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A journalist’s lot is not an easy one

SELANGOR (AsiaNews): “We cannot sell our magazines in public,” a Pakistani journalist told the Asia Journalists Roundtable in Selangor in Malaysia on March 10. Indeed, “We cannot pin our name to stories of persecution.”

The Asia Journalists’ Roundtable was sponsored by the Centre of the Council of Churches of Malaysia and organised by SIGNIS, the World Catholic Association for Communication, to highlight the problems that minority group media face.

Jim McDonnell, from SIGNIS, explained that the aim of the gathering was to promote ethical and professional journalism in the new multimedia era and to build a global network for Catholic journalists working across different media in various regions. He added that it also sets out to support freedom of expression and strengthen solidarity among Catholic journalists, as being Christian is a real challenge in the field of communication today.

The Pakistani journalist explained that it is hard for someone from a religious minority to get into journalism. “We’re really a few,” he explained, “so much so that we can be counted on the fingers of a hand.”

Yohanes Agus Ismunarno, from Indonesia, reported the same difficulties. “I work in mainstream media as chief news editor, but I cannot use my Christian name. I cannot freely practice my confession in my country and express the teachings of Christ in articles.”

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