Media Matters for Democracy launches first of its kind Urdu booklet to help Pakistani Internet users to identify and counter online misinformation

The Global Risks Report by the World Economic Forum lists digital misinformation as a growing global risk. This risk is extremely potent in Pakistan as a large segment of the population lacks digital literacy and is vulnerable to all kinds of online and digital propaganda. Lack of editorial controls within the mainstream media, leading to the…

An open-letter to Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, the CEOs of Facebook and Twitter, ahead of General Elections in Pakistan, asking them to rise up to the challenge of countering online misinformation

Dear Mark and Jack, Excuse the informality – we might not know you well, but you know us pretty intimately, don’t you? You know who we are, where we live, where we go, who our friends are, our favorite hangouts. You know our moods. You know our relations. And you know our political preferences. Yes,…

Expressing concern over the abduction of Gul Bukhari and targeting of Asad Kharral. Urgent investigations in these cases of violence and harassment of journalists extremely important

ISLAMABAD, 6 June 2018: Journalist and columnist Gul Bukhari was abducted by unknown persons on Tuesday 5th June 2018. After a few hours her family, who had earlier filed a missing person report with the police, confirmed through social media that she was back and ‘fine’. On the same night, another journalist Asad Kharral was…

We condemn the blocking of access to the Awami Workers Party’s website weeks ahead of General Elections 2018, and call upon relevant authorities including the Election Commission of Pakistan to take immediate action

Islamabad, 3rd June 2018: Media Matters for Democracy expresses grave concern on the blocking of Awami Worker’s Party official website weeks ahead of General Elections 2018 and condemns this attempt to disrupt the communications of a political party. The website was blocked on June 3rd, 2018 and independent tests using tools by Open Observatory of Network…

A dangerous precedent: State broadcaster blacks out PM’s press conference. Reasons remain shrouded in mystery. Media Matters for Democracy expresses concern over action that denied information to the Pakistani public

Image Courtesy: Dawn Islamabad, 14 May 2018 – In an unprecedented and bizarre move, Pakistan’s state broadcaster, the Pakistan Television Network, chose not to telecast a press conference held by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Monday, hours after he had chaired a crucial meeting of the country’s top civil-military council, the National Security Committee (NSC).…

MMFD calls for an immediate investigation into the alleged breach of NADRA citizens’ data and the involvement of Punjab government officials

On April 07, 2018, on a tip-off provided by a group of ethical hackers, multiple news outlets including Pro Pakistani and Tech Juice reported the alleged ongoing “sale and purchase” of citizens’ data from the National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) via Facebook pages for as low as Rs.100. Media Matters for Democracy expresses deep concern…

88% Pakistani journalists self censor in professional and 79% in personal settings; new research study reveals

Islamabad, 2 May 2018: As many as 88% of Pakistani journalists, who participated in a new research on self-censorship, were most likely to hold back information related to religious and security matters in their reporting and personal conversations. The journalists also considered the policies of their own news organisations as a major reason for their professional…

On the eve of World Press Freedom Day 2018, political leaders, journalists adopt ‘Islamabad Declaration’ reaffirming their commitment to free media

Islamabad, 2 May 2018:  In a roundtable hosted by Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD), Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and the National Press Club (NPC), participants adopted a declaration reaffirming their resolve to uphold the freedom of media and expression in Pakistan and ensure the safety of Pakistani journalists. The roundtable discussion was held…

Media Matters for Democracy stands in solidarity with Afghan journalism community and calls upon the Afghan authorities to bring to justice those involved in the attack on Afghan Journalists

ISLAMABAD, May 2018: MMfD offers its deepest condolences and stands in solidarity with Afghanistan’s journalism community, which lost some of its finest reporters, cameramen, and photographers in the attacks on Sunday, 29 April 2018. We also send our deepest condolences to the bereaved families of the journalists killed in the attacks in Kabul and Khost.…

Media Matters for Democracy expresses concern at the recent data breach at Careem; calls for a data protection framework to hold corporations accountable.

Islamabad, 25 April 2018: Media Matters for Democracy is deeply concerned about the recent data breach at Careem that we fear allowed hackers access to names, email addresses, ride histories and phone numbers of more than 14 million Careem customers and 500,000 captains. Careem came forward about the data breach on April 23, 2018, almost three…

Journalists and coders scrape online data to examine legislative performance at a Scrapthon hosted by Media Matters for Democracy and Code for Pakistan

Islamabad, 14 April 2018: Media Matters for Democracy and Code for Pakistan jointly organized an Open Data Scrapathon on the theme of “Accountability through Public Records” in Islamabad on Saturday. Altogether around 20 journalists, coders, and journalism students from the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad participated in the event. The participants scraped official public…

Bilal Shaikh of Dawn News tortured. Political violence against journalists in Pakistan on a rise just before the General Elections 2018. Media Matters for Democracy calls for immediate arrests of perpetrators.

We are extremely concerned about the rising incidents of political violence against journalists, especially in rural and semi-urban areas. In the past 30 days, three journalists [Asad Khan Betini, Bilal Shaikh and Zeeshan Butt] were attacked, abducted and/or tortured, one [Zeeshan Butt] of which lost his life.  In a recent incident, Bilal Shaikh, a broadcast…

Media Matters for Democracy condemns violence against journalist Asad Khan Betini in Balochistan; calls for an independent inquiry

We are extremely concerned about the news of violence against Asad Khan Betini, a broadcast journalist of prominence reporting from Balochistan. According to reports, Betini was beaten up and sustained injuries, under alleged orders from a local government official on Saturday. Betini has reportedly been getting threats from the Provincial Minister of Agriculture, Jaffar Khan Mandokhail, to stop writing…

Media Matters for Democracy is extremely concerned over the murder of another journalist, allegedly by the hands of a PML-N member; demands arrest and independent investigation

Media Matters for Democracy strongly condemns the murder of journalist Zeeshan Ashraf Butt and is extremely concerned at the alleged connection of a local politician, affiliated with ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N). Zeeshan Ashraf Butt, former President of Sambrial Press Club was affiliated with a renowned Pakistani news organization Nawa-e-Waqt.  According to media reports, Butt…

Suspension of Geo Network broadcasts by cable operators is unacceptable and in violation of constitutional freedoms and media regulations

Media Matters for Democracy strongly condemns the suspension of Geo News and other channels of the Geo network by cable operators in various parts of the country. The network’s five channels have reportedly been suspended illegally by cable operators in some areas of major cities, such as Karachi, Lahore, and Multan, since March 30. We…

#KeepItOn: Media Matters for Democracy expresses concern over another network shutdown, the first after the IHC order that declared arbitrary shutdowns illegal

Media Matters for Democracy expresses grave concern on government’s move to shut down mobile phone services in parts of Islamabad and Rawalpindi on the 21st of March, 2018.  The services are suspended in the wake of national events to avert possible law and order situations, however, there is no substantive evidence available to link network shutdowns…

Fighting for Internet freedom on a legal front: Umar Gilani and Asad Baig challenge the legality of the news and social media blackout during ‘Faizabad Dharna’

On 25th November last year, in an attempt to contain the hate spewed during a violent protest in the heart of the capital city Islamabad, the Federal Government decided to take censorship in Pakistan to a new high by shutting down all the broadcast news channels. After jamming the upload to Pak-Sat, the Federal Government…

Report Your News: Activists and thought leaders from Batagram and Manshehra gets a crash course in citizen journalism through Awam

Media Matters for Democracy and Omar Asghar Khan Foundation host another session under ‘Report Your News’, an initiative aimed at equipping communities and local activists from the mostly rural districts of Khyber Pakhtoonkwa with the citizen and mobile journalism skills using ‘Awam’. This session brought together activists and community and thought leaders from Batagram and Mansehra. The…

Media Matters for Democracy mourns the passing of Pakistan’s iconic human rights activist, and our hero Asma Jahangir

We are deeply saddened by the sudden death of leading Pakistani lawyer and activist Asma Jahangir, who died of cardiac arrest in Lahore on February 11 and was laid to rest today. Asma Jahangir remained at the forefront of the human rights movement in Pakistan throughout her long and distinguished career. Her relentless struggle to…

Countering misinformation: Media Matters for Democracy and National Press Club Islamabad host a roundtable with parliamentarians and anchorpersons to brainstorm ways to counter misinformation

Owners of news organisations and media groups should be encouraged to be transparent in their funding sources and ownership, in order to promote responsible journalism and curb ‘organised’ misinformation campaigns on broadcast media in Pakistan,  participants of a roundtable hosted by MMFD and NPC agreed. The journalists were speaking at “Current Journalism: Responsible or Irresponsible?” at…

Media Matters for Democracy’s concerns about digital safety of journalists acknowledged by Senate Committee tasked to develop special mechanisms to deal with crimes against journalists

We are happy to report to our community that on the recommendations of Media Matters for Democracy, Digital Rights Foundation and Pakistan Press Foundation, digital attacks, intimidation, and surveillance have been acknowledged as a serious form of threats to the journalists by Senate sub-committee working on developing special mechanisms to deal with crimes against journalists. The…

#MediaForTransparency: Five-day residential data-journalism bootcamp hosted by MMFD concludes today.

Ten journalists from different Pakistani news organisations studied investigative reporting strategies, multimedia journalism skills, and advanced data analysis techniques during a five-day training boot camp organised by Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD). The Data and Investigative Reporting Boot Camp was conducted in Murree from 13 to 17 December as part of MMfD’s Media for Transparency…

Escalation in intimidation and targeting of journalists concerning; MMfD condemns manhandling of Express Tribune staffer Fawad Hasan

ISLAMABAD, 22nd January 2018: Media Matters for Democracy condemns the manhandling of journalist Fawad Hasan, who was reportedly picked up from University of Karachi by plainclothes men for unexplained interrogation and manhandled during the process. Fawad Hasan, a senior sub-editor with The Express Tribune, was reportedly picked up during a condolence meeting held for Dr Hassan…

MMfD strongly condemns attack on journalist Taha Siddiqui: calls upon the government to urgently investigate and bring perpetrators to justice

ISLAMABAD, 10 January 2018: Media Matters for Democracy strongly condemns the attack and attempted abduction of journalist Taha Siddiqui, Pakistan Bureau Chief of World is One News, WION. The attack, that happened at 8:30 am in the Capital Islamabad, reflects the state’s failure to address the continued attacks against media and journalists community in Pakistan. “Such…

Media Matters for Democracy, Digital Rights Foundations and Pakistan Press Foundation petitions the Senate of Pakistan to be more inclusive in consultation on ‘Journalist Safety Bill’

Islamabad, 9 January 2017: Media Matters for Democracy, Digital Rights Foundation and Pakistan Press Foundation have filed a public petition with the Senate of Pakistan, urging to take threats to women journalists and perils in the digital world into consideration while drafting the ‘Journalist Safety Bill’. The Senate Standing Committee on Information Broadcasting and National Heritage formed…

Media Matters for Democracy launches Awam, a citizen journalism portal with built-in components and features to thwart misinformation and fake news. Beta available on Google PlayStore

Islamabad, 30 December 2017: Media Matters for Democracy marks the launch of Awam, a citizen journalism portal for reporting of governance issues especially in pre and post-election(s) scenario.

‘Awam’ is a digital tool to facilitate citizens to generate multimedia journalism content, particularly on the local governance issues of their communities, and interface this content with the mainstream media outlets.

Taking Awam to the communities; Media Matters for Democracy and Omar Asghar Khan Foundation initiates ‘Report Your News’ to empower local activists and thought leaders with citizen and mobile journalism skills

Media Matters for Democracy and Omar Asghar Khan Foundation initiates ‘Report Your News’ —  a series of orientation sessions — aimed at acquainting local activists and communities from Abbottabad and Mansehra with citizen and mobile journalism skills using ‘Awam’.  The mainstream media space, especially the broadcast media, focuses largely on the news content from urban centres owing…

Media Matters for Democracy extremely concerned over PML-N’s move to suspend Twitter and broadcast news channels in Pakistan; demands immediate restoration

ISLAMABAD, 25 November 2017: PML-N government’s move to block citizen’s access to all information channels, including TV news and social media, reek of dictatorial attitude and are highly condemnable. PEMRA’s decision to suspend the broadcast of all news channels is one of the worst cases of media censorship Pakistan has experienced, with parallels only in…

#MediaForTransparency: Media Matters for Democracy successfully concludes it’s data journalism training program reaching out to 45 investigative journalists in five cities

Islamabad, 5 November 2017: Media Matters for Democracy under its initiative #MediaForTransparency completed a series of extensive data journalism training programs designed specifically for Pakistani journalists. #MediaForTransparency is an MMFD initiative that seeks to incorporate and demonstrate the use of Right to information, and data and investigative journalism. The program seeks to simultaneously work with…

Media Matters for Democracy and Pakistan Press Foundation commemorates the International Day to End Impunity with the families of slain journalists in Karachi; participants adopt ‘Karachi Resolution’ on ending impunity for crimes against journalists

Sindh and its provincial capital Karachi, are known for highest target-killing of media workers. Nearly 30% of total journalists died in the line of duty were based in Sindh. A total of 20 journalists and media workers have died in the line of duty in Karachi, 16 of which were targeted, 14 with complete impunity. To…

Committee to Protect Journalists, Media Matters for Democracy and Pakistan Press Foundation write a letter to Prime Minister of Pakistan Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to honour the commitments made by his party leader Nawaz Sharif to ensure pro-active protection of journalists

Islamabad, 1 November 2017: National and international media rights groups call upon the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, to take notice of the impunity in crimes against journalists and honor the commitments made by Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. Pakistan has, time and again, made it to the list of ‘most dangerous countries for…

#JournoSafePk Alert: Attack on senior journalist Ahmed Noorani condemnable; Media Matters for Democracy urges government to bring culprits to justice

ISLAMABAD, 27 OCTOBER 2017:  Media Matters for Democracy condemns the cowardly attack on senior journalist Ahmed Noorani, associated with The News. Noorani was targeted at Zero Point in Islamabad by six knife-wielding men and is currently hospitalized after sustaining multiple injuries. The incident has occurred just five days before the world marks the International Day…

Recovery of missing journalist a welcome step; further investigations needed to bring perpetuators to justice

ISLAMABAD, 21 October 2017: The recovery of Zeenat Shehzadi, a journalist missing for over two years is a step in the right direction. Media Matters for Democracy urges the government to continue investigations into the journalist’s disappearance and bring the perpetrators to justice.  As per media reports, Shahzadi has been recovered from the Pakistan Afghanistan…

Media Matters for Democracy launches DigitalRightsMonitor.pk – Pakistan’s first digital rights news portal collating original news content and resources for journalists

Islamabad, 18 October 2017: Media Matters for Democracy under its initiative ‘Report for Digital Rights’ launches ‘Digital Rights Monitor’, Pakistan’s first digital rights news portal hosted at digitalrightsmonitor.pk ‘Report for Digital Rights’ aims to politicise and bring in the mainstream the debate on digital rights and Internet governance in Pakistan. The portal includes original journalistic…

#JournoSafePK Alert: a journalist slain in Swabi, a city in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; unions and civil-society fear a skewed investigation

Image Courtesy: Express Tribune ISLAMABAD, 13 October 2017: Haroon Khan, a journalist associated with Mashriq TV and a publication Akhbar Khyber, was shot dead in front of his home in Swabi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Thursday, 12 October 2017. An email allegedly circulated by Muhammad Khursani, spokesperson of Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan claims responsibility for the…

#JournoSafePK Alert: Journalists in Balochistan under grave threat once again; high-time for government to deliver on its promises of protecting journalists and ending impunity

ISLAMABAD, 13 October 2017: Media Matters for Democracy is extremely concerned at the threat of a new wave of violence against journalists in Balochistan, already a heavily targeted lot. The threat issues by the proscribed United Balochistan Army is grave in nature and the government needs to respond urgently to the threat.  As per media…

Media Matters for Democracy launches ‘From Right to Information to Journalistic Investigations’, a specialised guidebook to enable journalistic use of RTI

In 2013, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan became the first to pass a second generation information law – the Kyber Pakhtunkhwa Right to Information Bill 2013 is cited to be one of the best information laws in the world. The Punjab province followed suit and the Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Act, 2013…

Are you a journalist working a digital rights story on deadline? Have a question that you need quickly answered? Get in touch. We are happy to help!

We are happy to start a Twitter-based helpline for answering questions regarding digital rights and other Internet governance issues in Pakistan. If you are a journalist reporting on laws that govern cyberspace in Pakistan and related issues, please read carefully! Under ‘Report for Digital Rights’ we are establishing a Twitter-based helpline for journalists and anchorpersons to…

Media Matters for Democracy terms network shutdowns in the name of ‘maintaining law and order’ in Pakistan unconstitutional; urges the government to devise meaningful strategies to fight terrorism

Islamabad, Pakistan, 29th September 2017: Media Matters for Democracy is extremely concerned about another suspension in cellular services in Pakistan around Ashura, just before the observance of 9th and 10th of Muharram processions. The services were allegedly suspended in more than 30 cities and districts of Pakistan, and are feared to get worst on 9th and…

Media Matters for Democracy responds to the call of protest by Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists; demands a thorough investigation of the attack on Matiullah Jan’s vehicle

Islamabad, 26 September 2017: Media Matters for Democracy joined the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and the Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of Journalists to protest against a blatant attack on Matiullah Jan’s vehicle. Matiullah Jan’s vehicle came under attack on 24th September, when two unidentified men on a motorcycle hurled a brick at his car’s windscreen. His…

Media Matters for Democracy expresses concern over an attack on Matiullah Jan’s vehicle; calls for a thorough investigation of the incident

Islamabad, 25 September 2017: Media Matters for Democracy is extremely concerned over an attack on tjhe vehicle of Matiullah Jan, a senior journalist and anchorperson working for Waqt television. In an extremely unfortunate incident, Matiullah’s vehicle was attacked with a brick by two unidentified men on a motorcycle, who managed to get away. Matiullah Jan’s…

Media Matters for Democracy under its initiative Report for Digital Rights hosts a series of orientation sessions in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad

Islamabad, 10 August 2017: Media Matters for Democracy hosts specialised orientation sessions for journalists and anchorpersons to assist them in breaking down Internet governance and digital rights issues and produced more nuanced journalistic content with a strong focus on public interests. In the digital world that we live in today, digital rights and Internet governance…

Media Matters for Democracy launches a specialised guidebook for journalists to help them enhance their knowledge of digital rights, Internet Governance and laws that govern cyber-space in Pakistan

We are super excited to announce the launch of ‘Understanding Internet Rights’ which is an excellent resource for journalists to be specific but in general, anyone who is interested to know more about digital rights and the laws that govern cyber-space in Pakistan. Through this field guide, we aim to assist media professionals in enhancing their understanding…

#JournoSafePK Alert: Media Matters for Democracy expresses grave concern over rising threats and attacks on journalists; demands a thorough investigation of cases and immediate arrests of perpetrators.

Islamabad, Pakistan, 12 June 2017: Pakistan remains extremely perilous for media practitioners. According to Media Matters for Democracy’s statistics, a journalist dies in the line of duty roughly every 2 months in Pakistan. Over 17 years, 120 journalists have lost their lives and a clear majority of deceased were targeted; identified and shot. In 2017…

MMFD and CFP host a ‘Hack-Day’ to commemorate the international Open Data Day; work towards a mobile app to connect citizens with the policy makers

To commemorate the international Open Data Day, Media Matters for Democracy and Code for Pakistan hosted a hack-day in an attempt to work towards a digital solution to allow citizens to connect directly to policymakers. Coders, web-developers, and journalists participated in the event. The group after a deliberation on the problem statement – the disconnection…

MMfD condemns disappearances of known writers and bloggers; demands swift action by the Government for safe and urgent recovery of the missing

Islamabad, 9 January 2017: Media Matters for Democracy, voices grave concerns regarding the recent wave of abductions and disappearances of bloggers and writers from Lahore and Islamabad.  MMfD considers such disappearances a direct threat to rule of law and to freedom of expression, a constitutionally guaranteed fundamental right of citizens. We ask the Government of Pakistan…

Media Matters for Democracy and Code for Pakistan host a design thinking workshop with an aim to brainstorm technological solutions to counter cyber harassment and online abuse

Media Matters for Democracy and Code for Pakistan brought together a dynamic group of civil society, corporate and technical stakeholders in a design thinking session focused on designing digital solutions for countering online abuse against women. The session, held at IGF 2016, was an extension of MMfD’s work to explore alternate solutions and redressal mechanisms for…

Media Matters for Democracy hosts talks in various public and private universities to highlight key elements of the oppressive Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016

Islamabad, 24 October 2016: Media Matters for Democracy hosts talks in three public/private universities to inform students of the dangers of newly enacted Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016. The government of Pakistan has recently enacted PECA to deal with cyber crimes in Pakistan. The law, while it has some useful components such as punishments…

Article 19 and Media Matters for Democracy concerned about growing intimidation of free media in Pakistan

Islamabad, Pakistan, 21 October 2016: ARTICLE 19 and Media Matters for Democracy are concerned about a government decision to place a Pakistani journalist Cyril Almeida on the Exit Control List (ECL), effectively barring him from leaving the country. The journalist, associated with Dawn newspaper, was informed of the decision following the publication of an article highlighting a…

Introducing Muavin – an open source digital tool to support women facing harassment online

Islamabad, 26 September 2016: Media Matters for Democracy is proud to announce our latest initiative Muavin, an open source digital tool to support women facing harassment online. The initiative has been launched with support from Association for Progressive Communications, APC and is being implemented with the technical partnership of Code for Pakistan, CFP. Women who…

Muhafiz, Pakistan’s first digital threat reporting system for journalists and bloggers, goes live!

Islamabad, 12 August 2016: Muhafiz, Pakistan’s first digital threat reporting system for journalists and bloggers is live in Peshawar. Developed by Media Matters for Democracy and Code for Pakistan with support from UNESCO and Foundation Open Society Institute, Muhafiz is an app combined with a web-portal and seeks to streamline the threat reporting practices of…

In spite of continued objections over serious human rights implications, Pakistan’s new cyber crime bill passes through. Joint Statement by Media Matters for Democracy, Bytes for All and Association for Progressive Communication

Islamabad, 11 August 2016: Pakistan’s new and controversial cybercrime bill is poised to become a law after the National Assembly passed it today. The Bill now has the approval of both upper and lower house of the Parliament and requires only the presidential signature before formally being enacted as a law. Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD),…

Media Matters for Democracy and the members of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists called upon the Chairman of Senate for reforms in cybercrime bill

Islamabad, 27 July 2017: Members of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and Media Matters for Democracy called upon the Chairman Senate, Senator Raza Rabbani to brief him on the implications of the proposed cybercrime legislation on civil liberties. Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2016, commonly referred to as the cybercrime bill, is currently under…

Media Matters for Democracy meets with Senators and legislators to push for reforms in oppressive cybercrime bill; journalists walk out in protest to support MMFD’s stance

Islamabad, 27 July 2016: Media Matters for Democracy, as a last resort, takes to lobbying with opposition senators and legislators to push for reforms in oppressive Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2016 on the floor of the Senate.  The Senate Committee on Information Technology was tasked by the Senate Chairman to work towards reforms in…

Leadership of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and National Press Club on the call of Media Matters for Democracy took to streets to protest against cyber crimes bill; demand reforms

Islamabad, 26 July 2017: The leadership of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, National Press Club and civil society members on the call of Media Matters for Democracy took to streets to protest the negative implications of proposed cybercrimes bill on journalists and journalism in Pakistan. The protest demonstration was held in front of the…

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan appreciates the tireless efforts of MMfD’s team on Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2016 advocacy

Islamabad, 26 July 2016: Media Matters for Democracy’s representatives Sadaf Khan, Asad Baig and Mohsin Saleem participated in a consultation on Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill hosted by Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. HRCP called upon representatives of various organisations and individuals pushing for reforms in the soon to be passed PECB 2016. The session…

Digital rights activists highlight concerns in PECB2016; Senate Committee set to make some changes in the Bill

Islamabad, 3 July 2017: Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2016 is to undergo another set of amendments following meetings of Senate Sub-Committee formulated to recommend amendments.  A three-member committee, led by Senator Osman Saifullah from Pakistan Peoples Party has been tasked with formulating recommendations for amendments in PECB2016. The Committee convened its first meeting on…

MMfD-PFUJ petition hearing in the Senate Standing Committee; the Chairman announces a sub-committee to jointly works towards consensus on PECB

Islamabad, 22 June 2017: A Senate Standing Committee on IT and Telecom called Media Matters for Democracy’s Executive Director Asad Baig and Program’s Director Sadaf Khan to hear a petition submitted in Senate earlier this month. The petition was jointly initiated (and submitted) by MMfD and the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and co-signed by…

PFUJ and MMfD call upon the Senators to standby their expressed commitments and redraft PECB 2016 – submits a petition in Senate signed by journalists, anchorpersons and activists

Islamabad 10th June: Senior journalists, anchorpersons and activists co-sign an online petition initiated by Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and Media Matters for Democracy demanding the repressive cyber crimes bill to be redrafted and implications to ‘fundamental rights’ removed. Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, the national union of journalists and media workers, and Media Matters…

Media Matters for Democracy, Bytes for All, Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of Journalists and National Press Club held a consultation on PECB 2016 highlighting it’s implications on journalism

Islamabad, 1 June 2016: Media Matters for Democracy, Bytes for All, the Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of Journalists and National Press Club hosted a joint consultation with journalists, civil society leaders, and Senators, to highlight and discuss the implications of Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill’s implications on journalists and journalism in Pakistan. The advocacy event was…

UNESCO, Media Matters for Democracy, Embassy of Netherlands and Center for Peace and Development Initiatives hosted World Press Freedom Day 2016 in Islamabad

Executive summary Every 3rd May, UNESCO and the UN commemorates the World Press Freedom Day with the aim to advance the fundamental principles of press freedom and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession. This year, the World Press Freedom Day coincides with three important milestones: The…

PFUJ, Senate sub-committee commend the efforts of MMFD for actively advocating for independent investigations in crimes against journalists and media workers. Express resolve to work together for joint objectives

The sub-committee of the Senate Standing Committee on Information Broadcasting and National Heritage tacked to ensure the protection of journalists recommended that the federal government should take all possible measures to ensure journalists’ safety. The sub-committee under the chairmanship of Senator Mushahid Ullah discussed a potential legislation for the proactive protection of journalists and media…

Senate Sub-Committee recommends the Government and media houses to ensure safety of journalists; expresses commitment to jointly work towards journalists safety legislation

Islamabad, 17 April 2017: The Sub-Committee of the Senate Standing Committee on Information Broadcasting and National Heritage on Friday recommended that the government and the media houses should take measures to ensure journalists’ safety. The Sub-Committee under the chairmanship of Senator Mushahid Ullah discussed a potential legislation for proactive protection of journalists and media workers,…

Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2016, yet another story of deception from democracy

Islamabad, 14 April 2016: Bytes for All, Pakistan, Media Matters for Democracy and the Association for Progressive Communications express grave concerns over the regressive Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill and reject the bill in its current shape. The draconian bill passed by the ruling party, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz, PML-N, remains a direct threat to…

National Assembly passes the much resisted Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2016

Islamabad, 12 April 2016: Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2016 has been passed by National Assembly of Pakistan today. The bill was passed despite continued resistance and criticisms from human and digital rights The bill was passed despite continued resistance and criticisms from human and digital rights organisations. Even though the Government took over a…

Media Matters for Democracy and Bytes for All call for more transparency in legislations around cyberspace; urge the government to not curb civil rights for counter-terrorism

ISLAMABAD – 16 April 2015: The draft of Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2015 leaked to activists includes various clauses that go against the fundamental rights of freedom of expression and access to information. The draft has been approved by an expert committee constituted by National Assembly Standing Committee on Information and Technology. Rights-based organizations Bytes for…

#JournoSafe Update: Hamid Mir Commission Report Leaked

Islamabad, 10th April 2016: High level judicial commission formed to inquire into the attack on Hamid Mir on 19th April 2014 in Karachi has stated its inability to find the identity of the culprit(s) or fixing the responsibility of the incident on any individual, group or organisation. This has been stated in a yet unconfirmed…

Joint Action Committee Calls upon Opposition Parties to Resist PECB on Floor of Assembly

April 10, 2016: The Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill (PECB) has been on the Orders of the Day twice during last week’s National Assembly session. Due to the focus on the Panama leaks, the House has been preoccupied with discussing just that. However this does not mean PECB will not eventually make it to the…

Tough spell for media in Pakistan continues; media bears the brunt of censorship and religious extremism

Photo Credit: Najia Ashar Following the hanging and the funeral of Salman Taseer’s murderer, Mumtaz Qadri, various religious political parties had given out calls for a national protest to their workers today, the 4th of March, 2016. Protestors gathered in all the major cities of the country after Jummah prayers and incidents of clashes have been…

Ministerial committee initiates stakeholder consultations on Media Workers Safety and Welfare Bill 2016. Media Matters for Democracy to provide recommendations

Islamabad, 23 February 2016: A nationwide consultative process with media stakeholders, for drafting of Media Workers Safety and Welfare Bill 2016 has been initiated by a ministerial committee set up for the purpose of facilitating legislation around media safety. A meeting of the committee was held in Islamabad on Tuesday and committee members shared consolidated…

Media Matters for Democracy, Rozan and Pakistan Coalition for Ethical Journalism mark the launch of ‘Humara Media’ as a social media watchdog on mainstream media

Islamabad, 1 February 2016: Media Matters for Democracy, with support from Rozan and Coalition for Ethical Journalism launches a series of web shows to address the policy and practice issues in the media industry. Humara Media is a web-show, to discuss and openly debate on various policy and practice issues plaguing Pakistan’s media industry, without the…

#JournoSafePK Alert: A journalist shot dead in Dera Islamil Khan, only 15 days in the new year.

Dera Ismail Khan, 2 January 2016: Another journalist has been shot dead in Dera Ismail Khan. Muhammad Umer was targeted at Niazi Chowk by unidentified persons. Muhammad Umer was affiliated with a local newspaper. According to police, the killers managed to escape after targeting Umer. Saddar police station has registered the case and initiated investigations.…

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, on the recommendations of ‘Working Group on PEMRA Reforms’ a specialised voluntary forum, announces to make Council of Complaint(s) hearings public

Islamabad, 7 January 2016: Members of a specialised voluntary forum, ‘working group on PEMRA reforms’ met with the newly appointed chairman PEMRA, Absar Alam, on Tuesday the 5th of January, to formally present compliance related recommendations drafted and prepared with facilitation from Media Matters for Democracy. The group congratulated Absar Alam and expressed hope for…

Media Matters for Democracy facilitates the formation of a specialised, voluntary working group to push for PEMRA reforms

Islamabad, 5 December 2015: The team members of Media Matters for Democracy facilitated the formation of a specialised group comprising of top-notch media practitioners, managers, human rights activists and legal advisor(s) to come together and draft recommendations for reforms in electronic media regulatory policies and compliance related issues under the mandate of PEMRA. The group…

Media Matters for Democracy and Code for Pakistan host a press conference at National Press Club Islamabad to introduce ‘Muhafiz’, Pakistan’s first digital threat reporting system

Islamabad November 25 2015: Muhafiz, a digital solution for the protection of journalists has been initiated by Media Matters for Democracy in collaboration with Code for Pakistan, Peshawar Press Club and National Press Club Islamabad.  Muhafiz is a digital safety net, that seeks to streamline the documentation of threats to media workers, crowdsource safety-related information (safety…

Media Matters for Democracy hosts a Design Thinking Workshop to finalise ‘Muhafiz’, a digital solution for protection of journalists

Islamabad, 21 November 2015: A design workshop to help conceptualise Muhafiz, a digital solution for the protection of journalists was held at MMfD office on Saturday, 21st of November 2015. The workshop brought together a group of journalists and developers to brainstorm and design ideas. Muhafiz is a digital safety net being developed by MMfD…

Media Matters for Democracy launches Humara Media, a series of web-shows on media policy and regulation issues

ISLAMABAD, 18 November 2015: Media Matters for Democracy launches Humara Media, a series of web-shows, discussing various policy and practice issues of Pakistan’s broadcast media industry. The web-show is an initiative of Pakistan Coalition for Ethical Journalism led currently by Rozan and has been produced by Media Matters for Democracy. Humara Media is a sixteen episode series,…

Media Matters for Democracy and Code for Pakistan join hands to develop technological solution for media safety

Islamabad, 8 November 2015: Media Matters for Democracy and Code for Pakistan join hands to develop Muhafiz, Pakistan’s first semi crowdsourced, digital threat reporting system for media workers and bloggers. Muhafiz is currently in design phase and will be made available for end users by January 2016.  The development of Muhafiz is a natural outcome of years…

Media Matters for Democracy releases the promo of Humara Media, a series of web-shows to discuss media policy and regulation issues

ISLAMABAD, 18 November 2015: Humara Media, a web-show, looking at various policy and practice issues that plague the Pakistani media industry and have an impact on the ethical conduct of media, is due to launch on 20th November 2015. The web-show is an initiative of Pakistan Coalition for Ethical Journalism, PCEJ, led currently by Rozan…

Sahar Habib Ghazi joins the Media Matters for Democracy’s Governing Board

Islamabad, 13 November 2015: We are very happy to welcome Sahar Habib Ghazi, the newest member of MMfD’s Governing Board. Sahar is the Managing Editor of a community-based newsroom at Global Voices, setting a unique news agenda that aims to builds bridges and global understanding. She has previously worked for The New York Times, DawnNews TV,…

Media Matters for Democracy writes a letter to Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority to inquire the latest ‘notice’ asking broadcasters to suspend criticism of Saudi Arabia over Mina incident

Islamabad, 11 November 2015: Media Matters for Democracy writes a letter to Pakistan’s electronic media regulator PEMRA to inquire about the exact clause under which the broadcasters were barred from fair criticism of Saudi Arabia over Mina incident. The letter was sent in the wake of PEMRA’s avoidance of protocol in sending regulatory messages to…

#JournoSafePK Alert: Tribal Journalist and HRCP Monitor, Zaman Mehsud Shot Dead in Tank Area of FATA

Via Dawn.com TANK: Tribal journalist and human rights activist Mohammad Zaman Mehsud was gunned down in an ambush in Tank, southern district of Khyber Pakhtun­khwa, on Tuesday, only a day after the International Day of End Impunity Against Journalists was observed the world over. Police and witnesses said that Zaman Mehsud was going to Tank…

In remembrance: civil society members and journalists mark International Day to End Impunity; demand investigation into the cases of slain journalists

    Islamabad, 2nd November 2015: The lack of consequences for those who target journalists in Pakistan is resulting in increasing violence against the members of media fraternity; this sentiment echoed in the statements made by a small group of journalists and civil society actors gathered in Islamabad to mark the International Day to End…

#JournoSafePK Alert: A tribal journalist Abdul Azam Shinwari working for State news agency, APP, shot in Hayattabad

Via Dawn.com PESHAWAR/LANDI KOTAL: A tribal journalist hailing from Khyber Agency sustained injuries when an unidentified person opened firing on him in the limits of Hayatabad police station here late on Tuesday, police said. The tribal journalist Abdul Azam Shinwari, a resident of Landi Kotal, works for the state news agency APP and Pakistan Television.…

#JournoSafePK Alert: Senior Journalist Aftab Alam Shot Dead in Karachi; 2 media workers die in 3 attacks within 24 hours

KARACHI, 9 September 2015: Senior journalist Aftab Alam was shot dead by two armed assailants in North Karachi. Aftab Alam was critically injured during the attack and breathed his last in Abbasi Shaheed Hospital while being treated. This is the 3rd attack on media workers within the span of 24 hours. On 8th September Geo…

#JournoSafePK Alert: Arshid Ali Jaffery Geo Staffer succumbs to death after an attack on GEO DSNG Van

KARACHI, 8th September 2015: Geo News’s satellite engineer succumbed to injuries after receiving seven bullets in an attack on Geo’s DSNG Van. According to details, here gunmen open fire on the channel’s DSNG van parked on Shaheed-e-Millat Road, Karachi. Arshid Ali Jaffery was seriously injured and driver of the DSNG van received bullets in his…

#JournoSafePK Alert: Killers of slain journalist Irshad Mastoi have been arrested in Quetta, claims security agencies

Via Dawn.com QUETTA: Security agencies and police have arrested two high-profile ‘target killers’ involved in the murder of two journalists and an accountant in Quetta along with other terrorist activities. Security sources say the accused belonged to a banned militant outfit. Balochistan Home Minister Mir Safaraz Bugti during a press conference at the Home Ministry…

UNESCO’s Director Ms. Vibeke Jensen visits the training sessions at MMfD; appreciates the tireless efforts of the team to make women journalists safer online

Islamabad, 21 August 2015: Speaking on the occasion of certificate distribution among the participants, Ms. Vibeke Jensen, UNESCO Representative highlighted the significant role of female journalists in contributing to educate and inform the citizens towards a peaceful, developed and democratic society. She said that with the introduction of digital technologies and the high numbers of users…

A help-desk for women journalists set up at Media Matters for Democracy to help them deal with digital security and online harassment issues

Islamabad, 21 August 2015: A digital safety helpdesk to assist women in media dealing with issues of digital security or online harassment has been set up at a local media development organisation, Media Matters for Democracy, in Islamabad. The creation of digital security help desk has followed the conclusion of a series of two digital…

Second day of Digital Security workshop concludes; MMfD sets up virtual help desk for women (journalists and bloggers in particular) at Media Matters for Democracy

Islamabad, 19 August 2015: MMfD announces the setting up of a virtual help-desk for women in media facing digital security issues at the conclusion of two day workshop on digital security for women journalists and bloggers. The help-desk would operate virtually through MMfD’s website www.mediamatters.pk and would also be physically hosted at the organisational office.…

MMfD-UNESCO Digital Security Workshop ‘Connected and Safe’ Starts in Islamabad

Two day digital security workshop for women journalists and bloggers Connected and Safe started at Media Matters for Democracy today [18 August 2015]. The workshop is being conducted with support from UNESCO Pakistan and brings together 15 journalists, bloggers and other media professionals to discuss issues related to digital threats.  The workshop was attended by…

Sub committee of NA Standing Committee on IT to meet today (13th August); no invitation extended to Joint Action Committee members

Islamabad, August 12: A meeting of the subcommittee of the NA Standing Committee on IT has been called on August 13. Civil society actors working on revisions in PECB2015 have received neither intimation nor invitation to join the meeting. The subcommittee was formed during the previous session of the standing committee with the purpose of…

MMfD and PCOMS express concerns over the journalists missing in interior Sindh & long delays in Hamid Mir’s commission findings.

  Media Matters for Democracy urges government for serious action in cases of two missing journalists  Karachi, 28 Jan 2015: Media Matters for Democracy and Pakistan Coalition on Media Safety expressed concern over the complete silence in the cases of two missing journalists from Sindh. MMfD is a civil-society watchdog organisation and PCOMS is a national alliance…

Media Matters for Democracy signs a joint statement  submitted to the 29th Session of UN Human Rights Council; urges for stronger encryption and anonymity in digital age

Islamabad, 17 June 2015: A joint statement was signed by Media Matters for Democracy which was submitted to the 29th Session of UN Human Rights Council, asking to ‘Promote Strong Encryption and Anonymity in the Digital Age’. Media Matters for Democracy, a Pakistan based civil-society organisation is geared towards digital rights advocacy and calls for a…

Media Matters for Democracy signs an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg; highlights the implications of Internet.org on access, privacy and net neutrality

Islamabad, 19 June 2015: Media Matters for Democracy signs an open letter titled ‘ Implications of Internet.org on Privacy, Access and Net Neutrality’ addressed to Zuckerberg of Facebook. The letter aims to highlight the implications of Internet.org, a platform initiated and operated by Facebook Corporation which against the principles of net neutrality and privacy. The…

Media Matters for Democracy called to the proceedings of ‘Standing Committee on Information & Technology’ to consult on Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2015

Islamabad, 25 May 2015: Media Matters for Democracy along with a group of national civil society organizations was called to a consultative meeting with National Assembly’s Standing Committee on IT and Telecom yesterday.  The invitation was extended by National Assembly’s staffers assisting the Standing Committee on IT and Telecom on the instructions of the Committee…

Journalism or jingoism: Ahmad Qureshi’s unfounded claims could incite violence against individuals named in the show.

Ahmed Qureshi, a current affairs show host on Express TV “Q @ With Ahmed Qureshi”, hosted a show, focusing on the brutal murder of Sabeen Mehmud, director of PeaceNiche and owner of The Second Floor, on 26th April 2015. In this show, the host Ahmed Qureshi, makes seriously irresponsible claims without any proof and engages…

MMfD demands end to impunity; demands government to bring Sabeen Mehmud’s assassins to justice

ISLAMABAD, 27 April 2015: MMfD strongly condemns rising violence against civil-society representatives and demands the government and law enforcement agencies to apprehend the perpetrators in Sabeen’s murder and bring them to justice. On 24th April 2015, one of the country’s most prominent social rights activists Sabeen Mehmud was shot dead in Karachi. Sabeen was hit…

MMfD hosts a joint stakeholders consultation on Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2015; pushes for reforms in the draconian legislation

Islamabad, 27 April 2015: Media Matters for Democracy and Bytes for All hosted a joint consultative meeting bringing together various stakeholders including parliamentarians to discuss reforms in draconian Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill proposed by the government. The consultation was aimed at bringing together parliamentarians and other stakeholders on a forum to discuss and formulate…

Media Matters for Democracy co-hosts Peace Tech Exchange with an aim to discuss and develop civic tech solutions for Gilgit Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa

Islamabad, 27 April 2015: Media Matters for Democracy co-hosts Peace Tech Exchange, an initiative to bring together civic actors to brainstorm ideas for civic tech development for activists from KPK and GB. Peace Tech events are aimed at discussing and developing civic technology solutions that low cost, easy to use and empower peace-builders in conflict zones with low-cost.…