PAKISTAN MEDIA MONITOR – January 2022

PAKISTAN MEDIA MONITOR – January 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 practitioner

 Vol. 3, No. 1 January 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

Layyah district commissioner issued show-cause notice for violating RTI order

Date: January 1, 2022 – Source: The News

The Punjab Information Commission (PIC) issued a show-cause notice to Layyah deputy commissioner (DC) and directed him to submit an explanation for not implementing the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2013 and violating the Commission’s orders.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government approves new media advertisement policy

Date: January 7, 2022 – Source: Dawn

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government approved a new media advertisement policy to allow engaging of social media influencers for the effective propagation of its initiatives at village and neighborhood council levels.

RTI commissioners in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to get one-year tenure extension

Date: January 14, 2022 – Source: Dawn

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government decided to extend the three-year tenure of the provincial chief commissioner and information commissioners by one year through legislation.

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

New audio leak aims to prove Maryam Nawaz’s ‘media management’

Date: January 4, 2022 – Source 1: Pakistan Today, Source 2: Aaj News, Source 3: ARY News

A leaked audio clip of a conversation between Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders Maryam Nawaz and Pervaiz Rashid revealed an exchange about how to keep journalists and news anchors working for a private media group from ‘abusing’ the party.

Government criticizes PML-N over leaked audio clip about journalists’ bias

Date: January 5, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Express Tribune

The federal government castigated the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for ‘blackmailing the media’ after an alleged audiotape of its leaders emerged in which two party leaders could purportedly be heard speaking about some journalists being biased.

PFUJ, CPNE condemn derogatory remarks against journalists

Date: January 6, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: The News

Expressing concern over a leaked audio clip of two senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders in which they are using derogatory language against journalists, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and other journalists’ organization demanded apology from the party leadership.

High Court directs BOL TV official to explain blasphemy accusations against media owner

Date: January 8, 2022 – Source: The News

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah summoned BOL TV Network’s Chief Executive Shoaib Sheikh and inquired why his channel’s license may not be revoked for airing unverified accusations of blasphemy against Editor-in-Chief of Jang/Geo group Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman.

RISJA greets newly elected office bearers of IHC Journalists Association

Date: January 8, 2022 – Source: The News

A Rawalpindi-Islamabad Sports Journalists Association (RISJA) delegation visited the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to congratulate the newly elected office bearers of the IHC Journalists Association.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa CM asks journalists to pinpoint government’s shortcomings

Date: January 16, 2022 – Source: The News

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Mahmood Khan said his government believed in freedom of expression and welcomed positive criticism from journalists and media houses.

Changing the narrative – how to report on cases of gender-based crimes in Pakistan

Date: January 17, 2022 – Source: The News

Reporting on cases of gender-based crimes, it’s imperative for reporters in Pakistan to have accurate sources and follow protocols to avoid any slip-ups that they could be held accountable for. For this, they need training and support of media organizations.

Opposition parties see planned campaign behind circulation of emergency rumors

Date: January 20, 2022 – Source: Dawn

Pakistan’s major opposition parties alleged that a ‘systematic and planned campaign’ behind circulation of rumors about imposition of some kind of political emergency in the country and ongoing talk on social and mainstream media in favor of a presidential form of government.

Sharmila Farooqui moves FIA for action against show host for uploading ‘mocking’ video

Date: January 21, 2022 – Source: The News

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) lawmaker Sharmila Farooqui approached the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) seeking action against television host Nadia Khan for uploading a video ‘mocking’ her mother Anisa Farooqui over her makeup look.

PFUJ moves court against journalists’ protection law

Date: January 23, 2022 – Source: Dawn

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) challenged before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) the definition of ‘journalist’ as well as Section 6 of the Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals Act, 2021.

Disinformation disturbs anti-polio drives in Karachi

Date: January 24, 2022 – Source: Express Tribune

According to an investigation released under the joint collaboration of Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) and Media Matters for Democracy (MMFD), anti-polio vaccination campaigns in parts of Karachi still get cold response due to disinformation and misinformation.

Urdu literary magazines surviving against all odds

Date: January 24, 2022 – Source: Dawn

The glory for which Urdu’s literary magazines used to bask in is long gone. In the past two decades, many awe-inspiring magazines joined the list of publications that have closed down for good due to lack of interest and resources.

Journalist panel emerges victorious in National Press Club elections

Date: January 30, 2022 – Source: Dawn

The Journalist Panel emerged victorious on all 11 executive posts in the elections of the National Press Club (NPC) for the year 2022.

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

Housing scheme for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa journalists approved

Date: January 1, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Special Assistant to the Chief Minister (SACM) Barrister Muhammad Ali Khan Saif said that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet approved a housing scheme for Peshawar-based journalists.

Members of Parliament question PTV-ARY consortium on PSL media rights

Date: January 6, 2022 – Source: The News

Chairman National Assembly Standing Committee on Inter-Provincial Coordination Nawab Sher Waseer and the committee members questioned the formation of the ‘illicit’ consortium between ARY Group and Pakistan Television (PTV) in a monopoly on the Pakistan Super League (PSL) media rights.

PTV fails to submit details of media rights deal with ARY Group

Date: January 7, 2022 – Source: The News

State-run Pakistan Television (PTV) failed to submit details of its media rights deal with ARY Group on airing Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches to the Lahore High Court (LHC) despite the court’s order.

Minister assures government committed to ensure welfare of journalists

Date: January 8, 2022 – Source: Express Tribune

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said that the federal government was committed to ensure financial and physical welfare of journalists and believed in freedom of press.

National exchequer robbed of billions of rupees to benefit private media group

Date: January 10, 2022 – Source 1: The News, Source 2: Asia News International (ANI)

The national exchequer was robbed of billions of rupees to benefit a private news channel, which had no sports channel when it was made partner in the ICC broadcasting rights, as Pakistan Television (PTV) released a tender for partnership which did not mention the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Court moved to challenge PTV’s broadcast rights consortium with ARY Group

Date: January 13, 2022 – Source: The News

A writ petition was moved in the Lahore High Court (LHC) challenging the state-run Pakistan Television’s (PTV) consortium with privately-owned ARY Group to obtain broadcast rights of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Transparency International alleges irregularities in PCB’s award of broadcasting rights

Date: January 17, 2022 – Source: The News

Transparency International (TI) accused the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) of several irregularities in the bidding process that gave broadcasting rights of Pakistan Super League (PSL) to media houses.

Health insurance cards issued to Lahore-based journalists

Date: January 17, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry inaugurated the issuance of National Health Cards (NHCs) to members of the Lahore Press Club (LPC).

Media advertisement revenue jumps to Rs75.6 billion in 2021

Date: January 18, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

According to a report, advertisement revenue to print, television and digital media rose to Rs75.6 billion in 2021 from Rs58.6 billion in the previous year.

Media associations reject federal minister’s tweet about revenues

Date: January 19, 2022 – Source: Dawn

The Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), the Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE) and the Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) took serious notice of information minister Fawad Chaudhry’s tweet about media revenues and dismissed figures quoted by him as baseless and incorrect.

Senate panel seeks details of broadcasting rights for Pakistan Super League

Date: January 20, 2022 – Source 1: The News, Source 2: Business Recorder (BR)

The Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting questioned why the state-owned Pakistan Television (PTV) needed a partner for broadcasting Pakistan Super League (PSL) and requested details of the joint venture to be presented before the committee.

LHC observes PTV-ARY venture to be annulled if violation of law found

Date: January 20, 2022 – Source: The News

The Lahore High Court (LHC) observed that the PTV-ARY joint venture for Pakistan Super League (PSL) broadcasting rights would be annulled if violation of law was found in it and would be conferred to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for further investigation.

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

Islamabad High Court observes ex-judge, journalist prima facie committed contempt of court

Date: January 1, 2022 – Source: The News

Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah observed that former Gilgit-Baltistan chief judge Rana Shamim and journalists prima facie committed criminal contempt, as the affidavit reported by the newspaper was not part of any court proceedings.

HRCP, PILDAT appeal high court to drop contempt proceedings against journalists

Date: January 1, 2022 – Source: The News

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) expressed disappointment at the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) decision to frame charges against journalists for covering a case pertaining to the former judge Rana Shamim.

Pakistani journalists continue to face the sword of judicial contempt

Date: January 1, 2022 – Source: The News

Journalists have one primary duty – to inform the public. For a journalist, the story – after due editorial diligence – is everything. Which is why penalizing a journalist for doing literally what his/her job requires of them can only be seen as an unfortunate and direct violation of the freedom of press.

AEMEND, PBA urge Islamabad High Court to review order about media persons in contempt case

Date: January 3, 2022 – Source: Dawn

The Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AEMEND) and the Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) expressed concern over an order issued by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) about three media persons in a contempt of court case.

Journalist seeks modification of order in contempt case

Date: January 3, 2022 – Source 1: The News, Source 2: Dawn

Journalist Ansar Abbasi filed an application before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for correction of a clerical error in the State Vs Ansar Abbasi contempt of court case.

State to pursue citizen journalist’s murder case if relatives agree to a compromise

Date: January 3, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Freedom Network (FN)

Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari said if the family of citizen journalist Nazim Jhokiyo – who was tortured to death while in illegal detention – agree to a ‘compromise’, the state would pursue the case to the end in court.

Journalists’ organizations criticize framing of journalists ‘for doing their jobs’

Date: January 4, 2022 – Source: The News

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and Freedom Network (FN) expressed concerns over court directives to indict journalists in a case related to publication of an affidavit in an investigative report.

Islamabad High Court to indict three journalist for criminal contempt

Date: January 5, 2022 – Source: Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) expressed concern over Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) decision to indict Pakistani journalists Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman, Aamir Ghauri and Ansar Abbasi, calling it a dangerous attack on press freedom and freedom of expression in the country.

Contempt versus free speech in Pakistan

Date: January 7, 2022 – Source: Dawn

Contempt actions are paradoxical. The courts in Pakistan are the ultimate guardians of free speech, yet find it difficult to come to terms with it when critically directed at the courts themselves. Interestingly, contempt of scandalizing courts seem to have become obsolete in established democracies.

Islamabad High Court defers indictment of judge, journalists in affidavit case

Date: January 8, 2022 – Source: Dawn

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) deferred indictment of former chief judge of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) Rana Shamim and journalists Ansar Abbasi, Aamir Ghauri and Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman in the contempt of court case regarding a leaked affidavit.

Four Pakistani journalists killed during 2021

Date: January 8, 2022 – Source: Dawn

According to a report released by the United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 85 journalists have been killed since 1993 including four killed during 2021.

Trial begins in London of man charged with conspiring to murder exiled Pakistani blogger

Date: January 11, 2022 – Source 1: Reporters without Borders (RSF), Source 2: Freedom Network (FN)

As the trial of Mohammad Gohir Khan begins in London for conspiring to murder exiled Pakistani blogger Waqas Ahmed Goraya, Reporters without Borders (RSF) expressed that the trial could set an international precedent against impunity for violent crimes against journalists.

Five accused in citizen journalist murder case escape from court

Date: January 13, 2022 – Source 1: The Friday Times (TFT), Source 2: Freedom Network (FN)

Five men accused of kidnapping, illegally detaining and murdering citizen journalist Nazim Jhokiyo escaped from a local court in Karachi after being denied bail.

Pakistani media, critics under increasing attack

Date: January 13, 2022 – Source: Human Rights Watch (HRW)

According to the World Report 2022 published by the Human Rights Watch (HRW), Pakistan’s government in 2021 intensified its clampdown on media, activists and political opposition in its efforts to stymie all criticism.

Human Rights Watch criticizes Pakistan over crackdown on dissent, rights abuses

Date: January 14, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Express Tribune, Source 3: Al Jazeera

In a new yearly report, international human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) lambasted the Pakistani government for expanding its crackdown on dissent by citizens, journalists and opposition politicians.

Details of plot to kill exiled Pakistani blogger emerge during trial in the United Kingdom

Date: January 14, 2022 – Source: Dawn

As the trial of Gohir Khan, accused of plotting to kill exiled Pakistani blogger Waqas Ahmed Goraya, began in London, the prosecution maintained that Khan was hired by persons who appeared to be based in Pakistan to carry out the intended killing of the exiled blogger in Rotterdam.

Islamabad High Court summons former judge, journalists for indictment

Date: January 16, 2022 – Source 1: Express Tribune, Source 2: Daily Times

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) summoned former Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) chief judge Rana Shamim and journalists Aamir Ghauri and Ansar Abbasi for indictment in the contempt of court case regarding the publishing of an affidavit.

FIA requests PEMRA to ban airing of ex-chief’s interviews on television

Date: January 17, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Express Tribune, Source 3: The Pakistan Daily

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) approached the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) with a request to stop television channels from airing interviews from its former chief Bashir Memon in the case involving an international fugitive.

Cash transfer details emerge in exiled Pakistani blogger’s murder plot case

Date: January 19, 2022 – Source: Dawn

Prosecution at the trial of Gohir Khan, accused of plotting to murder exiled Pakistani blogger Waqqas Ahmed Goraya, told the jury the details of how this alleged plot was hatched and ‘advance’ payment was made into a Pakistani bank account for the purpose.

Islamabad High Court defers framing charges against journalists, media owner

Date: January 21, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Express Tribune, Source 3: Freedom Network (FN)

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) deferred the framing of charges against journalists Aamir Ghauri and Ansar Abbasi and media owner Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman in the contempt of court case after journalists’ bodies assured the court they would devise a code of conduct to regulate reporting sub judice matters.

Online trolling of female journalist by government officials condemned

Date: January 21, 2022 – Source 1: Freedom Network (FN), Source 2: Aaj News

Media rights bodies condemned government officials and the official Twitter handle of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) for trolling female journalist Asma Sherazi while misquoting remarks made by a judge during proceedings of the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP).

Journalist shot dead outside Lahore Press Club premises

Date: January 25, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: The News, Source 3: Express Tribune

Crime reporter Hasnain Shah, associated with a local television channel, was shot dead by unidentified motorcyclists outside the premises of the Lahore Press Club (LPC).

Media bodies demand immediate arrest of journalist’s killers

Date: January 25, 2022 – Source 1: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF), Source 2: Freedom Network (FN)

The Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) and Freedom Network (FN) condemned the murder of reporter Hasnain Shah and demanded of authorities to arrest and bring to justice his killers.

Firing on journalist in Multan condemned

Date: January 27, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

The Multan Union of Journalists (MUJ) organized a protest to demand immediate arrest of suspects involved in an armed attack against journalist Malik Amjad in the city.

Court issues arrest warrants for private television channel’s reporter

Date: January 28, 2022 – Source: Dawn

A local court in Karachi issued arrest warrants of a reporter associated with Samaa TV in a defamation case filed by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Saeed Ghani against Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh.

UK man convicted of plotting to kill exiled Pakistani blogger

Date: January 29, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Daily Mail, Source 3: Duetsche Welle (DW)

A court in London found Gohir Khan, a British-Pakistani man, guilty of plotting to murder exiled Pakistani blogger Waqqas Ahmad Goraya in Amsterdam. He is set to be sentenced in March at a criminal court.

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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