PAKISTAN MEDIA MONITOR – August 2022

PAKISTAN MEDIA MONITOR – August 2022

A monthly report on trends relating to state of journalism and media rights, policies and practices

Tracking:

Media related laws, policies and regulations

The state of media professionalisms

The state of media economy

Threats and attacks against journalists and information practitioners

Vol. 3, No. 8 August 2022 Edition

Produced by Freedom Network – www.fnpk.org

SECTION 1: Media related laws, policies, regulations, mechanisms

  • Freedom of expression (FOE)
  • Right to information (RTI), access to information (ATI)
  • Federal and provincial governments (relevant ministries and departments)
  • Media related regulators (PPC, PEMRA, PTA)
  • Regulatory issues related to print, electronic and digital media

SECTION 2: The state of media professionalisms

  • Media independence issues
  • Public interest journalism practices and challenges
  • Ethical journalism issues
  • The state of thematic journalism
  • Community-focused media
  • Misinformation / disinformation / fake news

Federal cabinet notifies reappointment of Saleem Baig as PEMRA chairman

Date: August 12, 2022 – Source: The News

The federal cabinet gave an approval for reappointment of Saleem Baig as chairman Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) for a period of one year. Baig had already served as PEMRA chairman for four years.

Applications invited for Chevening journalism fellowship

Date: August 12, 2022 – Source: The News

The Chevening South Asia Journalism Fellowship (SAJP) was declared open for online applications. The scheme is hosted by University of Westminster and funded by the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office.

TikTok to promote The Legend of Maula Jutt on its platform

Date: August 16, 2022 – Source: The News

An official partnership was announced between the makers of The Legend of Maula Jutt and video-sharing platform TikTok to promote the fil on its digital platforms.

Beyond the lens

Date: August 16, 2022 – Source: The News

In Pakistan and many other countries, the majority of high profile journalists and editors remain male. Although there have been considerable changes in the prospects for women working in the media, women are still noticeably in the minority in the top journalistic roles.

AIOU, education ministry to launch four television channels

Date: August 18, 2022 – Source 1: The News, Source 2: Express Tribune

Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), in collaboration with the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, announced to launch four education television channels with an aim to facilitate students residing in remote regions of Pakistan.

Government urges media to only quote verified Twitter handles

Date: August 30, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murriyum Aurungzeb urged media to use only verified Twitter handles and not attribute statements to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Marriyum Nawaz.

SECTION 3: The state of media economy

  • Economic landscape of media industry
  • Impact of Covid-19 on media resilience and sustainability
  • Government and private advertising for media industry
  • Advertising sector and its interface with media industry
  • Business viability and sustainability of media
  • Wages, salaries and arrears of journalists and media practitioners

Paper price crisis: Little hope for publishers despite decline in value of dollar

Date: August 9, 2022 – Source: The News

Publishers cannot expect any appreciable reduction in the prices of school books, stationary items and newspapers that are made from paper produced by local paper mills from local raw material or recycling of waste paper despite decline in value of dollar.

SECTION 4: Threats and attacks against media and information practitioners, including online

  • Murders and killings
  • Kidnappings and abductions
  • Arrests and detentions
  • Threats – verbal and written
  • Harassment and intimidation – offline and online
  • Surveillance, hacking and data breaches
  • Legal cases for journalism-related work or free speech
  • Impunity of crimes against journalists
  • Censorship

Journalist escapes ‘life bid’ in Nowshera

Date: August 4, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Shaheen Shah, a local journalist and general secretary of the Nowshera Press Club (NPC), told the police he was coming to the press club when unidentified car riders tried to crush him to death before fleeing the scene.

Pakistani journalist’s YouTube channel hacked, videos deleted

Date: August 4, 2022 – Source 1: Freedom Network (FN), Source 2: Independent Urdu (IU)

A YouTube channel operated by journalist and former bureau chief of ARY News Sabir Shakir was allegedly hacked and his videos deleted. His channel had more than 1.4 million subscribers.

PPF condemns actions of police that left photojournalist injured in Rawalpindi

Date: August 5, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) condemned the actions of police in Rawalpindi during a protest by teachers and academicians in which photojournalist Faisal Khan was injured. The decision by police personnel to baton-charge protesters left the journalists, along with protesting teachers, injured.

Foreign Officer confirms safe return of Pakistani journalist missing in Kabul

Date: August 6, 2022 – Source 1: The News, Source 2: Express Tribune, Source 3: Pakistan Today

The Foreign Office (FO) confirmed that Pakistani journalist Anas Malick who had gone missing in Kabul had safely returned to the city. Malick had been missing for a day while authorities started scrambled to ascertain his whereabouts.

Journalist sentenced for defamation in Karachi

Date: August 7, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

A sessions court in Karachi sentenced journalist Asad Kharal for three months in prison in a defamation case. He was accused of levelling ‘false, baseless and defamatory allegations against JS Group in his television show in 2016.

ARY News ‘pulled off air’ in parts of Pakistan

Date: August 9, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Arab News

ARY News went off air in many parts of Pakistan with the television channel blaming the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) for the move.

ARY Chief, anchors booked over airing ‘seditious’ interview

Date: August 11, 2022 – Source: Dawn

Police registered a sedition case against the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and anchors of ARY News over airing a ‘seditious’ interview by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Dr Shahbaz Gill.

Sindh High Court orders restoration of ARY News

Date: August 11, 2022 – Source: Dawn

The Sindh High Court (SHC) directed the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and cable operators to restore the transmission of ARY News across the country.

Channel head discharged in ‘sedition’ FIR

Date: August 12, 2022 – Source: The News

A district court in Karachi discharged head of ARY News, Ammad Yousaf, from a case pertaining to allegedly aiding and abetting mutiny and sedition by airing controversial remarks by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Dr Shahbaz Gill.

PEMRA moves against ARY News after license revoked

Date: August 13, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Public Media Alliance (PMA)

In an unprecedented move, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) revoked the operating license of ARY News after the security clearance of the channel was withdrawn by the Ministry of Interior, paving way for the permanent closure of the television channel.

PEMRA denies role in suspension of ARY News

Date: August 16, 2022 – Source: Dawn

The Sindh High Court (SHC) directed the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to issue a circular that it had not suspended the transmission of ARY News and has no objection if cable operators restore the channel at the same position as it was operating earlier.

Government to arrest all people involved in ‘anti-army’ social media campaign

Date: August 17, 2022 – Source: The News

The federal government had decided to arrest all the people behind the negative propaganda against ‘anti-army’ con social media platforms following a helicopter crash near Lasbela.

PEMRA bans live broadcast of Imran Khan’s speeches

Date: August 21, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Express Tribune, Source 3: Al Jazeera

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) imposed a ban on live telecast of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s speeches after he criticized police and other institutions in a speech in Islamabad.

PTI to challenge ban on live telecast of Imran Khan’s speeches

Date: August 22, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Express Tribune

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) decided to approach courts against a ban imposed by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on the live telecast of Imran Khan’s speeches in light of his remarks against state institutions.

The plight of women journalists in Pakistan

Date: August 25, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

We live in a gendered world. Pakistan is no exception. Women journalists working across the country continue to express concerns regarding gender pay gap, gender bias-ness, and unfair treatment based on gender.

Sindh High Court disposes of plea against ban on Imran Khan’s live speeches

Date: August 28, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

The Sindh High Court (SHC) disposed of a petition against a ban imposed by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on the live telecast of the speeches of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan.

Journalist shot dead in Shorkot

Date: August 28, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Shorkot Press Club (SPC) president and journalist Muhammad Younis was shot dead by unidentified assailants while he was travelling to his farmland.

Lahore Press Club president finds bullet on his work desk

Date: August 29, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

President of Lahore Press Club (LPC) Azam Chaudhry found a bullet lying on his desk as he arrived for work at his office. Chaudhry believes the bullet constitutes a threat to freedom of press and expression in the country.

Journalist booked for allegedly linking ‘disrespectful’ statements about Imran Khan to Islam

Date: August 29, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Rawalpindi police registered a case against journalist Waqar Satti on allegations of attributing ‘disrespectful’ statements ‘not based on facts’ about Islam to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan.

PFUJ camps outside PEMRA offices, call for an end to ban on ARY News

Date: August 30, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Members of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) camped outside office premises of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) for the resumption of live transmission of ARY News.

OBJECTIVES: This series of monthly report aims to:

  • Monitor the state of policies, regulations and mechanisms governing the media sector in Pakistan; the state of freedom of expression and right to information environment in the country and how these interfaces with media freedoms allowed or restricted via media regulations governed by the print, electronic and internet regulators.
  • Track the state of media professionalisms in the country including ethical and public interest journalism practices and challenges, and the challenges of misinformation, disinformation and fake news phenomena.
  • Follow the changing economic dynamics of the media industry and how they impact the business viability and sustainability of media and exploitation of media staff in lieu of their wages and arrears.
  • Scrutinize threats and attacks against media and information practitioners, the state of impunity of crimes against journalists and efforts to provide justice for those aggrieved and distressed. 

INFORMATION SOURCES: This report monitors, among others, the following sources of information:

  • Government: Federal and provincial cabinets
  • Ministries: Related ministries, including Information and Broadcasting, Information Technology (IT) and Telecom, Human Rights, Science and Technology, Commerce and Industry, etc.
  • Legislatures: Senate, National Assembly, provincial assemblies, relevant standing committees
  • Regulators: Pakistan telecommunications Authority (PTA), Pakistan Electronic Media regulatory Authority (PEMRA), Press Council of Pakistan (PPC), State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), etc.
  • Global organizations: UN/Unesco, International Media Support (IMS), Reporters Without Borders (RSF), International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Amnesty International (AI), Human Rights Watch (HRW), etc.
  • National organizations: Digital Rights Foundation (DRF), BoloBhi, Media Matters for Democracy (MMFD), Institute for Research, Advocacy and Development (IRADA), Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), etc.
  • Media: Dawn, The News, Express Tribune, The Nation, Pakistan Today, The Friday Times, etc.
  • Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • Local networks: Journalists Safety Hubs Network, Alliance on Diversity & Pluralism in Media, etc.
  • Any other open public information sources.
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