Media Matters for Democracy and Code for Pakistan to introduce ‘Muhafiz’ in a Press Conference at National Press Club Islamabad

MMfD and CFP to introduce ‘Muhafiz’ at National Press Club Islamabad in a press conference at 4:00 PM on 25th November, 2015. The event is aimed at introducing the framework which is due to launch in January 2016.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

First ever-digital solution for media safety in Pakistan initiated

Islamabad, 25 November 2015: Muhafiz, a digital solution for media safety has been initiated by Media Matters for Democracy, MMfD in collaboration with Code for Pakistan, Peshawar Press Club and National Press Club Islamabad. The initiative is supported by UNESCO Islamabad, Pakistan.

Muhafiz is a digital safety net, that seeks to streamline the documentation of threats to media workers, crowd source safety related information (safety advisories) and act as a connection gateway allowing journalists to seek help in emergency and to connect with national and international media rights groups working for journalists’ safety. The initiative is currently in the development phase and a limited launch is planned in January 2016. 

“We hope that Muhafiz will be able to fill a key gap in media safety initiatives by introducing an easy, effective and secure way to document threats, threat actors and trends affecting media safety in Pakistan”, says Asad Baig, Executive Director, MMfD, “We have collaborated with Code For Pakistan for the development of this tool, and would keep the code open source to allow safety audits from international digital safety groups”.

The design and development of this tool has been supported by UNESCO Islamabad, Pakistan.

“We believe in a free, fair and safe media and are committed to creating an enabling environment for free media to thrive in Pakistan as outlined in the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. We believe there is a gap between threat reporting and response, and Muhafiz is one initiative that aims at closing that gap” says Ms. Vibeke Jensen, UNESCO Representative to Pakistan.

National Press Club Islamabad and Peshawar Press Club are supporting the initiative.

“We support this much needed initiative and commit full support on behalf of the National Press Club for the cause of journalists safety and protection. We believe it will compliment the Safety Hub initiated by National Press Club says Shaheryar Khan, the President of National Press Club.

In its pilot phase Muhafiz will be tested in Peshawar, with a select group of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA based journalists. Eventually, the tool will be scaled on a national level.