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. 9 September 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

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

Supreme Court unlikely to take up ‘hate campaign’ plea against Imran Khan

Date: September 8, 2022 – Source: Dawn

The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) may not take up a petition moved against the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leadership for an alleged hate campaign targeting national institutions such as the armed forces and judiciary.

National Assembly body takes notice of ‘media drive’ against lawmakers

Date: September 13, 2022 – Source: Dawn

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting took serious notice of ‘regular media campaigns’ being launched against parliamentarians on social and electronic media platforms.

Supreme Court moved to prohibit defamation of state institutions, officials

Date: September 14, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Express Tribune

A petition was filed in the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) requesting the court to direct the federal government to implement a specific code of conduct to prohibit defamation of state institutions and their officials.

Pakistan Broadcasters Association delegation meets Punjab CM

Date: September 17, 2022 – Source: The News

A delegation of the Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) called on Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and former federal minister Moonis Elahi to discuss issues relating to freedom of speech and expression in the province.

Ministers, television officials booked on terrorism charges for ‘fanning religious hatred’

Date: September 20, 2022 – Source: Dawn

Punjab police booked two Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) ministers as well as two officials of Pakistan Television Corporation (PTVC) on terrorism charges for allegedly ‘fanning religious hatred’ against former prime minister Imran Khan and ‘endangering his life’.

Punjab Assembly passes resolution against federal ministers, PTV for ‘hate speech’

Date: September 20, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: The News, Source 3: Express Tribune

Punjab Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Raja Basharat moved a resolution against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) ministers and officials working for state-run Pakistan Television Corporation (PTVC) for ‘fanning religious hatred and endangering life’ of former prime minister Imran Khan.

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

Dubai government official accuses ARY Group of ‘dishonesty, shameless greed’

Date: September 4, 2022 – Source 1: The News, Source 2: The Pakistan Daily

The government of Dubai’s business body accused the ARY Group of dishonesty and shameless greed over the breach of an agreement it signed two decades ago to build a gold refinery in Dubai.

PTV admits broadcast rights’ award to ARY Group ‘not transparent’

Date: September 15, 2022 – Source: The News

Pakistan Television Corporation (PTVC) admitted before the Lahore High Court (LHC) the process of awarding Pakistan Super League (PSL) broadcast rights to ARY Group was not transparent.

Geo News becomes Pakistan Cricket Board’s first ever official content partner

Date: September 20, 2022 – Source: The News

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced that the Independent Media Corporation (IMC-Geo Group) has become successful in bidding for PCB’s Official Content Partnership Rights (OCPR) following a comprehensive bidding process.

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

Supreme Court overturns high court decision in PTV harassment case

Date: September 1, 2022 – Source: Dawn

While setting aside the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) decision in a case pertaining to woman journalist’s harassment working for Pakistan Television Corporation (PTVC), the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) highlighted the need to bid farewell to gender biases at workplaces.

PEMRA orders closure of Bol News broadcast across Pakistan

Date: September 6, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Express Tribune, Source 3: Bol News

After repeated warnings and intimidations issued to Bol News and Bol Entertainment since their license expired in December 2021, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) suspended the broadcast of these channels across the country.

Journalism’s last stand

Date: September 6, 2022 – Source: Dawn

Lopsided coverage and the absence of objective reporting, among other factors, has led to a considerable erosion of credibility. The resulting vacuum has been filled by social media. The digital revolution has been creeping up on us but it is not led traditional media houses.

PEMRA stops broadcast of Labaik TV channels

Date: September 6, 2022 – Source: The News

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) stopped broadcast of television channels owned by Messrs Labaik Private Limited with immediate effect after their 15-year license period expired in December 2021.

PEMRA warns television channels against airing anti-state content

Date: September 6, 2022 – Source: The News

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) warned television channels, directing them to refrain from telecasting and content against state institutions.

Islamabad High Court questions environment of fear for journalists

Date: September 6, 2022 – Source: The News

Chief Justice Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Athar Minallah questioned an environment of fear and terror for journalists and expressed confidence that the government will encourage freedom of speech and take measures for protection of their rights.

Islamabad High Court sets aside ban on Imran Khan’s live television coverage

Date: September 7, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Daily Times

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) issued an order setting aside the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) ban on live television coverage of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan.

Punjab Assembly flays blackout of Imran Khan’s flood telethon

Date: September 13, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Express Tribune

The Punjab Assembly adopted a resolution condemning the federal government for blacking out the live telethon organized by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan to collect donations for flood victims.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf to move court against telethon ‘blackout’

Date: September 13, 2022 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: The Pakistan

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) slammed the federal government for allegedly blocking the live transmission of the telethon the party had organized to collect donations for flood victims and announced its decision to challenge the move before the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

Journalist booked in extortion case after covering eviction of ‘displaced persons’

Date: September 13, 2022 – Source: Dawn

Reporter Nasrullah Gaddani was booked at the Ghotki police station following an altercation between him and a police team. He was covering the forced eviction of ‘displaced persons’ by authorities living in a relief camp.

PEMRA takes two channels off-air for want of time-delay system

Date: September 16, 2022 – Source: Dawn

Pakistan Electronic media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) suspended the transmissions of ARY News and Bol News for three days for not implementing an effective time-delay system to their broadcast mechanism.

Armed men rob journalist’s house, torture her in Islamabad

Date: September 21, 2022 – Source: The News

A gang of gunmen crashed into the house of Fauzia Shahid, journalist and former secretary general of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), held her and her family at gunpoint, tortured her, and looted away gold and mobile phones and fled.

LHC summons PEMRA director general over broadcast of Nawaz Sharif, Ishaq Dar

Date: September 30, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

The Lahore High Court (LHC) summoned the director general of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to explain why media coverage was allowed to former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Federal Minister for Finace Ishaq Dar.

PPP distances itself from online smear campaign against Dawn

Date: September 30, 2022 – Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

The Hyderabad chapter of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) distanced itself from the Peoples Party Medical Union (PPMU), which had organized a procession against Dawn’s coverage of Liaquat University Hospital’s (LUH) affairs.

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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