LAHORE – Speakers at a seminar on ‘Issues of Rural Areas and Small Cities and Responsibilities of Media’ stressed the need for promoting local journalism to highlight the problems of villages and small cities.

Presided over by Provincial Irrigation Minister Malik Ahmad Ali, the seminar was held under the aegis of the Hameed Nizami Press Institute of Pakistan (HNPIP) on Thursday with senior journalist Atta-ur-Rahman and Daily Nawa-i-Waqt Deputy Editor Saeed Aasi as the chief guests.

Addressing the seminar, Malik Ahmad Ali said that farmers, who provided staples, were living in bad condition.

He said that they should be provided opportunities for development, adding that farmers are important but an ignored segment of the society. Ali stressed that the media should highlight the issues of farmers.

Rahman said that neither the national media has a proper system in rural areas nor the newspapers have enough space for the news of rural areas.

Addressing the seminar, Saeed Aasi said that the biggest issue of the rural areas was feudalism, which was holding the country hostage since the death of Qauid-e-Azam. “Many people adopted journalism as a profession in these areas to safeguard their personal interests,” he added.

Taseer Mustafa said in his speech that media organisations exploited the correspondents for giving them jobs. He said it was mandatory for the correspondents to bring advertisements for the organisation. “How can they cover and report issues when they have to pay more attention to getting advertisements,” he questioned.

Farrukh Baseer said that government did not allocate ample resources to small cities. He said both the government and the media should pay attention to their development. Earlier, introducing the topic, HNPIP Director Absar Abdul Ali said rural areas lacked health and education facilities.