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. 3, No. 12 December 2022 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

Punjab Information Commission directs PITB to ensure implementation of RTI law

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

The Punjab Information Commission (PIC) reprimanded the Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board’s (PITB) Public Information Officer (PIO) for negligence in official responsibilities and directed the managing director (MD) to ensure steps for implementing the Right to Information (RTI) law.

Transparency and the right to information act

Date: December 15, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan’s Right to Information (RTI) Act is playing an instrumental role in generating information that can help hold the corrupt accountable for their actions. The toshakhana case is one such example of how the constitutional right to information can make governments transparent.

Journalists advised to use RTI for investigative stories

Date: December 17, 2022 – Source: The News

Senior journalist Mazhar Abbas stressed that journalists should use the Right to Information (RTI) Act for investigative stories, which will not only help them get certified data but also increase the authenticity of their journalistic reports.

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

Urdu journalism facing difficult times

Date: December 3, 2022 – Source: The News

Discussing the downhill journey of Urdu journalism in Pakistan, speakers at a session of the Annual Urdu Conference lament newspapers shutting down, lay-offs, the declining institution of editor and deteriorating standards of op-ed pieces.

Experts stress on responsible journalism to counter fake news, misinformation

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

The massive growth in the digital media industry has led to an increase in the flow of information.

A single piece of information is presented in a hundred different ways by different social media influencers with consumers believing in any given information without verification.

Technology has brought changes to every sector, including media

Date: December 5, 2022 – Source: The News

Speakers at the 15th Annual Urdu Conference remarked that technology had brought changes in the media industry with social media platforms becoming more accessible avenues for information consumption.

Newspaper prints apology to Shehbaz Sharif in print editions across the United Kingdom

Date: December 12, 2022 – Source: The News

Britain’s largest circulating Mail on Sunday (MoS) published an apology to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in one million print editions as part of the deal to apologize online as well as in print edition after global removal of the false and defamatory article by reporter David Rose.

UK paper dropped defense of defamatory article against PM Shehbaz months ago

Date: December 13, 2022 – Source: The News

Defamation and reputation management law firm Carter Ruck revealed that Daily Mail had dropped defending several months ago the defamatory and false allegations of corruption published in a report by reporter David Rose against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Imran Khan sues Geo News, businessman for defamation

Date: December 18, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: The Nation

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan filed a defamation suit in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) against Geo News, its anchorperson Shahzeb Khanzada and Dubai-based business Umer Farooq for alleging that their discrepancies in the sale of a watch bought from the toshakhana.

Need stressed to tackle spread of fake news

Date: December 19, 2022 – Source: Dawn

New digital platforms, including social media, have unleashed innovative ideas to disseminate information and educate the masses on different issues, it has emerged. But at the same time, it has become difficult to differentiate between authentic information and hoaxes or disinformation.

Pakistani film shortlisted for Oscar’s International Feature Film category

Date: December 23, 2022 – Source 1: Express Tribune, Source 2: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistani film Joyland has been shortlisted for the 95th Academy Awards. The film became Pakistan’s first selection in Oscar’s International Feature Film category

Pakistani film to be released in India after 11 years amid blowback

Date: December 28, 2022 – Source 1: The News, Source 2: Express Tribune, Source 3: Al Jazeera

Pakistani movie The Legend of Maula Jutt is poised to become the first film from the country in more than a decade to be released in India, marking a tentative cultural breakthrough in the tense ties between the South Asian neighbors.

Pakistanis trapped between a cycle of misinformation and fake news

Date: December 28, 2022 – Source: The News

Pakistanis are trapped in this vicious cycle of misinformation and fake news. While we happily pray for an increase in our knowledge, little attention is paid to the source of information and whether it is beneficial. We continue to live a life of ignorance.

Reporter win defamation case against solicitor, law firm and murderer’s son

Date: December 28, 2022 – Source: The News

The News International’s reporter Murtaza Ali Shah and his fellow journalist won a defamation case at the United Kingdom High Court over false and malicious allegations made about them on social media platforms. The court also awarded legal costs and GBP 75,000 in damages to both journalists.

Government launches workshops for capacity building of journalists

Date: December 28, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

The Federal Ministry of Information and Broadcasting launched a series of workshops for the capacity building of new and mid-career journalists across the country. The training workshops were organized at Press Information Centers (PICs) which were established by the Press Information Department (PID).

Fact-check: Fabricated image of US consul general hunting markhor goes viral

Date: December 30, 2022 – Source: The News

Social media posts falsely claimed that the United States Consul General in Lahore illegally hunted a markhor in Pakistan’s northern areas and posted a forged image to support their claim.

Release of Pakistani film stalled in India

Date: December 31, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Al Jazeera

The Indian distributor of Pakistani film The Legend of Maula Jutt conveyed to exhibitors that the release of the film had now been indefinitely postponed. Sources claimed that this decision had been taken due to undue influence by leaders of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).

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

Pension issue of former radio workers lingers on

Date: December 4, 2022 – Source: Dawn

Chairman of Special Committee of the National Assembly on Dismissed Employees Dr Qadir Khan Mandokhail acknowledged that the pension of ex-employees of Radio Pakistan (RP) had been pending and the outcome of discussion on the matter with the government were ‘not encouraging’.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa CM hands over media colony allotment letters to Swat-based journalists

Date: December 6, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister (CM) Mehmood Khan handed over provisional allotment letters of residential plots in the media colony to Swat-based journalists.

Larkana Press Club gets Rs5 million grant

Date: December 6, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

On behalf of the Sindh government, information minister Sharjeel Inam Memon presented an annual grant in aid cheque worth Rs5 million to the Larkana Press Club (LPC).

Punjab government approves 700 kanal land for journalists’ society

Date: December 11, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhary Pervaiz Elahi approved the grant of 700 kanal for the construction of the second phase of journalists housing society. The society will be used to allot Punjab-based journalists with residential plots.

Journalists’ families need an insurance system and financial support

Date: December 11, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Families of journalists who are killed or disabled while performing their professional duties often face financial ruin and destitution. It is important for authorities and media organizations to introduce a comprehensive insurance and financial support program to address their financial concerns.

PEMRA makes NOC compulsory for housing societies to run advertisements on television channels

Date: December 13, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) issued a directive making it mandatory for private housing societies to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) before running advertisements promoting their business ventures on television channels.

Punjab CM urged to implement media payment formula

Date: December 29, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: The News, Source 3: Business Recorder (BR)

In a joint statement issued by APNS, PBA and CPNE, the media organizations urged Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi to implement the media payment formula of advertising dues as implemented by the federal governments as well as other provincial governments.

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

‘Joyland’ ban: Lahore High Court seeks replies from Punjab government

Date: December 1, 2022 – Source: The News

The Lahore High Court (LHC) issued notices to Punjab government seeking its replies over a writ petition challenging the provincial government’s ban on the screening of film ‘Joyland’ despite clearance from the federal government.

Bajaur jirga resolves dispute between medical professionals, journalists

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

A jirga organized in Bajaur succeeded to resolve a dispute between local journalists and the staff of district headquarters hospital Khar. The jirga comprised of the local member of national assembly (MNA), political figures and administration officials.

Arshad Sharif killing: Inquiry report submitted to interior secretary

Date: December 4, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

The government-nominated investigation committee, formed to probe the murder of journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya, submitted their inquiry report to the federal secretary of interior. The interior secretary will further furnish the report to the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP).

Imran Khan urges judicial inquiry into journalist’s killing

Date: December 4, 2022 – Source: The News

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan wrote a letter to Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, demanding a judicial inquiry into the killing of journalist Arshad Sharif.

Supreme Court rejects police JIT on journalist’s killing

Date: December 8, 2022 – Source 1: The News, Source 2: Express Tribune, Source 3: Daily Times

The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) rejected the federal government’s joint investigation team (JIT) consisting of police officials on journalist Arshad Sharif’s killing, and directed it to form a new special committee with the requisite expertise in investigation.

Fact-finding report terms Pakistani journalist’s murder in Kenya ‘targeted’

Date: December 8, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Pakistan Today, Source 3: Reuters

A team of investigators set up by the federal government to probe the killing of journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya said it found several contradictions in the version given by Kenyan authorities, and believes it was a case of pre-meditated murders.

Safety of journalists

Date: December 8, 2022 – Source: The News

Partial delivery on promises is nothing to be proud of when it comes to safety of journalists in Pakistan. IRADA, in its ten-year review of the ‘UN plan of action on safety of journalists and the issue of impunity in Pakistan, reveals that Pakistan has partially delivered on promises to protect its journalist community.

News fixing with international media an uphill task for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa journalists

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

Local news fixers and freelance journalists are finding it difficult to work with international media personnel based in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Local fixers reported facing threats, violence and intimidation while working with international media outlets since 2008.

Satirical comedy show taken off air by Pakistani media watchdog

Date: December 10, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Khabarhar, a satirical comedy show hosted by Aftab Iqbal, was taken off air by Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) days after performers mimicked a top official of a state institution. Aftab Iqbal has since called PEMRA an instrument of a ‘fascist government’ that cannot tolerate criticism.

PPP MPA, seven others indicted in citizen journalist’s murder case

Date: December 11, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: The News

An additional district and sessions court indicted sitting Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) lawmaker Jam Awais and seven of his servants on charges of kidnapping, abetting and torturing citizen journalist Nazim Jhokio to death.

Five Pakistani journalists among 67 killed in 2022

Date: December 12, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: India Blooms

According to figures released by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), five Pakistani journalists were among 67 media personnel killed while performing their professional duties in 2022. IFJ renewed its call for concrete actions to protect the safety and freedoms of journalists.

Why photojournalism is among the most challenging jobs in the world

Date: December 12, 2022 – Source: Digital Pakistan (DP)

A photojournalist’s role is to gather stories and unlike journalists who only tell these stories, a photojournalist allows people to visualize them. A lot of times, their work comes off as insensitive and avaricious for shooting at a sensitive time and are subjected to severe criticism for performing their jobs.

Journalist subjected to torture by landlords in Bhakkar

Date: December 16, 2022 – Source 1: Freedom Network (FN), Source 2: Journalism Pakistan (JP)

Haseeb Gondal, a Bhakkar-based local journalist, was harassed and subjected to torture by unidentified persons after reporting malpractices and corrupt practices adopted by local landlords.

PPF condemns attack on Sadiqabad Press Club, urges steps to ensure safety of members

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

Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) condemned the attack on Sadiqabad Press Club (SPC) premises during which threats were hurled at the club’s president and urged authorities that perpetrators of the attack must be held accountable.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa journalists continue to brave threats and intimidation

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

According to Khyber Union of Journalists (KUJ), journalists in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa continue to face attacks, intimidation and violence while performing their professional duties. These concerns continue to be resolved by journalist bodies as the provincial government failed to take adequate action.

Islamabad High Court quashes cases against information secretary, PTV managing director

Date: December 18, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Express Tribune

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) suspended multiple cases, filed in Lahore and Peshawar for a single offence, up to the extent of secretary information, Pakistan Television (PTV) Managing Director and other petitioners.

Executive engineer booked for ‘torturing’ journalist in Rahim Yar Khan

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

Police in Rahim Yar Khan registered a case against executive engineer (EXEN) of the public health engineering department on charges of attacking and slapping a local journalist after he demanded access to official documents.

Women parliamentarians promise support for bill on protection of journalists

Date: December 20, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

The Women Parliamentary Caucus of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly assured media bodies of its support in getting the bill on protection of journalists and media workers passed for the provincial legislature.

Journalists at risk due to content removal, account blockages and other digital challenges

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

Journalists in Pakistan continue to routinely come under attack in the digital sphere. Online harassment, intimidation, blockages of personal social media accounts and removal of content remain the most pressing threats faced by media professionals.

Ban on Joyland: Court directs government to decide matter within 15 days

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

The Lahore High Court (LHC) directed the provincial secretary for information and culture to hear the point of view of petitioners and producers of banned movie Joyland and decide the matter of the film’s exhibition in Punjab within 15 days.

Government condemns break-in by armed men into journalist’s residence in Islamabad

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

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murriyum Aurungzeb condemned an attempt by armed men to enter television anchorperson Shiffa Yusufzai’s residence and torture domestic workers in Islamabad.

Islamabad police investigating break-in at journalist’s residence

Date: December 22, 2022 – Source 1: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF), Source 2: Freedom Network (FN)

Islamabad Police (IP) has said that its officers are investigating a break-in at the residence of television anchorperson Shiffa Yusufzai in the federal capital. Yusufzai alleged that a group of armed men scaled the outer wall of her residence, tortured her house help and questioned about her whereabouts.

SJIT records statement of slain journalist’s mother

Date: December 22, 2022 – Source: Dawn

The Special Joint Investigation Team (SJIT) visited slain journalist Arshad Sharif’s residence in Islamabad to record his mother’s official statement. It was also learnt that the team plans to head to Karachi to record the statements of family members of Arshad Sharif’s hosts in Kenya when he was killed.

Three indicted for kidnapping citizen journalist

Date: December 24, 2022 – Source: Dawn

A court framed an amended charge against three guards of interned Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) lawmaker Jam Awais in the murder case of citizen journalist Nazim Jokhio. Lawmaker Jam Awais along with his six guards has already been indicted for torturing to death Jokhio at his farmhouse.

Judge to decide fate of out-of-court settlement in citizen journalist murder case

Date: December 24, 2022 – Source: The News

A sessions court set January 12 for the pronouncement of its verdict on an application filed by citizen journalist Nazim Jokhio’s family and detained Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) lawmaker Jam Awais seeking validation of their out-of-court settlement in Jokhio’s murder case.

Journalist among three shot dead in Attock

Date: December 29, 2022 – Source: Dawn

A chief editor of a local newspaper, his gunman and driver were shot dead by unidentified assailants near Marri village in Attock district. Police authorities have started their investigation and constituted various teams to arrest the culprits.

National Press Club restricts entry of ex-National Assembly speaker

Date: December 30, 2022 – Source: Dawn

The National Press Club (NPC) management restricted the entry of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Qasim Khan Suri, due to his statement against journalist Saleem Safi. The NPC management termed the statement by the former speaker of National Assembly as ‘as attack on press freedom’.

93 Pakistani journalists out of 1,700 killed in 20 years

Date: December 31, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Business Recorder (BR), Source 3: Arab News

According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Pakistan was ranked the fifth most dangerous country to practice journalism as 93 out of 1,700 journalists murdered globally were killed in the country.

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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