Report terms 2014 the worst year for Pakistani media

Updated January 26, 2015



PESHAWAR: The year 2014 was the worst ever in the history of the country for the media, according to a report issued by Freedom Network, Pakistan. 

The report says that 14 people related to media including journalists, media assistants and bloggers were killed for their work and scores were injured, kidnapped and intimidated in 2014.

Take a look: Pakistan ‘most dangerous country for media’ in 2014

The report titled ‘State of Media in Pakistan: Key Trends of 2014 and Main Challenges in 2015’ says that 2014 came to be characterised by a number of troubling developments in the realm of electronic media when laws were used formally to browbeat and censure it, according to a press release issued by Freedom Network, Pakistan. 

Freedom Network( FN), a Pakistani media rights watchdog and an independent advocacy, research and training organisation, in its latest yearly report released on January 25, 2015, carries nine articles with in-depth look at issues of media security, impunity against journalists, worsening media ethics and crisis of credibility, outdated media laws, digital freedoms and privacy protections, social media and digitalisation of news sources, media ratings and profit motives, and mainstreaming of citizen journalism in the country.

“For several years now, Pakistan has consistently figured as the most dangerous of countries for journalists when it comes to the debate around freedom of expression internationally,” says FN managing director Aurangzaib Khan. He adds that a lot needs to be done to reduce the risk to human rights defenders, journalists and development practitioners in the country to make defending human rights and practicing journalism safer professions.

The report also investigates how 2014 came to be the deadliest year for Pakistani media for its shockingly high number of fatal casualties.

14 media workers killed, scores injured for their work

Each of the nine key media issues discussed by a separate expert on the subject ranging from seasoned journalists, dealing with these issues on a daily basis, to activists who keep a close eye on media developments -- each suggesting changes and reforms needed to promote greater media professionalism.   

In her article on digital challenges to media in Pakistan, Nighat Daad has noted this disturbing trend. “The previous regimes in Pakistan preferred a behind-the-scene approach for controlling internet freedom but the [current] regime in its first 18 months in office has been vocal in the Parliament and on media for using strong measures to censor social media,” she writes.

Phyza Jameel, a media and development activist, researcher and analyst, has thrown light on the fast emerging social media in the country.

Published in Dawn January 26th , 2015

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