Welcome to the first issue of Truth Tracker, a fortnightly magazine established by a team of highly professional local and international journalists. We’ve decided to take this initiative despite a myriad of obstacles, because we all believe strongly in the need for this type of reporting.
Truth Tracker is being launched at a crucial juncture, as Pakistan is going through trying times both internally and externally. The state is struggling under confused policies with little or no implementation. The media, which is supposed to be a vital instrument for raising unbiased awareness regarding the government’s performance, has chosen to compromise the ethics of journalism and professionalism in lieu of top ratings for news channels and government ads for newspapers.
The media houses of Pakistan are stratified into groups. If a particular group supports the government, another one opposes it to please rival forces. The media, which should be a savior of democracy, tries to topple the democratic government by predicting the ouster of the elected rulers and resorting to petty tactics such as character assassination.
We live in strange times as a piece of news is considered a conspiracy theory, and a conspiracy theory is perceived to be news. Our seniors instilled unadulterated journalistic values in us: fearlessness and credibility. These days, most of the so-called newspersons tend to lack both and yet they claim to be genuine journalists. The people of Pakistan have witnessed several torch-bearers of journalism accepting favours from the government in various forms.
All this has given rise to bad governance, zero accountability, corruption, and various forms of intolerance in society. News of accountability makes no difference when the strings are actually being pulled by unseen, clandestine hands. The majority of the journalists want to shake hands with one or the other of these parties, and that is what stops them from following professional practices in bringing genuine issues to light.
Truth Tracker is an attempt to revive the ethics of journalism in mass media, an attempt to revive the culture of accountability in government offices, and most importantly an attempt to safeguard the rights of the people.
Truth Tracker will focus on four areas, as does its online sister news outlet, News Lens Pakistan (NewsLens.pk): accountability, security, human rights and economic development. We will introduce innovation in journalism in Pakistan through the techniques of fact-checking statements – calling out what’s truth or lies – and tracking promises that are flung about so casually by politicians. This approach pushes aside opinion in favor of facts and transparent reporting.
We offer our best work in Truth Tracker to bring out the best in Pakistani citizens and government.