PAKISTAN MEDIA MONITOR – June 2022

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PAKISTAN MEDIA MONITOR – June 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. 6 June 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

Senate committee approves bill for special persons’ access to media

Date: June 2, 2022 – Source 1: The News, Source 2: Express Tribune, Source 3: The Nation

The Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting unanimously adopted The Access to Media (Deaf and Dumb) Persons Bill, 2022 to ensure that special persons are provided sufficient access to the media.

Sindh High Courts seeks report on implementation of right to information law

Date: June 6, 2022 – Source: The News

The Sindh High Court (SHC) directed a provincial law officer (PLO) to file a comprehensive statement with regard to steps taken for the implementation of Sindh Transparency and Right to Information Act, 2016.

Fighting for the poor through Right to Information law

Date: June 29, 2022 – Source: The News

Naeem Sadiq, a management consultant by profession, visits different government offices to speak with sanitary workers and security guards, and then uses the Right to Information (RTI) law to gather details about the compensation promised in the contract and if it is being denied to them.

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

Renovated room designated for women journalists inaugurated at National Press Club

Date: June 1, 2022 – Source: The News

The National Press Club (NPC), with support of the Sustainable Social Development Organization (SSDO), Maqam International, and Info News Network (INN), inaugurated a newly renovated Women Journalist Room at its premises in Islamabad.

Pakistan’s misinformation dilemma

Date: June 4, 2022 – Source: The News

Democracy is neither inevitable, nor self-executing. Only citizens can nurture it. More than political stability and economic healing, Pakistan needs urgent reconditioning of its moral codes. Unity here is the key. Only then can the perils of fake news and misinformation be tackled.

Media bodies warn PTI leaders against fake news regarding advertisements

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

The Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) and All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) condemned the ‘malicious and baseless propaganda’ spread by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leaders regarding the volume of advertising and integrity of media outlets.

Government looking to grant extension to PEMRA chief

Date: June 7, 2022 – Source: Dawn

The federal government is looking to give another four-year term to Mirza Saleem Baig, current chairman of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), whose time in office is set to expire on June 26 this year.

Punjab University relaunches its dedicated radio center

Date: June 7, 2022 – Source 1: The News, Source 2: Punjab University (PU)

Punjab University (PU) relaunched its Radio Center FM104.6 at a ceremony organized by the university’s School of Communication Studies in connection with the 20th anniversary of its dedicated radio center.

Wana press club cabinet takes oath

Date: June 23, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

The elected cabinet of District Press Club Wana took oath from Commissioner Dera Ismail Khan Division Amir Afaq. The ceremony was held at the office of the Assistant Commissioner Wana.

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

PTI moves court to get funds spent on government advertisements recovered

Date: June 5, 2022 – Source: Dawn

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) with the request to recover public money the current government spent on ‘expensive and agenda-specific’ advertisements and deposit it in the treasury.

Government advertisements: Prime Minister promises to clear newspapers’ dues on priority basis

Date: June 6, 2022 – Source 1: The News, Source 2: Daily Times, Source 3: Business Recorder (BR)

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced that the government will clear its outstanding dues of newspapers on priority basis and would consider providing additional relief measures to help the crisis-ridden newspaper industry to cope with inflationary measures.

Paper price hike: Publishers worried about rising costs

Date: June 9, 2022 – Source: The News

Due to a lack of interest by the government, the prices of paper have more than doubled across the country. Textbook and newspaper publishers expressed concern at the sustainability of their business operations due to inflation and rising costs of procuring raw materials.

PTV lawyer concedes irregularities in PSL broadcast rights deal

Date: June 10, 2022 – Source: The News

The Pakistan Television Corporation (PTVC) acknowledged before the Lahore High Court (LHC) that the agreement for the broadcasting rights of Pakistan Super League (PSL) signed between PTVC and private media group ARY was in violation of rules and against principles of transparency.

PBC cuts, auctions 1,500 trees to meet financial needs

Date: June 15, 2022 – Source: The News

The Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) chopped down 1,500 trees in Rawalpindi to meet its financial needs. During the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government’s tenure, the PBC cut 3,600 trees in its offices located in Peshawar and Rawalpindi and auctioned them to overcome financial constraints.

APNS concerned over government’s decision to discontinue purchase of newspapers, magazines

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

The All Pakistan Newspaper Services (APNS) expressed its concern on news items appearing in a section of the press wherein it has been stated that the federal government, in the garb of austerity measures, decided to discontinue purchasing of newspapers and magazines for government offices.

Government grants Rs1 million for journalists’ welfare

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

Director Press Information, Sindh Information Department (SID) Muhammad Saleem Khan handed over a Rs1 million from the Sindh government to President of Thatta Press Club (TPC) Iqbal Jhakro for the welfare of the district’s journalists.

Government to amend PEMRA law to settle salary issues faced by media persons

Date: June 23, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murriyum Aurungzeb said that the government was introducing a law for Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to bind television channels regarding salaries of media workers and make the rating system more transparent.

Senate body seeks record of television channels’ ratings, advertisement

Date: June 23, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting sought the record of television channel ratings and all advertisements issued to them by the government.

Government proposes 25% increase in media advertisements

Date: June 25, 2022 – Source: Pro Pakistani

The Federal Ministry for Information and Broadcasting proposed to increase the rates of advertisements for newspapers and magazines by 25 per cent and announced that a summary had been forwarded to the Finance Ministry for the restoration of funds of news agencies.

Government accuses PTI of ‘trying to bankrupt Pakistan Television’

Date: June 26, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murriyum Aurungzeb accused former Prime Minister Imran Khan of trying to auction off building belonging to Radio Pakistan (RP) and Pakistan Television Corporation (PTVC).

APP workers demand government pay scales

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

The management of the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) called upon the federal government to shift its employees on government pay scales to resolve their financial issues. The APP workers union also demanded payment of allowances promised in the previous budgets.

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

Federal ombudsperson stresses stronger mechanism for safety of female journalists

Date: June 1, 2022 – Source: Dawn

Federal ombudsperson for Harassment of Women at the Workplace Kashmala Khan stressed on the importance of safety of female journalists, and called for the need to collect data related to it.

Islamabad High Court orders fresh probe into FIA action against journalist

Date: June 2, 2022 – Source 1: The News, Source 2: Pakistan Today

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) directed the district magistrate to hold a fresh inquiry into a Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) raid on the residence of journalist Mohsin Baig and torture him while he was in police custody.

Authentic data on crimes against journalists vital for effective policy making

Date: June 3, 2022 – Source: The News

Participants at a seminar organized by the Parliamentarians Commission on Human Rights (PCHR), Peace and Justice Network (PJN) and UNESCO agreed stressed the importance of verified and authenticated data on crimes against journalists and its significance as credible evidence for policy discourse.

Escalating attacks on journalists

Date: June 8, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International (AI) expressed concern over a series of attacks and growing pressure on journalists who criticize government policy and urged authorities to ensure those suspected of criminal responsibility be promptly and fairly prosecuted.

Supreme Court seeks clarity on PECA law’s Section 20

Date: June 9, 2022 – Source: Dawn

The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) dropped hints of determining the constitutionality of two distinct decisions made by different high courts about Section 20 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes (Amended) Ordinance (PECA) that criminalized defamation.

Reporter goes missing after reporting about forced occupation of land by builders in Karachi

Date: June 7, 2022 – Source: Freedom Network (FN)

Reporter Umar Nahiyoon, working for K21 News, was reportedly arrested by paramilitary personnel from a Karachi suburb after reporting about illegal and forced occupation of land by influential builders operating in the city.

Family confirms return of missing reporter in Karachi

Date: June 9, 2022 – Source: Freedom Network (FN)

The family of missing reporter Umar Nahiyoon confirmed his return. He was allegedly arrested and detained by paramilitary personnel after reporting about illegal and forced occupation of land by Karachi-based builders.

‘Abducted’ television journalist returns home

Date: June 14, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: The Pakistan Daily

Nafees Naeem – an assignment editor at the Aaj News television channel who went missing from near his residence in Karachi after he was reportedly picked up by men in plain clothes – returned home within 24 hours of being abducted.

Sindh High Court notices respondents in Nazim Jhokio murder case

Date: June 17, 2022 – Source: Dawn

The Sindh High Court (SHC) issued notices to the prosecutor general of Sindh and others on a criminal revision application filed against the order of an anti-terrorism court (ATC) for transferring Nazim Jhokio murder case to a regular court for trial.

‘Disappearance’ of a journalist

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

Harassment, manhandling, even forced disappearances of journalists in Pakistan continues unabated. In the latest incidence, Aaj news assignments editor Nafees Naeem was picked up by plainclothes men while police officials denied any involvement in his ‘detention’.

APNS requests the government to review anti-media moves

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

Office-bearers of the All Pakistan Newspaper Society (APNS) request Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to review and withdraw anti-media moves which would only save some peanuts but would be highly counterproductive for the country’s press industry.

Journalist ‘kidnapped’ from Rahim Yar Khan

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

A local journalist was reportedly kidnapped by unidentified ‘dacoits’ from the Nawazabad area between the districts of Rahim Yar Khan and Rajanpur. Police authorities were later to locate his vehicle.

PTV journalist kidnapped from South Punjab

Date: June 22, 2022 – Source 1: Freedom Network (FN), Source 2: Independent Urdu

Sher Muhammad Saahi, a freelance journalist working with Pakistan Television Corporation (PTVC), was reportedly abducted by dacoits from Rojhan while he was travelling for personal reasons.

Journalist, social media activist goes missing in Karachi

Date: June 24, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Express Tribune

Karachi-based journalist and social media activist Arsalan Khan reportedly went missing with friends of the journalists claiming that he was abducted by unidentified officials of law enforcement authorities. Police authorities, however, denied any involvement in the detention of the journalist.

Detained journalist, social media activist released by Sindh Rangers

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

In a statement, the Sindh Rangers confirmed that journalist and social media activist Arsalan Khan had been arrested by the paramilitary personnel in Karachi on the basis of ‘intelligence that he was in contact with a terrorist group’ and later released.

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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