As discussed in the last Humphrey Seminar, I wish to blog about the corrupting practices among journalists in my country.
Scores of tactics are applied in Pakistan by the government, non-governmental organizations, political parties, pressure groups and lobbies to influence journalists’ professional commitment. Here is the piece of the cake as to who gets what…
- International Trips with the President/ Prime Minister
- Ticket (from political parties) to contest elections or become a Senator
- Official advertisements
- Writing off of taxes, utility bills and loans
- Free internet, mobile phone connections
- Lavish use of official vehicles
- Free access to official guest houses
- “cooperation” to post/transfer recommended candidates on certain jobs
- Appointment in selection boards, boards of governors, trustees of official bodies
- inclusion as members of inquiry committees, charity organizations
When the editors are corrupted in the first place, the guns are subsequently brandished at reporters in the following areas.
- Provision of residential plots.
- Fixation of Hajj (pilgrimage) quota (to Saudi Arabia) for journalists or their relatives
- Receptions (Breakfasts, lunches, super, dinner where journalists’ meal is paid by the host)
- Subsidized air and railway tickets (which journalists manipulate to get tickets for their relatives too)
- Trips (both national and international)
- Offering grants, officially-sponsored buildings for press clubs and equipment.
- Numerous gifts (such as cell phones, mangoes —-these are the frequently offered notorious gifts)
- Access to official vehicles, telephones and other facilities to do stories
- Access to official guest houses for personal use of journalists
- Cash money offered in envelopes after press conferences
- Free or subsidized telephone connections from cellular companies.
These are a few forms of bribing journalists in Pakistan which I could think of while packing for Global Leadership Forum (GLF-2010)