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


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. 5, No. 2 February 2024 Edition

Produced by Freedom Network –

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

Federal government names members of Balochistan PEMRA’s council of complaints

Date: February 16, 2024 – Source: The News

The caretaker federal cabinet approved a summary of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for the formation of Balochistan’s six-member Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) Council of Complaints.

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

37 British journalists issued visas to cover general elections

Date: February 2, 2024 – Source 1: The News, Source 2: Pakistan Today

The Pakistan High Commission (PHC) in London granted visas to 37 British journalists for coverage of the upcoming general elections, including access to The Times’ Cristina Lamb who was previously deported from Pakistan and later denied visas over several years. 

Media and mental health

Date: February 7, 2024 – Source: Dawn

After years of being shrouded in silence, the challenges and scope of mental illnesses are emerging in conversations across Pakistan. Media and mental health professionals should work towards creating responsible content that aligns with the duty of ethical reporting and responsible storytelling.

Punjab health department launches dedicated radio channel

Date: February 12, 2024 – Source 1: Pakistan Observer (PO), Source 2: Hum News

The Punjab Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department (P&SHD) launched an FM radio channel named ‘Sehat Zindagi’. The broadcast can be listened to in Lahore and will focus on programmes related to the health sector.

Federal government names new PCP chairman

Date: February 22, 2024 – Source: Dawn

The federal government appointed Arshad Khan Jadoon as the chairman of the Pakistan Council of Pakistan (PCP) with immediate effect and until further orders, as per a notification issued by the Establishment Division (ED).

Government, legal community condemn ‘malicious’ campaign against the Supreme Court

Date: February 23, 2024 – Source: Dawn

The federal government and the legal community came out against a ‘malicious and slanderous campaign against the chief justice of Pakistan’ on the basis of a decision of the Supreme Court (SC), saying that certain elements had falsified and forged information to incite violence and hatred.

JIT investigates bloggers about campaign to malign Supreme Court

Date: February 24, 2024 – Source: The News

The joint investigation committee (JIT) that is conducting an inquiry to ascertain facts behind an ongoing social media campaign to malign judges of the Supreme Court (SC) found in the first phase of the inquiry two bloggers – Asad Toor and Imran Riaz Khan – involved in trolling the chief justice (CJ).

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 

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

LHC directs PEMRA to ensure free media access to PTI founder, candidates

Date: February 1, 2024 – Source 1: Associated Press of Pakistan (APP), Source 2: Dawn

The Lahore High Court (LHC) directed the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to ensure that former prime minister Imran Khan as well as the candidates of all political parties were given ‘free and unrestricted’ access to media ahead of the general elections.

General Elections: Media houses gear up for coverage

Date: February 2, 2024 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

As the country gears up for general elections, media houses across Pakistan continued their preparations to provide extensive coverage while adhering to a code of conduct issues by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Information ministry condemns online trolling against female anchorperson

Date: February 3, 2024 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Caretaker Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi condemned a ‘malicious social media campaign and online harassment’ of anchorperson Ghareeda Farooqi by the ‘troll brigade’ of a political party.

Curbs on journalism impact quality of Pakistan elections

Date: February 5, 2024 – Source: International Media Support (IMS)

Internet disruptions, informal gag orders and physical attacks have restricted online expression, suppressed independent journalism and impaired fairness ahead of general elections in Pakistan.

PPF condemns attacks on media ahead of general elections

Date: February 6, 2024 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) condemned multiple incidents targeting journalists and media professionals ahead of the general elections, stating that journalists were an essential part of the democratic electoral process.

CPJ urges unhindered reporting, internet access

Date: February 7, 2024 – Source: Dawn

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called upon Pakistani authorities to allow journalists to work freely and safely in the run-up to general elections and provide nationwide access to the internet, as well as unblock investigative news website FactFocus.

PEMRA issues notices to television channels for poll code violation

Date: February 9, 2024 – Source 1: Associated Press of Pakistan (APP), Source 2: Dawn

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) issued show-cause notices to four electronic media news channels, citing violation of the election code of conduct issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Online attacks on women journalists condemned

Date: February 14, 2024 – Source: Dawn

The Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights (NWDJR) expressed concern regarding trolling against women journalist Meher Bokhari and others in online spaces by workers of political parties.

Police official suspended for ‘torturing’ journalists

Date: February 16, 2024 – Source: Dawn

A police official was suspended and charged after he was found guilty of torturing journalists during Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) protest in front of the Divisional Election Commission (DEC) Rawalpindi.

Criticize judgements, not judiciary, IHC CJ tells media

Date: February 20, 2024 – Source: Dawn

Chief Justice (CJ) of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Aamer Farooq said that dynamics of court reporting has changed over the last few years, especially the social media had enabled court reporters to cover a case in different ways. 

Anchorperson sent to jail on judicial remand

Date: February 24, 2024 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Express Tribune, Source 3: Pakistan Today

A judicial magistrate denied physical remand of anchorperson Imran Riaz Khan to the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) on graft charges and sent him to jail on judicial remand.

Silenced voices

Date: February 29, 2024 – Source: Dawn

The arrest of Islamabad-based journalist Asad Ali Toor by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on the charge of running a ‘malicious campaign’ against the superior judiciary has disturbed media practioners across Pakistan.

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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