As millions of Pakistanis continue to suffer from the flooding that has hit a fifth of the country, journalists’ organisations and media support groups are stepping up their efforts to help news media and journalists in the affected areas.
Reporters Without Borders has provided financial support to three independent newspapers – Shamal, Salam and Chand – in one of the worst-hit areas, the Swat valley, where the electricity supply was cut off 29 July, including in Mingora, the base of the valley’s leading media.
To be able print issues and satisfy the population’s vital need for news and information, these newspapers have had to use generators that consume a lot of fuel. This has resulted in a major increase in their production costs.
“Keeping the presses going with a generator is expensive but publishing the newspapers and continuing our work of reporting the news is more important,” Shamal editor Ghulam Farooq told Reporters Without Borders. “As provincial newspapers, we get less advertising than national ones and yet our production costs have increased in August,” he added. “Reporters Without Borders is the first organisation to give us support,” Salam editor Qasim Yousafzai said.