culture apart from offering better living standards.
During 2004 general elections, Mr K Chandrasekhara Rao reportedly recalled his ancestors’ relation with the great town of Bobbili and fielded Venkatesh from the area on TRS symbol `Car’.

WAN-IFRA: What to do with the Google?

2009
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Dec 3: Top print media executives and news publishers on Thursday made an impassioned defence of copyright to Google's chief legal counsel David Drummond, calling for "a more rigorous and unambiguous acceptance" of publishers' rights to decide how their content is used on the Internet.
"Being able to make a commercial return is essential to justify investment in content - whether we are talking news or education or entertainment - and that depends on having the mechanism to choose how that content is distributed, used and paid for," said Gavin O'Reilly, president of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers.
"What to do with the Google?" was the hot topic of debate on the concluding day of the three-day world press summit here. "That is why copyright was invented 300 years ago - and when you consider the breadth, depth, richness and diversity of 21st century media, it has been a stunning success - and that is why copyright remains as relevant today."
But Mr O'Reilly added: "what is clear is that, collectively, we haven't made copyright work properly on the web, and that is down to we content creators who have, perhaps foolishly, failed to enforce our copyright."
Mr Drummond, who is also the vice-president of Google, denied that his organisation had violated copyright. "This is not a question of Google not respecting copyright. This is a fundamental disagreement when you're
applying copyright rules on the web," he said, adding that the idea that indexing sites was a violation "flies in the face of how the web has been built and how it operates."
But he said Google was interested in working with the newspaper industry, and announced that Google was launching a separate crawler for Google News, so that publishers can give one set of instructions on how their content should be treated in Google News, and a different set of instructions for Google Search.
He pointed out that Google News offers publishers a billion clicks a month and massive traffic, which he called "a source of promotion undreamed of just a few years ago."
Mr O'Reilly said: "Unfortunately, the pat answer always seems to be, 'don't complain - aren't I giving you traffic?' As if I could take traffic to my bank manager. But shouldn't I have the right to determine - as a fair trade for my own content - whether I want traffic or something else? Leaving aside the thorny issue of dominant market position that Google enjoys, why should I just be forced to accept Google's business model of site referral as the only online model?"
"I want to say that I am not advocating charity here. We publishers don't need hand outs or crumbs from Google's table. What we want is a more rigorous and unambiguous acceptance on copyright, an acknowledgement of our right to choose our own business model, a more transparent technical mechanic,
and perhaps, less of the rather tired, 'fair use' rhetoric."
He called for adoption of the Automated Content Access Protocol (ACAP), a new protocol back by WAN-IFRA and others in the industry that allows publishers to describe how their online content can be used in a way that the news aggregators' automated indexing crawlers can read.

World Media Summit: No threat to newspapers

2009
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Dec 3: Juan Senor, vice-president of International Media Consulting Group, on Thursday felt that journalists should act as "journANALYST" to keep the newspaper industry alive in the 21st century.
Participating in a discussion on the 2009 global report on innovations in newspapers, at the world press summit here, Juan Senor said in an age of scrappy messages and information saturation, people want editorial criteria. "We need to go from journalist to journANALYST," he said.
Juan Senor predicted that paper will always be around. Although it will never die, the business models and the content propositions have changed. "Complacency is the biggest threat to newspapers. What we're putting in these front pages is not relevant."
Stating that publications are repeating the same headlines on front pages and it is redundant, he said "we need to have different ideas. People don't want subtle redesigns, they want a radical transformation. Newspapers need to become 'newzines.' "
He said internet will not kill newspapers. Paper should be premium while online and mobile news should be mass medium. No one medium has ever killed another medium. The internet will not kill newspapers. The circulation of print would lower, but publishers would need to charge more for it.
The industry has received wake up calls but they have hit the snooze button every time, said Senor. The newspapers are left with few options. A new model needs to be found for newspapers to recover.

World Media Congress: Nothing called investigative journalism

2009
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Dec 3: Senior journalist Nick Davies feels that there's a threat to "so-called" investigative journalism.
"The threat is commercialism. Commercial pressure that has come piling down on publications is taking time away from reporting," he told the world press summit here on Thursday.
Nick Davies had won several awards including journalist of the year, reporter of the year and feature writer of the year. "All journalism is investigative," he said adding that a lot of news today consists of garbage such as celebrity news.
"This isn't journalism. It's constitutionally free, but it's garbage. If you come across journalists that say they are investigative journalists, you have people with a personality problem. That's like saying the water in a bottle is wet," he pointed out.
Long-term journalism usually occurs because someone is deliberately trying to construct information reporters need, Nick David said, adding that "it's all an attempt to uncover the truth". There is a threat to this so called investigative journalism, he said. The threat is commercialism.
He said a study involving several leading dailies in the UK suggested that 12 per cent of their facts had not been checked. "You take away our time. You take away our ability to do our jobs," he said.
Looking in a micro perspective of journalism, there is that possibility that journalists will still be able to have arguments about getting more time for stories, but in a macro perspective, the solution is difficult to see, he said.
"The value of journalists is different than the executives and businessmen, who run the newspaper and it needs to be recognised. Journalists should be able to select the stories that are important, find the truth and tell the truth," Nick observed.

Infosys mentor KR Narayana Murthy feels that India will play a key role in software exports in the next 10 years

2009
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Dec 2: Infosys mentor KR Narayana Murthy feels that India will play a key role in software exports in the next 10 years.
Addressing a group of editors, media executives and journalism students from across the globe at the ongoing world newspaper summit here on Wednesday, Narayana Murthy said India would share a major revenue of
software exports. Along with Brazil, Russia and China, India will play a crucial role in software exports. "About 50 per cent of revenue of software exports will come from BRIC countries by 2020," he said.
At present the USA and the UK hold the monopoly in software exports and their total share is about 80 per cent. The BRIC countries will take a major chunk of the revenue from them. India exported $ 47 million software exports.
"Brazil and China have been performing well. Russia will pick up soon, though it is passing through hiccups at present," Narayana Murthy said.
Information and communication technology has the potential to breach the divide between the haves and have-nots, he said adding that the IT market in India is quite large and much of it is yet to be explored. Half of the population in the country do not have access to medical facilities. Many do not have banking facility. The IT sector will have to cater to these sections.
Sounding positive about the growth of the world economy, Narayana Murthy said it would take some more time for it to become buoyant. He feared that the global economy would be affected if there's no stability in the region and in middle east.
Later answering a question, the Infosys mentor said India, China, Pakistan and Bangladesh should ensure that there's peace in the region. He warned that if there were no peace in the region, the growth will be affected.

SAFMA leader Imtiaz Alam blames Indian, Pakistani media for blurring facts

2009
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Dec 2: Media in India and Pakistan is catering to populist nationalistic feeling, often resulting in blurring of facts, says Imtiaz Alam, secretary-general, South Asia Free Media Association.
Participating in a meeting organised by the World Editors' Forum as part of the ongoing world newspaper congress here on Wednesday, Imtiaz Alam said "Pakistani and Indian media is unable to see things in its proper perspective due to politics, market competition leading to national jingoism and warmongering. Can we rise above narrow national objective and do justice in media coverage," he wondered.
Mr Imtiaz Alam narrated how he earned the wrath of Pakistani establishment when he went on a TV channel saying that 26/11 terrorist Kasab indeed belonged to Faridkot in Pakistan. "When Azmal Kasab was nabbed by Indian police in the 26/11 attack on Mumbai, the Pakistani media was in denial mood. It asserted he did not belong to Pakistan. I made inquiries and went on a TV channel and said he is a Pakistani," he remarked.
He added "it caused havoc. Five armed sleuths came to my office and smashed my car, sending a clear message."
Senior journalist Dileep Padgaonkar said both India and Pakistan blame each other for the troubles in their respective nations. It is believed in Pakistan that what’s happening in Baluchistan and other parts of the country is due to RAW. India blames Pakistan’s military establishment and ISI for the trouble in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of the country," he said.
Journalist Vinod Sharma said everyone thought BJP would win the polls after the 26/11 attacks on Mumbai, but people did not fall prey to nationalist feeling and voted for a secular party. However, BJP won Madhya Pradesh polls on a development plank.
Sharma faulted Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh statement that he did not know whom to talk to in Pakistan. "The national jingoism is urban centric in India. Bureaucracy in India and Pakistan is the biggest hurdle for ensuring smooth relations," he said.

World Press Congress: Top newspaper executives feel print media must change strategies

2009
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Dec 2: Top newspaper executives feel that the print media must adapt and change its strategies to keep circulation and revenues going up.
A survey conducted by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers covering 653 respondents, mostly senior newspaper executives, revealed the troubling dilemma that continues to haunt newspaper publishers.
"On one hand, overwhelmingly, the majority of publishers acknowledge that their organisations must adapt and change their strategies, yet many admit they are facing big challenges in implementing that change," the survey pointed out.
The report of the survey was released at the ongoing world press summit here on Wednesday during a panel discussion on "shaping the future of the newspaper". "What is critical to change is developing editorial and sales force know-how for today's multimedia environment", the respondents said.
Martha Stone, director of the Shaping the Newspaper Future project for WAN-IFRA, said "we are all afraid of change, but change is inevitable and this industry is facing changes like never before. We have to focus not only on today's problems and challenges, but those in the coming years to secure that our business remains a vital part of society."
The Shaping the Future of the Newspaper (SFN) and Where NEWS? projects have produced more than 20 special reports over the past few years, all focused on helping publishers to adapt and formulate their strategies to deal with emerging technologies and consumer expectations.
Stone, Francois Nel, director of the Journalism Leaders Programme at the University of Central Lancanshire (UK), Dietmar Schantin, executive director of Publishing, Editorial and General Management Business Unit for WAN-IFRA, and moderator Sridala Swami, a freelance journalist, presented the numerous projects and their findings, but the focus of the session centred on a new SFN project, the "Future and Change Study."
Stone said one of the most significant findings is that, despite the fact that many publishers have reduced staff, "they fully plan to expand their product portfolio, to implement a strategy of growth to meet their needs.
And what is encouraging here is that staff reductions were not at the heart of this, rather investment and streamlining efficiencies. They will innovate."
Some of the new opportunities lie in mobile, especially smartphone technologies like the iPhone and Android, development of social media, the growing trend of events and conferences, and web TV. But also in print with targeted special editions, magazines, distribution services and production.
Of course the recent economic crisis has played a major role in the responses, and in the subsequent strategic thinking emerging. More than three-quarters of respondents experiences significant revenue declines over
the past year, with print advertising revenues hardest hit. About 80 per cent said on-line revenues were marginally up.
More revealing, however, is the finding that a majority of respondents say they will need 21 to 30 per cent of non-traditional revenues over the next five years to remain viable. Although much of this comes from hard-hit
regions like the US and northern Europe, this trend extends to most other regions around the world.
"Internet is good for the newspaper business," said John Paton, chairman and chief executive officer, impreMedia LLC, USA. Multimedia development is the key to extending reach.
"Don't get me wrong here, I believe newspaper companies have a very bright future but as news companies where print is only one of many products and where each builds audience for the others," he said; "Remember when we thought our websites would drive readers to the newspaper? Now it is the other way around, only bigger with more options."
By embracing digital platforms, impreMedia transformed a newspaper  company struggling through an economic downturn into a multi-platform company with a growing audience, diversified revenue streams and
increasing profits, said Mr Paton.
But he added: "This is not a story of creating a better video player, news widget or killer app - our offerings are better than some and weaker than others. It is a story of how a team of dedicated and talented individuals
came together to map out a company's future under trying circumstances because they care deeply about journalism. "

World Press Summit: Future of Journalism - scribes should explore Twitter, blogs, internet and citizen journalism to stay in competition

2009
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Dec 1: Journalists should explore various means of  communication including Twitter, blogs, citizen journalism and the worldwide web to reach a large section of people.
Participating in a discussion on the "Future of Journalism vs Future of the Newspaper", held as part of the World Editors Forum panel here on Monday, Paul Johnson, deputy editor in chief of The Guardian, said Twitter, blogs and the "long tail" of the web are all tools that can help journalists reach their audiences. That's what journalism is about really, letting us reach the maximum of people".
He shared some examples of in-depth, investigative stories his publication recently carried drawing resources from social networking sites and eyewitness reports.
In one case, the paper's coverage of a G20 protest included video footage from people attending the event that appeared to show police using excessive force.
Senior journalist Mahfuz Anam from Bangladesh gave a persuasive, passionate speech highlighting the errors of newspapers and the ways and means to turning it around.
Anam edits and publishes The Daily Star. "We are killing consumers with our advertisements." He, however, admitted that 80 per cent of the revenue of The Daily Stars comes from print advertisement. He said newspapers had pandered to the whims of advertisers, and in the process, neglected their readers.
According to him, the future of newspaper lies in the past. "As journalists, we must regain the moral highground in which society has placed us. Freedom of speech and press protects our democracy, our human rights," he points out.
"The newspaper business model is powerless to compensate for falling print ad revenues, and the problem is not going to go away. The print model cannot and will not migrate to the Internet, where there is a "revenue black hole," in which 76 per cent of all online revenues go to Google and Yahoo!", Timothy Balding, co-CEO of WAN-IFRA, observed at a different forum.

World Association of Newspapers: India emerges as the biggest newspaper market in the world

2009
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Dec 1: India has emerged as the biggest newspaper market in the world with 107 million daily sales.
Presenting the annual press trends update at the ongoing world press summit here, Timothy Balding, co-CEO of WAN-IFRA said globally, 1.9 billion people choose to read a newspaper every day, or 34 per cent of the world population, while 24 per cent use the internet. The biggest newspaper market in the world is India, with 107 million daily sales.
India, China and Japan account for more than 60 per cent of the world's newspaper sales, with the USA taking 14 per cent. "While it is true that in some regions circulation is not a boom sector, newspapers continue to be a global mass media to be reckoned with, achieving reach of over 34 per cent," said Balding.
In terms of sales per 1,000 adult population, Japan leads the world with 612, followed by Norway with 576, and Finland with 482. In terms of reach, 91 per cent of Japanese continue to read a newspaper daily ­ a remarkable figure in such a technologically advanced and wired society.
While India has emerged as the major newspaper market, newspapers world-wide will have to search for new business models including paid-for on-line access for news to increase their revenues.
"At no time in the foreseeable future will digital advertising revenues replace those lost to print, making the search for new business models ­including paid-for on-line access for news," according to the latest update on
world Press trends released by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, which is currently meeting in the city.
Timothy Balding said as search engines take the largest slice of internet advertising revenues, little is left for the content generators themselves. In a 182-billion dollar press advertising industry, digital revenues of newspapers accounted for less than six billion dollars last year and are forecast by PricewaterhouseCoopers to grow to no more than 8.4 billion dollars by 2013.
At the same time, print advertising is expected to decline. PwC predicts that by 2013, combined print and digital ad revenues will be less than print only ad revenues were in 2008.
"If newspaper companies wish to maintain their strong content leadership, someone is going to have to pay. It looks like we have to solve the digital payment issue ­ and soon," he said.
The annual world press trends survey gains significance in the backdrop of the debate on paid content, at the summit. Yet despite the problems of falling advertising revenues, forecasts of even further declines, and pressure from new competitors, the global newspaper industry is far from facing an "apocalypse," he pointed out.
The WAN-IFRA survey showed that newspaper circulation grew, on a global scale, by 1.3 percent in 2008, the last full year for which data exists, and almost 9 percent over five years.
The data shows consistent newspaper growth in Africa, Asia and South America, and a long-term slowdown in the US and European markets.
"But even here, a sense of proportion demands that we deny the idea that the apocalypse is upon us," said Mr Balding. "A circulation drop in Europe, for example, is less than three per cent over five years. Over five years, according to our survey, newspaper circulation increased in 100 of the 182 nations for which we have reliable data."

Senior Pakistani editor Najam Sethi gets Golden Pen of Freedom for 2009

2009
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Dec 1: Senior Pakistani editor Najam Sethi on Tuesday received the WAN-IFRA Golden Pen of Freedom for 2009 for his "fierce commitment and courage... to the perennial quest for reporting the truth and analysing it without fear or favour".
The Gold Pen of Freedom is the annual Press freedom prize of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers.Responding to the award, Najam Sethi said it was however becoming increasingly difficult for journalists to remain independent and bipartisan in this region. "Increasingly, editors are managers rather than journalists, or journalists who are managers. And an overly aggressive corporate sector has
replaced the government both as the most significant source of media revenue and the concomitant political pressure that goes with it, often at the expense of the public interest," he said.
Najam Sethi said the media in India and Pakistan is trapped in what he termed narrow nationalism and accused it of being part of the problem in relations between the two neighbours. He said the media in both the countries was too intensely nationalistic and had pushed them to the brink of war after last year's terrorist attacks in Mumbai. "After Mumbai last year, both the media put on the war paint and pushed their governments to the brink of war."
He cited several instances where the media in both the countries stopped the respective governments from continuing with the peace dialogue at critical points. "In 1989 when the then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi visited Pakistan, the Pakistani media stopped Benazir Bhutto's government from implementing the far-reaching cultural accords that were signed on that occasion. When Rajiv Gandhi went back, the Indian media stopped him from moving ahead on Siachen accord inked by the defence secretaries of the two countries in Pakistan," he said.
Elaborating his point further, he said "the same thing happened in 1997 when Indian media stopped the government of then Prime Minister Gujral from discussing the issue of Kashmir with the Nawaz Sharif government in Pakistan. In 2001, Pakistani media stopped General Pervez Musharraf from making a compromise with India in the historic city of Agra."
This year, the Indian media stopped Prime Minister Manmohan Singh from fulfilling his commitments made at Sharm-el-Sheikh in Egypt, Najam Sethi pointed out.
Stating that the 22 journalists killed in South Asia last year died at the hands of non-state actors, he said increasingly, the media is caught in the cross fire between armed non-state actors and states in the region. He said the Taliban forcibly stopped the sale of Daily Aajkal in their stronghold and hurled menacing warnings at the paper in Peshawar.
Najam Sethi is known as an advocate of liberal and secular ideas in Pakistan, which is too-often torn by extremism. World Editors' Forum president Xavier Vidal-Folch presenting the award said "Najam Sethi has managed to anger both the extremists and the government authorities, merely by doing his job, and this is at the heart of why WAN-IFRA is honouring him today with its Golden Pen of Freedom award ­ for carrying out his role as an independent journalist, for reporting and investigating all sides equally, and for being a
voice of moderation, despite the continuous threats and constant danger he faces."
Sethi¹s home and office are under constant guard. The Taliban threatened to kill him if he did not change his editorial policy. He has also received death threats from radical religious groups after he published a cartoon that depicted Umme Hassaan, principal of a radical women's school, educating female students to wage jihad and embrace martyrdom. Mr Sethi was imprisoned thrice.

The Phillippines massacre: 88 journalists killed during 2009 worldwide

2009
DC Correspondent

Hyderabad, Nov 30: At least 88 journalists have been killed so far this year and hundreds of media employees have been arrested and jailed, most often following sham trials or without formal charges being brought against them, says a report of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers
(WAN-IFRA) here.
In its half-year review of press freedom world-wide, the Wan-Infra, which is currently holding its 62nd Congress in the city, said the horrific attack in the Philippines on November 23, in which more than 30 journalists were among the 57 murdered, was the deadliest single attack on media in memory. That
brought the total of journalists killed in the Philippines to 35 this year, making it the most dangerous country in the world for journalists.
"More than 750 journalists have been murdered world-wide in the past decade", said the report, presented to the Board of WAN-IFRA here on the eve of the World Newspaper Congress, World Editors Forum and
Info Services Expo 2009, the global summit meetings of the world's Press.
According to the report, "hundreds of media employees have been arrested for their work in the past year, and at least 170 remain in jail today. The hostility of many governments to any form of dissent continues to
impede independent news reporting in Asia. Journalists reporting on corruption find themselves in the firing line of those directly or indirectly exposed by their reports".
Governments throughout the Middle East and North Africa continue to demonstrate their intolerance for truth, dissent and satire. Journalists and freedom of expression advocates are continuously targeted by the
authorities, while the severe crackdown on blogging region-wide reveals how much governments believe that the Internet can be a threat to their power, it said.

Friday Times editor Najam Sethi says Pakistan government and media now recognise Taliban as terrorists

2009
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Nov 30: Najam Sethi, editor of Pakistani dailies The Friday Times and Daily Times, on Monday said the Pakistani government and mainstream media had finally recognised Talibans as terrorists.
Participating in a round table conference on the freedom of Press held here as part of the 62nd World Newspaper Congress and 16th World Editors' Forum, Najam Sethi said earlier neither the Pakistan government nor the mainstream media called Taliban as terrorists. They had described them as insurgents or
militants.
"The Friday Times and Daily Times were the only newspapers, which described Taliban as a terror force. We received several death threats, but we did not change our stand. Now that Taliban has been attacking military establishments and security forces and killing innocent people in streets, bazars and places of worship, the government and the mainstream media are recognising Taliban as a terror force. The war on terror is no longer a US mission, it has also become our own war against terror," Najam Sethi said.
Najam Sethi, who is known for his bold secular and democratic views, said the Pakistan government had over decades indoctrinated the media and people against India over the Kashmir issue. After the Jihad against the then USSR occupation of Afghanistan, non-State players turned their attention towards India. The backlash of terror now haunts Pakistan after its 40 years of Jihadi support and its so-called Islamist and anti India ideology.
He pointed out that even though the Taliban may be the existential threat, the media and most Pakistanis continue to view India as the more potent danger. "Whole generations have grown up with this mindset. It's not going to be very easy to turn this clock back. But of late people are recognising the terror tactics of Talibans".
Najam Sethi said journalists like him, who opposed Taliban, had received threats not only from non-State players but also from fellow journalists. He said the newly resurgent democracy in Pakistan is backing the media freedom. "We need a code of conduct to deal with terrorism, whether we should call Taliban terrorist or insurgent".
Stating that sometimes State is not equal to government and sometimes it is, in Pakistan, the senior Pakistani editor said judiciary and bureaucracy sometimes back the government. "The real threat is from non-State actors.
They are very powerful. If the media gets threats, there's no defence. We can't ask the State to defend us. It is defending itself. Earlier we were fighting in wilderness. Now we are getting support".
He regretted that the notion of secularism has been distorted in Pakistan in the last 30 years. "We have been dubbing secularism as anti-Islam and secularists as enemies of the religion".
Najam Sethi said the media had at last become powerful in Pakistan. "We used to have the powerful troika of the president, the prime minister and the chief of army staff. Now it is powerful five. Judiciary and media have joined the list," he said.
Others who participated in the round table included Irina Samokhina of Krestyanin, Russia, Chris Elliott, managing editor of The Guardian, the UK, Trevor Ncube, chairman of the Board of Mail and Guardian, South Africa, Ahmed Benchemsi, publisher of Tel Quel and Nichane, Morocco, Bambang Harymurti, CEO of Tempo, Indonesia, and Joze Ruben Zamora, publisher of El Periodico, Guatemala.

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