DENVER – Sixteen of Pakistan’s elite multi-media journalists visited the Denver Woman’s Press Club Dec. 11 to share the challenges of covering news and to discuss the evolving media landscape in Pakistan. The visit’s mission was to create cross-cultural experiences among Pakistani and U.S. female journalists. The women discussed a serious downturn and layoffs in Pakistan’s media industry, government involvement in media and censorship. Journalism “is not considered a safe profession in Pakistan,” said one. They also talked about the difficulties and rewards of being a female journalist in the country.
“Evening and primetime television is the most watched news source in the country,” said Kiran Butt, a journalist with the Jang Group of Newspapers, a subsidiary of the Independent Media Corporation, which shuttered a number of papers in December. Recently, there’s been a major advertising shift from news to entertainment shows, Butt said. The government has also slashed its advertising budget, according to recent reports. The group was hosted by WorldDenver, a non-profit that brings about 600 international visitors to Denver annually through a partnership with the U.S. State Department, according to the organization