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America funding Pakistani journalists

America funding Pakistani journalists

The not-for-profit organisation America Abroad Media (AAM) has been forced to declare its connection with two Pakistani journalists who were receiving funding from the organisation whilst working for other news outlets.

After being contacted by The Christian Science Monitor, the AAM has now declared its connection to the two journalists, Huma Imtiaz of Express News and Awais Saleem of Dunya News. However, the most contentious issue is that the U.S. Department of State is heavily involved in funding the project, and therefore these journalists.

Is it acceptable for the U.S. to effectively finance foreign journalists who are writing about the US? Many people would respond with an instinctive, authoritative 'no'; but as Christine Fair, an assistant professor at Georgetown University, Washington, highlights in a Zeenews.com article, this question is more complex than you might think.

Fair claims that the money given to these journalists actually produces a more balanced media, as much of the media in Pakistan has a strong anti-American voice and anti-American stories are often planted by Pakistani security sources.

Is it right, then, in this alleged environment of misinformation, that America should attempt to level the playing field?

On the one hand, supporting journalists in order to add a greater range of opinion and to diversify the media landscape is commendable. However when governement funding is effectively concealed via a not for profit organization and when the public is left uninformed about individuals within news organisations who are in the pay of a foreign government, the behaviour of AAM and the US State department becomes more questionable.

Sources: America Abroad Media, Zeenews.com



Katherine Travers


2011-09-06 16:52

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