KARACHI: The Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) has expressed deep concern over the condition of freedom of the press in the country, saying the media is undergoing a phase of extreme suffocation and unnecessary restrictions.

The CPNE through a resolution passed at a meeting of its standing committee headed by council president Arif Nizami said that although there is no direct censorship, the current condition of the media is far worse than it was in the past.

According to the resolution, it seems as if newspapers are being subjected to economic sanctions in a bid to indirectly control the freedom of the press. By subjecting newspapers to ‘economic death’, an attempt is being made to end the freedom of expression and information, which is against the basis of the freedom of the press.

The resolution termed the proposed ‘media regulatory authority’ an unwise measure dangerous for the print media. The print media obtained freedom after a long struggle and steps to bring it under a regulatory authority seem dictatorial and are fanning fears among the newspaper circles.

The resolution also expressed concerns over various complaints of editors about restrictions on circulation or distribution of their newspapers in various parts of the country.

It stressed unity amongst all media teams, media organisations and other stakeholders and called upon them to formulate a joint strategy to ensure an end to indirect restrictions on the media.

In this respect, Mr Nizami was authorised to contact all media stakeholders, media organisations and journalist communities. The meeting decided to organise an extensive media convention for promoting the freedom of press.

Published in Dawn, December 2nd, 2018

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