The Open Society Foundations (OSF), an international organization working for shaping public policy to promote issues of democratization, human rights, and social reform and founded by billionaire investor George Soros, launched a new report on digital media in Pakistan, titled “Mapping Digital Media: Pakistan” in Islamabad on Friday. The event was attended by several journalists, researchers, academics and other members of civil society.
Written and edited by Huma Yusuf, a prominent Pakistani columnist, policy analyst and media researcher, the report covers aspects of digital media penetration in Pakistani society as well as the regulatory framework under which media organizations operate in, their financial models, impact of new technologies on journalism practices and the broadcasting spectrum. Speaking at the event via video-link from London, Yusuf highlighted how the report was significant in the evolving media landscape of Pakistan today as it is the first one-stop option to learn about the industry’s dynamics.
“There has been a proliferation in broadcast media outlets since deregulation in 2002…and the country has great potential for media to grow, inform and play an important role. We are sure that the stakeholders in Pakistan will greatly benefit from the extensive research covered in the report,” said Yusuf.
The launch of the report is also part of a global collaborative effort called the ‘Mapping Digital Media Project’ which covers 60 countries, with Pakistan being the 44th country where the report has been launched so far. Synonymous to the aims of its parent organization, the ‘Mapping Digital Media Project’ also strives to build bridges between researchers and policymakers and lay a foundation for advocacy and debate.
Speaking on the occasion, Marius Dragomir, senior manager and global publications editor at the OSF media programme, said that “the report offers a unique opportunity for comparative research that puts Pakistan’s media evolution in an international context.”
The report makes some critical recommendations by encouraging the expansion of digital media into the tribal frontiers of Pakistan, the development of legislation to cover the cyber arena, and to reduce the threats to journalists in the country by investigating killings of media personnel more thoroughly.
The complete “Mapping Digital Media: Pakistan” report can be downloaded here.