PAKISTAN MEDIA MONITOR – October 2022

PAKISTAN MEDIA MONITOR – October 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. 10 October 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

Foreign Office turns down RTI request due to correspondence record being ‘untraceable’

Date: October 15, 2022 – Source: The News

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs wrote back to a Right to Information (RTI) request and stated its unavailability to provide the requested correspondence with ex-USSR, China and the United States from 1948 to 197 as it is ‘untraceable’.

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

Criticism of Transgender Persons Protection Act 2018 rejected as ‘misinformation campaign’

Date: October 1, 2022 – Source: The News

Speaking at a news conference at the Karachi Press Club (KPC), the city’s transgender community rubbished criticism of the Transgender Persons Protection Act 2018 as a ‘misinformation campaign’ as it had led to an increase in violence and threats against members of the community.

Paradox of our times

Date: October 2, 2022 – Source: Dawn

We are in an era where everyone can claim to be a journalist. It is important to invest and boost local journalism, even encouraging the state to invest in it. People care about local issues and are likely to become more active citizens when they can relate to the stories being published.

Activists criticize disinformation about transgender persons protection act

Date: October 2, 2022 – Source: Dawn

Human rights activists and transgender rights activists claimed that religious segments were promoting hatred and violent extremism against members of the transgender community following the passing of an act that includes provisions regarding their protection.

Smear campaign: Court issues non-bailable warrants for ARY Network CEO, anchorperson

Date: October 3, 2022 – Source: The News

Additional District and Sessions Court (South Karachi) issued non-bailable warrants for Salman Iqbal, chief executive officer of ARY Network and anchorperson Arshad Sharif for failing to appear in a case pertaining to running a smear campaign against Jang/Geo Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman.

PML-N leader challenges jurisdiction of ‘hate speech’ FIRs

Date: October 6, 2022 – Source: Dawn

Federal Minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Javed Latif filed a petition before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) challenging the first information reports (FIRs) registered against him for ‘propagating hate speech’.

Supreme Court dismisses Axact channel’s plea against fine vilifying Jang Group

Date: October 15, 2022 – Source: The News

The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) dismissed the appeal of Axact’s Bol TV channel against imposition of fines by the Pakistan Electronic Media regulatory Authority (PEMRA) for levelling charges of treachery and sacrilege against Jang Group Chief Editor Mir- Shakil-ur-Rehman.

ARY News proven to have breached UK broadcasting rules for 14th time

Date: October 15, 2022 – Source: The News

OFCOM, television regulator in the United Kingdom, ruled in favor of the journalist, Fakkhar Durrani, over a legal complaint made by him over false allegations made on ARY News’ UK broadcaster New Vision Television (NVT). It was also noted that the broadcaster had breached rules for the 14th time.

PTI moves PEMRA over anti-Imran remarks by interior minister

Date: October 15, 2022 – Source: Dawn

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) approached Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) against what it called ‘very objectionable, reprehensible and absurd talks’ of Federal Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah against PTI chairman Imran Khan in a live television program.

Misogyny; Pakistani journalists at the receiving end

Date: October 25, 2022 – Source: Dawn

It is disappointing that former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s misogynist comment about journalist Ghareeda Farooqi have been largely ignored when it deserved greater protestations beyond individual tweets of outrage on social media.

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

President upholds dismissal of PEMRA director general in harassment case

Date: October 2, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: The Nation

President Dr Arif Alvi, while upholding the decision of the Federal Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace, awarded the major penalty of “dismissal from service” to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and enhanced the fine to Rs2.5 million.

Pakistani media continues to be ‘on trial’

Date: October 24, 2022 – Source: Dawn

Award winning journalist Hamid Mir said that the media in Pakistan continued to face oppression in one form or the other and the situation had not improved under the current federal government.

Journalists, rights activists call for end to trolling on social media platforms

Date: October 24, 2022 – Source: The News

Pakistani journalists and rights activists called for an urgent need to check organized trolling which was pointed out as an ugly activity on social media platforms, gaining ground in the absence of effective laws to check the practice.

Prime Minister calls Kenyan President, demands impartial probe into journalist’s killing

Date: October 24, 2022 – Source 1: Associated Press of Pakistan (APP), Source 2: Radio Pakistan (RP)

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif called Kenyan President William Ruto to demand an impartial and transparent inquiry into the killing of journalist Arshad Sharif by Kenyan police authorities at a roadblock in a case of ‘mistaken identity’.

Pakistani journalist shot dead in Kenya

Date: October 25, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

An investigation has begun in Kenya after prominent Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif was shot dead by police at a roadblock. Government authorities claimed that this was a case of ‘mistaken identity’.

Punjab Assembly seeks judicial inquiry into journalist’s killing in Kenya

Date: October 25, 2022 – Source 1: The News, Source 2: Express Tribune

Punjab Assembly vehemently condemned the killing of journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya and legislators demanded a high-level judicial investigation of the incident.

Government forms team of intelligence officials to probe journalist’s killing

Date: October 26, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: The News

As directed by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the interior ministry constituted a three-member team to investigate the mysterious murder of journalist and television anchorperson Arshad Sharif by Kenyan police officials.

Imran Khan calls shooting act of journalist ‘targeted killing’

Date: October 26, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Express Tribune

Describing the death of journalist Arshad Sharif by police firing in Kenya as an ‘act of targeted killing’, former Prime Minister Imran Khan claimed that he advised the anchorperson to leave Pakistan because of ‘threats to his life’.

PTI calls out Maryam Nawaz for remarks about slain journalist

Date: October 26, 2022 – Source: Dawn

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) strongly reacted to the comments of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Maryam Nawaz about slain journalist Arshad Sharif and termed these ‘shameful and unethical’.

UN, US urges Kenya to hold ‘thorough’ inquiry into Pakistani journalist’s death

Date: October 26, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: The Correspondent, Source 3: Gulf News

The United Nations and United States urged Kenyan authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the killing of prominent Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif and share the findings with the public.

Inter-Services Intelligence excluded from journalist’s murder probe

Date: October 27, 2022 – Source 1: Express Tribune, Source 2: Daily Times

The federal government excluded the investigative officer representing the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) from a team formed to investigate the killing of journalist and anchorperson Arshad Sharif in Kenya, cutting the team’s size from three to two.

Arshad Sharif murder: ISPR, DG ISI question role of ARY Network CEO during unprecedented presser

Date: October 28, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: The News, Source 3: Samaa News

Director General (DG) Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Nadeem Anjum and Director General (DG) Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Babar Iftikhar questioned the role of ARY Network Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Salman Iqbal in the exit of journalist Arshad Sharif from Pakistan and his killing in Kenya.

Cases of 96 pc murdered Pakistani journalists unsolved: report

Date: October 28, 2022 – Source: The News

In Pakistan, killers of journalist operate with full impunity in 96 per cent cases, the criminal justice system failed to deliver justice for the journalists slain while performing their professional duties. Sindh has turned out to be the most dangerous place for media professionals followed by Punjab.

Anchorperson Ghulam Hussain arrested by FIA in fake documents case

Date: October 28, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Pakistan Today, Source 3: Daily Times

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested anchorperson Chaudhry Ghulam Hussain in a case of securing a bank loan based on fake documents in 2011. He was declared a proclaimed offender in case NO 94/2011 by FIA’s Commercial Banking Circle (CBC).

PEMRA bars live coverage of PTI leaders’ speeches

Date: October 29, 2022 – Source: Dawn

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) issued an advisory directed all private television channels to not broadcast the protest march or speeches of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leaders live.

Television anchorperson granted bail in bank fraud case

Date: October 30, 2022 – Source 1: The News, Source 2: Express Tribune, Source 3: Pakistan Today

Anchorperson Chaudhry Ghulam Hussain was granted post-arrest bail by a district and sessions court against a surety bond of Rs200,000 in the case of an alleged bank fraud registered in 2003.

Journalist covering PTI’s long march crushed to death

Date: October 31, 2022 – Source 1: Reuters, Source 2: Express Tribune, Source 3: Pakistan Today

A female reporter, Sadaf Naeem, working for a local television channel died after she was accidently crushed under the wheels of a container carrying Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan during the party’s long march.

PTI halts long march as journalist dies in accident

Date: October 31, 2022 – Source 1: The News, Source 2: Daily Times

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan announced a halt to long march activities after television reporter Sadaf Naeem was crushed under the wheels of a container carrying the PTI chief by accident.

President, Prime Minister saddened over death of television reporter

Date: October 31, 2022 – Source 1: Radio Pakistan (RP), Source 2: CBS News

President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed deep sorrow and grief over the accidental death of television reporter Sadaf Naeem while covering the long march led by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan.

PFUJ demands end to violence against journalists, media workers

Date: October 31, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) decided to dedicate the ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists’ to slain journalist Arshad Sharif and demanded an end to crimes against journalists and media workers in the country.

Investigative team questions murdered journalist’s hosts in Kenya

Date: October 31, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

An investigation team from Pakistan, sent to Kenya to probe the killing of journalist and television anchorperson Arshad Sharif, questioned the journalist’s hosts Khurram Ahmed and Waqar Ahmed.

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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