The Work

Media development in Pakistan is the main premise of Media Matters for Democracy. We undertake policy research and advocacy for better media regulation in Pakistan. We work for the acceptance and integration of digital media technologies and work towards creating sustainable citizen journalism initiatives in the country. Our work is focused on three key areas; policy advocacy through evidence building and generation of public debate, data and digital journalism and inclusion of citizen voices.

What We Do

Freedom of (online and offline) Expression

This program is the foundation of MMfD.  We believe that without freedom of expression, in general, political and ideological sense, no democracy can progress and no society can develop. Our freedom of expression program is focused on research and advocacy on issues that can affect freedom of expression in Pakistan. The program works on policy and practical levels and includes initiatives related to;

Journalist security – MMfD is working with Pakistan Coalition on Media Safety, PCOMS and UNESCO on journalist security issues. The organisation has been involved in advocacy around media workers’ safety bill and ending impunity. MMfD is also focused on digital security of media workers, particularly women journalists.

Media regulation – MMfD is working to create awareness around media regulation, specially the regulation of electronic media in Pakistan.

Internet governance MMfD is one of the few organisations working on Prevention of electronic crime bill 2015. We participate remotely in internet governance forum’s right based best practices forum and have been working on Internet governance issues that have a direct link to FoE like example net neutrality

Media Development

This program aims to strengthen the media industry by building its credibility and capacity. The program has been conceived to meet two basic needs in the industry; first the increasing mistrust that the public has for media due to the lack of ethics and professional in journalism. Second, the lack of focus on technology specifically digital tools that can aid journalism. The program thus includes initiatives on;

Ethical and Professional media – Under this program area we have conducted research into media economy and media content. We run a volunteer initiative called Media Matters for Pakistan [hosted on mediamatterspakistan.org] that seeks to highlight issues that link to professional of the industry [and policies that can effect its independence]. We are also a close working partner of Pakistan Coalition on Ethical Journalism and are currently working to produce a series of web shows specifically focused on the ethical conduct of media.

ICTs and journalism – Under this program we are working on initiatives to bring technology to the media industry. We have been developing programs on multimedia journalism. Director Programs Sadaf Khan at MMfD has run online course with International Centre for Journalism on journalism in the digital world. This program hope to start projects focusing on data journalism, multimedia journalism, using technology for investigative reporting and citizen journalism online.

Gender and Media

A recent study by UNESCO, looking at Women in Media found that with respect to gender balance, Pakistan remains one of the worst countries in the world. A research looking at news content in vernacular language news outlets from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, KP and Baluchistan found that the number of women quoted as news sources was below 1%. The Gender and Media Program at MMfD seeks to improve the gender balance in the media industry and within media content.  The program works on three areas including;

Women in Media – This is a cross cutting program and seeks to ensure that women journalists remain beneficiaries in all of MMfD’s projects. The program area is trying to document the challenges and to seek solutions for empower women in media.

Women voices in media – This is also a cross cutting theme across MMfD’s initiatives. We seek to ensure gender balance in all we produce on our own and are also working on producing evidence that highlights the existing gender gap within media content.

Women Online – Under this program, we seek to empower women to have their say online without fearing harassment of abuse. We have conducted digital security trainings for women journalists and are closely involved in a policy debate within the Inter Governance Forum’s Best Practices Forum on Countering Abuse.