Top international news editors criticise Pak daily for article against WSJ journalist

November 17th, 2009 - 5:59 pm ICT by ANI  

Islamabad, Nov.17 (ANI): Reacting strongly to a report published in one of the leading English dailies of Pakistan, which accused a foreign journalist of working for the CIA and Israeli intelligence, top editors and executives of 21 renowned international news organisations have asked the Pakistan government to ensure the safety and security of all foreign media personnel in the country.

In a joint letter to Information and Broadcasting Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, these representatives of the world media urged the government to beef up security in and around their offices.

It may be noted that a Pakistani English daily had accused Matthew Rosenberg, a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, of working for the CIA, Israeli intelligence and the US military contractor, Blackwater, in a full-page article published on November 5.

Terming the report as ‘unsubstantiated’, the letter blamed it of compromising Rosenberg’s security.

“Mr Rosenberg is a respected journalist of high standing. Not only was the article unsubstantiated, it critically compromised his security and raised questions about whether he can return to Pakistan to work safely in the future. The article also has broader implications,” The News quoted the letter, as saying.

The letter also mentioned that journalists in Pakistan and journalists working with international news organisations were already facing an array of threats, including violence and kidnapping.

“We strongly support press freedoms across the world. But this irresponsible article endangered the life of one journalist and could imperil others. It is particularly upsetting that this threat has come from among our own colleagues. We recognise that courageous Pakistani journalists routinely face greater dangers than their international counterparts,” it said.

Foreign editor of the ABC News, Chuck Lustig; global news director of the AFP Philippe Massonnet, senior vice-president and executive editor of the AP; Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of The Guardian, and Jon Williams, world news editor of the BBC were of the few top media persons who undersigned the letter. (ANI)

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