Journalists Face Taliban Threats Over Malala

Reporting has been 'biased,' say militants
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Oct 16, 2012 1:09 PM CDT
A photograph of Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai is seen during a candlelight vigil by Nepalese students to express their support for her in Katmandu, Nepal, Monday, Oct. 15, 2012.   (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

(Newser) – The Taliban is threatening journalists over reports on the shooting of Malala Yousufzai—coverage the militant group deems "biased." Pakistani and international journalists are facing threats, a news executive tells the Guardian, which adds that one reporter in the Swat region is under police protection after his name reportedly turned up on a "hit list." "This is the worst press the (Pakistani Taliban) has ever had," says Geo News' Islamabad bureau chief, calling reports "sustained, purposeful, and focused."

A day after the attack, the Taliban called for "balanced" coverage, the exec says—which meant highlighting the militants' reasons for shooting the 14-year-old activist. In fact, the Taliban simply doesn't understand the power of the media, says a former Afghan official; the proof is in their taking credit for the attack. For many, the much-protested Malala shooting has "provided a catharsis of the masses for all the grievances that have been building up for years," says a Pakistan media analyst. But a Taliban commander says the group has "no regrets about what happened to Malala," the Daily Beast reports. "She was going to become a symbol of Western ideas, and the decision to eliminate her was correct." Malala continues to recover in a UK hospital. (Read more Taliban stories.)

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