Pakistan Media Monitor – June 2024


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. 6 June 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

Acting Punjab governor signs defamation bill into law

Date: June 8, 2024 – Source 1: The News, Source 2: Pakistan Today

Acting Governor Punjab Malik Mohammad Ahmad Khan signed the controversial Defamation Bill 2024 into law. Governor Salim Haider, who was on leave when the bill was signed, had earlier promised that all stakeholders would be consulted before signing this bill.

Safe City operations ‘out of order’ to keep lid on information

Date: June 12, 2024 – Source: Dawn

As the Safe City Authority’s (SCA) software linked to the Operations Division of the Islamabad Police (IP) went under surprise upgradation in May 2024, Dawn learned that the software is ‘being shown as non-operational to stop the outflow of information, such as criminal activities, to the 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

Housing society rejects ‘fake list’ of paid journalists, threatens legal action

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

The administration of Bahria Town, a private housing society, issued a press release denying allegations of paying journalists after a purported ‘fake list’ was shared on social media platforms, threatening users who continued to share the list of possible legal action.

Defamation law challenged hours after its approval

Date: June 9, 2024 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Express Tribune, Source 3: Business Recorder (BR)

The Punjab Defamation Law, 2024 passed by the Punjab Assembly was challenged in the Lahore High Court (LHC). Advocate Nadeem Sarwar filed a petition against the law, making the chief minister, governor, and Punjab government respondents in it.

Punjab governor opposes passage of controversial defamation law

Date: June 9, 2024 – Source: The News

Punjab Governor Saleem Haider said that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) was against the controversial defamation law passed by the provincial legislature, claiming that he ‘tried to stop its passage’.

Lahore High Court puts provisions of Defamation Act on hold

Date: May 12, 2024 – Source 1: Express Tribune, Source 2: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

The Lahore High Court (LHC) temporarily suspended the enforcement of three sections of the recently enacted Defamation Act 2024 until a final verdict is reached on a petition challenging the constitutionality of the law.

Debating disinformation

Date: June 27, 2024 – Source: The News

News organizations should see it as a part of the work of their journalistic staff and need to be prepared to back this with a proven commitment to training and providing them with skills they need in today’s world of social and digital media to be able to stamp out disinformation.

News on the go

Date: June 30, 2024 – Source: The News

Digital media has created a complex and fast-paced environment where the veracity of every piece of news is clouded with the prospect of misinformation or disinformation. While a few domestic media outlets have started fact-checking reports to counter fake news, a lot more needs to be done.

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 

APNS rejects imposition of general sales tax on newspapers

Date: June 13, 2024 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: The Nation, Source 3: Business Recorder (BR)

The All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) rejected the imposition of 10 per cent general sales tax (GST), calling it ‘disastrous for the survival of the already crisis-ridden print media’ and urged the government to continue the exemption. 

APNS, PBA want government to withdraw proposed disallowance

Date: June 23, 2024 – Source: Dawn

Expressing concern over 25 per cent disallowance of sales promotion and advertisement expenses, as proposed in the new budget, the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) and Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) wrote letters to the government seeking withdrawal of this amendment.

ABC voices concern over tax relief disallowance

Date: June 23, 2024 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: The News, Source 3: Express Tribune

The American Business Council (ABC) urged the federal government to reconsider the 25 per cent Sales Promotion, Advertising, and Publicity (SAP) Expense Disallowance Policy, warning that it will significantly increase marketing costs, particularly for multinationals.

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

Sindh government says it is committed to journalists’ safety

Date: June 1, 2024 – Source: Dawn

A spokesperson for the Sindh government said the provincial administration believed in the freedom of press and was committed to providing due security and safety to media practitioners.

Reporter, cameraperson attacked by armed motorcyclists in Sukkur

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

Reporter Haider Mastoi and his cameraperson Khan Muhammad Pitafi were attacked by three unidentified armed motorcyclists in Sukkur. Both journalists were transported to the hospital by local residents and were declared to be critically injured by the medical officer on duty upon arrival.

Journalist shot at in Gujjar Khan, reported to be in stable condition   

Date: June 4, 2024 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Journalist Chaudhary Ikhlaq, who is also a member of the Bewal Press Club (BPC), was shot and wounded by two unidentified armed motorcyclists in Gujjar Khan as he was driving home in his vehicle.

Supreme Court issues notices to 34 television channels over contempt allegations

Date: June 6, 2024 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Journalism Pakistan (JP)

The Supreme Court (SC) issued show cause notices to 34 television channels, asking them to explain why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them for airing remarks of two lawmakers criticizing the judiciary.

Anchorperson barred from travelling abroad despite court clearance

Date: June 7, 2024 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Anchorperson and YouTube vlogger Imran Riaz Khan was stopped by authorities from travelling to Saudi Arabia for religious purposes at the Islamabad airport despite a court order permitting his travel.

Former PM admits to approving controversial ‘1971 tweet’, not video

Date: June 8, 2024 – Source: Dawn

Former prime minister Imran Khan owned a controversial tweet but distanced himself from an accompanying video posted on his social media platform X account, insisting that he could not comment on the video as he did not know about its contents.

SHC extends interim order restraining PEMRA from coercive action over court coverage

Date: June 8, 2024 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

The Sindh High Court (SHC) extended its interim order till June 27, restraining the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) from taking any adverse action against private television channels on broadcasting news tickers about court proceedings.

RSF warns of press freedom decline in Pakistan

Date: June 8, 2024 – Source: Dawn

Global press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) called on Pakistan’s new federal and provincial authorities to address ‘an alarming deterioration in press freedom’ over recent months.

PTA blocked access to X on directives of Ministry of Interior

Date: June 8, 2024 – Source: The News

In a written reply, Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunication Shaza Fatima Khawaja stated that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) had blocked access to social media platform X on the pursuance of the Ministry of Interior directions.

Prime Minister greenlights PECA law tweaks to regulate social media

Date: June 9, 2024 – Source 1: The News, Source 2: The Print

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif approved a draft for amending the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016 to regulate social media platforms operating in the country.

Silencing dissent

Date: June 9, 2024 – Source: Dawn

State authorities in Pakistan have begun deploying various technologies that will enable it to monitor what any user is saying, hearing or reading on the internet. Reports of the state’s furtive firewall which reportedly aims to replicate a model employed by China to police internet traffic, are alarming.

Three arrested in journalist’s murder case

Date: June 10, 2024 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Sindh Minister for Information Sharjeel Inam Memon announced that three suspects had been arrested in connection with the Nasrullah Gadani murder case. Gadani was fatally shot by unidentified armed assailants near his residence in Mirpur Mathelo on May 24.

Slain journalist’s mother identifies ‘killer’ in court

Date: June 11, 2024 – Source: Express Tribune

The mother of slain journalist Nasrullah Gadani identified Asghar Loond before the court as the culprit involved in the killing of her son. During a hearing before the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC), Gadani’s family expressed dissatisfaction at the inability of police authorities to arrest all involved in his murder.

Anchorperson arrested, remanded in custody for a day

Date: June 13, 2024 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Pakistan Today

A judicial magistrate at the Model Town Court in Lahore remanded anchorperson and YouTube vlogger Imran Riaz Khan in police custody for one day for his alleged involvement in a case of monetary fraud.

PTI slams government’s move to install firewall to control social media

Date: June 13, 2024 – Source: The News

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) spokesperson denounced what it called the unconstitutional, illegal and dictatorial move of the installation of so-called ‘firewall’ to usurp masses’ fundamental and constitutional rights to freedom of expression and access to information.

Court sets journalist free

Date: June 15, 2024 – Source: Dawn

A judicial magistrate discharged anchorperson and YouTube vlogger Imran Riaz Khan from a case of breaking security barriers and running over Airport Security Force (ASF) personnel at the Lahore airport.

Journalist gunned down in Landi Kotal

Date: June 20, 2024 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)

Unidentified gunmen killed journalist Khalil Jibran in Landi Kotal tehsil of Khyber district when he was travelling with friends after attending a local event.

Journalists protest colleague’s murder

Date: June 20, 2024 – Source: Dawn

Journalists and students gathered outside the Mohmand Press Club (MPC) to protest the killing of their colleague Khalil Jibran in Landi Kotal, demanding law enforcement authorities to ensure swift action against the unidentified gunmen.

HRCP condemns journalist’s killing in Landi Kotal

Date: June 21, 2024 – Source 1: Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), Source 2: The News

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) expressed shock at the brutal killing of journalist Khalil Jibran near his home in Landi Kotal, urging transparent investigation into the incident.  

The lost voice of journalism

Date: June 23, 2024 – Source: The News

Journalism has become a dangerous profession in Sindh. Out of the 11 journalists killed in the past few years, seven were from upper Sindh. Most recently, Nasrullah Gadani was gunned down while Jan Mohammad Mahar was killed in Sukkur last year – with the police yet to find who killed them and why.

Journalists not welcome

Date: June 24, 2024 – Source: The News

Pakistan has consistently been one of the most dangerous places for journalists over the last two decades or so, with an estimated 90 journalists killed between 2002 and 2022. The current year is not yet half gone and already five journalists have been killed since the start of 2024.

Journalists no safer to work after merger of tribal districts: Freedom Network

Date: June 27, 2024 – Source 1: Freedom Network (FN), Source 2: Dawn, Source 3: The News

A report, Newstribes of the Northwest – Saving Journalism in Pakistan’s Tribal Districts, launched by Freedom Network (FN) stated that the press freedom situation and safety of journalists in tribal districts have not improved in the last five years since their merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

Journalist’s murder probe transferred from Ghotki

Date: June 29, 2024 – Source: The News

Following recommendations of a Sukkur range police board, the investigation of the murder of journalist Nasrullah Gadani was transferred from district Ghotki. According to police authorities, it has now been assigned to an ‘experienced and well-reputed’ police officer.

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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