PAKISTAN MEDIA MONITOR – July 2022

PAKISTAN MEDIA MONITOR – July 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. 7 July 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

Body formed to finalize Journalist Protection (Amendment) Bill

Date: July 1, 2022 – Source: Associated Press of Pakistan (APP)

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murriyum Aurungzeb said that a special committee, comprising representatives from ministries and media organizations concerned, had been formed to finalize the Journalist Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2022.

Government officials unwilling to provide information to applicants under RTI law

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

According to reports, majority of heads of government departments allegedly remain unwilling to provide information to applicants petitioning under the Right to Information Act, 2013.

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

Health services academy plans training for health journalists

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

The vice chancellor of the Health Services Academy (HSA) Dr Shahzad Ali Khan announced that his organization would conduct workshops and trainings on health diplomacy and journalism for Pakistan-based journalists covering such issues.

National Press Club decides to hold elections digitally

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

A meeting of the governing body of the National Press Club (NPC) decided to establish an information technology (IT) committee to digitize their membership lists and make arrangements to conduct the next election through a biometric process.

Pakistani filmmaker invited to judge documentaries at Oscars

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

Pakistani filmmaker Mohammad Ali Naqvi received an invitation to become a judge at the Oscars in the category of documentaries in recognition of his international acclaim and numerous award winners in documentary and film-making.

Solar business allegations: PM’s son serves Rs1 billion defamation notice on Imran Ismail

Date: July 7, 2022 – Source 1: The News, Source 2: Express Tribune, Source 3: Pakistan Observer

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s son Suleman Shehbaz served a defamation notice worth Rs1 billion to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Ismail after he alleged that Suleman owned a solar panel business that benefitted from the government’s policy of investing in clean and renewable energy.

Prime Minister for live telecast of parliamentary committees’ proceedings

Date: July 8, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Pakistan Today, Source 3: Daily Times

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif wrote a letter to National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf suggesting him to finalize ‘an appropriate mechanism and parameters’ for the live telecast of the meetings of standing and functional committees of the lower house of parliament.

Fake (news) is the new real

Date: July 8, 2022 – Source: Dawn

Fantasies now masquerade as facts. The political right has successfully deployed sensationalist narratives, including ‘fake news’, so as to secure its objectives. It is time that leftist forces challenge bogus celebrities, fake news and avoid a dramatic race to the bottom.

Supreme Court to hear petition on ‘hate speech’ against state institutions

Date: July 19, 2022 – Source: Dawn

The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) ordered its registrar office to place a petition moved against Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leadership – over an alleged hate campaign targeting national institutions, including the armed forces, apex court and the Election Commission of Pakistan – for open hearing.

Pakistani filmmaker wins the Stefanus award

Date: July 19, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

A short-film directed by Pakistani filmmaker and rights activist Wagma Feroz was awarded the Stefanus prize for inter-faith harmony under the category of Empowerment of Women in Media at an award ceremony in Oslo.

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

Government to adopt digital system for distribution of advertisements

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

The Federal Ministry of Information and Broadcasting decided to introduce a digital system for the transparent distribution of advertisements and checking of circulation figures of newspapers and magazines.

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

FIRs registered against television anchorperson

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

Three cases, one at Gojra and two at Jhang, were registered against television anchorperson Imran Riaz Khan on the complaints of three different citizens on the charge of speaking against state institutions.

Court seeks record of cases registered against anchorperson

Date: July 2, 2022 – Source: Dawn

The Lahore High Court (LHC) directed the Punjab Police to submit record of cases registered against television anchorperson Imran Riaz Khan after a provincial law officer (PLO) told the court that reports in this regard had been sought from all district police officers (DPOs) in the province.

Unidentified men attack journalist Ayaz Amir in Lahore

Date: July 2, 2022 – Source 1: The News, Source 2: Express Tribune, Source 3: Daily Times

Six unidentified persons stopped the vehicle of senior journalist Ayaz Amir and assaulted him as he was exiting the premises of a private television channel where he works. The assailants also snatched his mobile phone and wallet.

PPF condemns violent attack on journalist in Lahore

Date: July 2, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) condemned the violent attack on senior journalist Ayaz Amir saying that such brazen attacks on journalists is telling of the shrinking space for free expression and the consequences suffered by media practioners for doing their job.

Police personnel gun down journalist in Khairpur

Date: July 2, 2022 – Source 1: Express Tribune, Source 2: International Press Institute (IPI)

Journalist Ishtiaq Sodhoro, who worked for a Sindhi daily, was gunned down allegedly by a policeman and his accomplices as he was busy constructing the gate of his house in Khairpur.

UNESCO condemns killing of Pakistani journalist

Date: July 2, 2022 – Source: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) condemned the killing of Pakistani journalist Iftikhar Ahmed by unknown assailants in Charsadda.

FIR registered in journalist attack case

Date: July 3, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: The Nation, Source 3: Pakistan Today

A first information report (FIR) was registered in journalist Ayaz Amir attack case in Lahore. The case has been registered against six unidentified attackers and Provisions of 147, 149, 506 and 382 have been included in the case.

Assaulting journalists

Date: July 3, 2022 – Source: Dawn

The attack on veteran journalist Ayaz Amir by unidentified men in Lahore is just the latest reminder that speaking the bitter truth never goes unpunished by those who have been allowed to run amok in Pakistan. His only ‘crime’ was not pulling back any punches when he spoke against the military

Court delays accepting challan in citizen journalist’s murder case

Date: July 3, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

The court of Judicial Magistrate (Malir) postponed its decision on whether to accept the challan filed by police in the murder case of citizen journalist Nazim Jhokio.

News correspondent shot dead in Charsadda

Date: July 4, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Express Tribune, Source 3: Freedom Network (FN)

Unknown assailants shot dead journalist Iftikhar Ahmed Khan, who was based in Charsadda district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Khan was associated with the Express Media Group (EMG) for the last 17 years.

Investigative team formed to probe journalist’s murder

Date: July 4, 2022 – Source: Express Tribune

A special investigative team (SIT) was formed to investigate the shooting of slain journalist Iftikhar Ahmed Khan by unidentified assailants in Charsadda. Journalists staged a protest to condemn the killing of Khan and demanded a Shaheed package for the family.

Television anchorperson arrested near Islamabad

Date: July 5, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Daily Pakistan (DP), Source 3: Daily Times

Television anchor and social media activist Imran Riaz Khan was arrested near the outskirts of Islamabad in connection with 17 treason cases registered against him across Punjab.

Journalist attack case: Victim claims being forewarned by an official

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

Journalist Ayaz Amir claimed that he was threatened and forewarned by an intelligence agency official to be moderate in his criticism of state institutions before he was attacked by unidentified persons in Lahore.

Deadly week for journalists in Pakistan

Date: July 5, 2022 – Source: Voice of America (VOA)

Unidentified assailants in Pakistan, within a week, killed two journalists and tortured a renowned columnist, while police arrested an anchorperson-turned-host of a YouTube political show amid allegations of a government crackdown on dissent and political opponents.

Islamabad High Court takes action after journalist’s detention

Date: July 6, 2022 – Source: Dawn

Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah issued notices to Islamabad police chief and chief commissioner over the detention of anchorperson Imran Riaz Khan and directed them to appear before the court to explain their actions.

Attackers of ex-PEMRA chief arrested

Date: July 6, 2022 – Source: The News

Police arrested the prime accused who shot at and injured journalist and former chairman of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) Absar Alam. The attackers not only confessed to making a life attempt on Absar Alam but admitted that they were tasked to hit Asad Toor, another journalist.

IHC disposes of plea against detention of anchorperson

Date: July 6, 2022 – Source 1: The News, Source 2: Express Tribune

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) disposed the petition regarding the arrest of anchorperson Imran Riaz Khan in Attock after directing the petitioner’s counsel to approach the Lahore High Court (LHC) in this regard, observing that the matter was beyond the high court’s jurisdiction.

Worrying trend: Attacks against journalists, arrest condemned

Date: July 6, 2022 – Source: Freedom Network (FN)

Media watchdog Freedom Network (FN) expressed concern at registration of cases, arrests and attacks against journalists and media practitioners and urged Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to take urgent notice of this ‘dangerous situation’.

Intimidation of journalists by the ‘unidentified’

Date: July 6, 2022 – Source: Dawn

The entire episode of the attack on veteran journalist Ayaz Amir highlights not only the consequences of the deep involvement of the security agencies in political engineering but also their role in manipulating sections of the media.

Rawalpindi court orders repeal of PECA sections in case against anchorperson

Date: July 6, 2022 – Source: Dawn

A Rawalpindi court ordered anchorperson Imran Riaz Khan to be produced in a local court in Attock and instructed that charges framed against him under sections of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA), 2016 be repealed.

IFJ calls on Pakistani authorities to withdraw cases against arrested anchorperson

Date: July 6, 2022 – Source 1: International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Source 2: Express Tribune

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its Pakistani affiliate, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), urged the government to withdraw cases against arrested anchorperson Imran Riaz Khan.

Pakistani journalists face undue persecution

Date: July 6, 2022 – Source: Fair Planet (FP)

Pakistan is descending into the worst kind of fascism as violence and fake allegations are used against journalists, opposition politicians, citizens and minorities. The federal government continues to do little to hold law enforcement agencies accountable for torture and other serious abuses of power.

Senate committees take notice of anchorperson’s arrest

Date: July 7, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: The Nation

The Senate standing committees on human rights and interior took notice of the arrest of anchorperson Imran Riaz Khan and sought explanations from secretaries of their associated federal ministries in this regard.

Anchorperson back in police custody after release from Attock jail

Date: July 7, 2022 – Source: Express Tribune

Anchorperson Imran Riaz Khan voluntarily presented himself for arrest to the Chakwal police outside court premises after he was granted bail and released by the Attock police in another case.

President writes to PM; conveys concern on torture against journalists

Date: July 8, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Pakistan Today, Source 3: The Frontier Post

President Dr Arif Alvi wrote a letter to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressing ‘deep concern’ over recent incidents of harassment of journalists, terming them a ‘spate against freedom of expression’ in the country.

Senator terms president’s concerns over harassment of journalists ‘subjective’

Date: July 9, 2022 – Source 1: The News, Source 2: Business Recorder (BR)

Former chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani termed President Dr Arif Alvi’s concerns for the media as subjective while counting eight failures of the president to raise his voice against harassment of journalists during the tenure of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in government.

Journalist Imran Riaz’s arrest is both condemnable and inevitable

Date: July 9, 2022 – Source: Express Tribune

Journalist Imran Riaz Khan’s arrest is condemnable but not surprising as he had begun to increasingly take aggressive positions against state institutions and there was speculation that his arrest was imminent.

Anchorperson gets bail in case of ‘incitement against the army’

Date: July 10, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: The News, Source 3: Express Tribune

The Lahore High Court (LHC) granted bail to anchorperson and journalist Imran Riaz Khan in a case registered against him in Chakwal by a private citizen for ‘incitement against the army’.

Journalist assaulted in Islamabad

Date: July 10, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: The News, Source 3: Express Tribune

Journalist and anchorperson Sami Ibrahim was attacked and tortured by unknown miscreants outside his office in Islamabad. The police has asked him to file an application against the attack for the investigation to formally begin.

Former president takes Imran Khan to task over media curbs

Date: July 17, 2022 – Source: The News

Former president Asif Ali Zardari said Imran Khan should have thought about the rights of journalists during his tenure as his era was a ‘dark period’ in terms of press freedom in Pakistan.

Former PM Imran Khan denies ordering abduction of journalists

Date: July 17, 2022 – Source: Dawn

Speaking at a seminar, former Prime Minister Imran Khan denied any involvement of his government in ordering abductions of journalists and or restricting media freedoms in the country.

Journalist verbally assaulted by police during by-election coverage

Date: July 21, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

ARY News reporter Hassan Hafeez was verbally attacked by Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Bilal Siddiqui allegedly for questioning the role of law enforcement authorities during a riot while covering by-elections in the Punjab province.

Radio journalist escapes unhurt in acid attack

Date: July 28, 2022 – Source 1: The News, Source 2: Freedom Network (FN)

Radio journalist Zakia Khan was attacked by unidentified persons with acid attack at her residence in Peshawar. Police authorities have started investigating the incident.

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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