World Press Freedom Day 2024: Honouring environmental journalists

World Press Freedom Day 2024 honours the courage, passion, dedication, and perseverance of journalists who report from the frontlines of natural disasters and bring to light environmental degradation. World Press Freedom Day, celebrated every year on May 3, stresses the importance of upholding and respecting fundamental principles of freedom of expression for journalists. It acknowledges…

Work with Us: We are looking for a new Senior Manager Programs!

Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD) is looking for a talented and driven individual to join our team as Senior Manager Programs. This role is based within our Media and Information Literacy (MIL) and Media Development programs. As a Senior Manager Programs, you will not only lead and execute a wide range of initiatives within MMfD,…

‘Facter Weekly’: MMfD launches new podcast series

Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD) has launched a new podcast series, titled “Facter Weekly: A Roundup of Top Fact-Checks”. It will focus on the organisation’s recently launched digital investigation initiative for newsrooms, Facter. Facter Weekly, conducted by Ayesha Khalid (Lead, Facter) and Usman Shahid (Co-lead, Facter), will shed light on the top five fact-checks produced…

Civil society statement on continued network shutdowns and platform blocking in Pakistan

13 March, 2024: We, a collective of human rights activists and civil society organisations, express profound concern over the increasing instances of internet shutdowns and social media platform blocking, specifically in the lead up to and following the general elections in Pakistan. These actions not only infringe upon the fundamental rights of freedom of expression…

Media Matters for Democracy launches ‘Facter’, a collaborative digital tool for newsrooms to counter misinformation

Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD), a leading media development organisation in Pakistan focusing on Media and Information Literacy, digital rights, and media sustainability, has launched ‘Facter,’ a collaborative fact-checking tool for newsrooms, in Islamabad on 2nd February 2024. Designed to counter misinformation, Facter leverages technology to aggregate verified content from various news sources and its…

Call for Applications: Media Matters for Democracy’s Internship Program

Media Matters for Democracy is pleased to announce the launch of an internship program tailored for students of media departments in public and private universities across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This opportunity is exclusively available to students currently enrolled in the sixth, seventh, or eighth semester. The internship program aims to provide selected students with valuable hands-on…

60 UCP students receive training on data journalism

Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD) conducted a daylong session with 60 students at the University of Central Punjab in Lahore. The session primarily focused on data journalism and the Mass Comm and Journalism students learned about investigative reporting process through an interactive discussion. The students learned about the technique to gather data and analyse it…

MMfD trains Geo’s Election Cell and Fact Check team on investigating disinformation

Media Matters for Democracy held a day-long session with the teams of Geo News’ Election Cell and Geo Fact-Check. The purpose of the training was to equip the respective newsrooms with the skills and technical knowledge of countering disinformation in online spaces. The MMfD team shared the TrendsMonitor toolkit with the newsrooms and ensured its…

Scrapathon: A step towards a collaborative fact-checking tool for newsrooms

December 27, 2023: Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD) held a capacity-building event, titled ‘Scrapathon: Scraping Electoral Disinformation’, from 26-27 December, 2023, in Karachi.  Launched in partnership with the Embassy of France, Scrapathon was aimed at helping participants build and enhance their digital investigation skills. It was the first step towards a sustainable fact-checking tool that…

MMfD trains 105 journalists on countering electoral disinformation

December 10, 2023: A total of 105 journalists, including 51 men and 54 women, have been trained by Media Matters for Democracy on election reporting and countering disinformation. The training sessions were held in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, and Peshawar from October to November 2023.   The sessions, 2-day each, were designed specifically to address the…

Consultation sessions on gendered disinformation held in 3 cities

November 25, 2023: Media Matters for Democracy held consultation sessions on gendered disinformation in Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi in October and November 2023 and were attended by a total of 35 women journalists and lawyers.  The consultation session was designed to take suggestions and recommendations from relevant key stakeholders on countering the growing gendered disinformation…

MMfD launches Journalists’ Guide to Ethical Election Reporting

November 15, 2023: Media Matters for Democracy is thrilled to launch its new resource, titled Journalists’ Guide to Ethical Election Reporting, with the aim to better equip Pakistani journalists to produce reliable and accurate news reports, and tell stories ethically and sensitively, alongside it will prepare them to safeguard their physical, mental, and digital well-being as…

MMfD’s podcast focuses on voting rights of Pakistanis

17th October, 2023 Islamabad, Pakistan — Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD) hosted an insightful session, titled “Navigating Voter Rights”, on Monday, 16th October, 2023. The session was the second episode in MMfD’s exclusive webinar series, “Let’s Talk Electoral Disinformation”, which is aimed at highlighting the challenges facing electronic media during electoral processes and educating the…

MMfD organises regional dialogue on gendered misinformation with journalists & women human rights defenders

Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD) — in collaboration with the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and IFEX — organised its first regional consultation titled, “Building Collective Resilience: Women Journalists and Human Rights Defenders Against Gendered Misinformation”. Held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 4th to 6th September, the event featured a diverse group of women journalists and…

EXCLUSIVE: MMfD launches webinar series on electoral disinformation

Islamabad, Pakistan — Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD) has launched a new webinar series, “Let’s Talk Electoral Disinformation”, to shed light on the challenges and threats to democratic processes in the age of digital media in Pakistan. The first episode, which was streamed live on Facebook on Monday, 9th October, focused on the role of…

MMfD announces workshop on Election Reporting and Countering Disinformation

Disinformation poses a significant threat to the integrity of elections and democratic processes. It can distort public perception, influence voter decisions, and undermine the overall credibility of the electoral system. In the age of rampant mis/disinformation, the role of media and journalists becomes even more crucial, particularly during the electoral process. Media Matters for Democracy…

MMfD’s Trends Monitor Toolkit to help journalists enhance their digital investigation skills

Attention all digital journalists, fact-checkers, and content creators in Pakistan, Media Matters for Democracy has recently launched its Trends Monitor Toolkit to equip you with the right tool to conduct thorough fact-checks and combat misinformation. The Toolkit comprises a set of tools developed by MMfD to help newsrooms monitor social media platforms for organised disinformation…

EXCLUSIVE: A critical analysis of E-Safety Bill, Personal Data Protection Bill 2023

Islamabad, Pakistan — Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD) hosted an insightful session, titled ‘Data Protection and Online Safety Laws’ Impact on Media and Digital Freedoms in Pakistan’, on Monday, 31st July, 2023. It critically analysed the wide-ranging implications of the recently approved E-Safety Bill, 2023, and the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023, on individual rights…

MMfD launches series of investigative reports highlighting lack of corporate accountability in Asia

EDITORIAL: Online violence against women, misinformation campaigns, and Big Tech accountability: The case of Asia By Zebunnisa Burki Introduction As social media and digital platforms served the essential task of connecting people, allowing the exchange of information, who would have thought they would eventually become both the most important sites of activism, dissent and indie…

MMfD deconstructs Big Tech’s role in hindering progress of digital newsrooms at RightsCon 2023

Islamabad, Pakistan — Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD) hosted an interactive virtual session, ‘Big Tech vs Newsrooms: When Social Media Threatens Journalism in South Asia’, at RightsCon 2023 on June 6, 2023. The session examined the threats and challenges to emerging digital newsrooms in Pakistan and broke down Big Tech’s role in impeding their growth…

MMfD Sheds Light on Violations of Women’s Digital Rights in Authoritarian Regimes at #DRAPAC23 Assembly

  Chiang Mai: Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD) hosted a powerful session titled “Uncovering Violations of Women’s Digital Rights in Authoritarian Regimes” at the prestigious #DRAPAC23 Assembly. The session brought together renowned journalists, activists, and researchers to address the pressing issue of digital rights violations faced by women in authoritarian regimes. Led by MMfD’s Ayesha…

MMfD analyses Big Tech’s dominance over digital newsrooms at DRAPAC23 Assembly

(Chiang Mai, Thailand) — Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD) hosted an impactful session, ‘Challenging Big Tech in the Newsroom’, at the Digital Rights Asia-Pacific Assembly (DRAPAC23) on May 23, 2023. The session examined the dominance of Big Tech platforms such as Meta and Google over digital newsrooms in Pakistan, where majority of digital ad revenue…

2022 Rewind: MMfD renews commitment to sustainability, innovation and experimentation

  Islamabad: Media Matters for Democracy is excited to launch its annual report for the year 2022. The year 2022 marked the eighth year of Media Matters for Democracy, and it was a pivotal one. The organization is proud to continue its tradition of innovation and experimentation, and we focused on emerging issues in addition…

MMfD critically examines Elon Musk’s radicalised Twitter at DRAPAC23 Assembly

  (Chiang Mai, Thailand) — Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD) hosted an insightful session, ‘Twitter: Navigating Accountability & Transparency Post Musk Takeover’, at the Digital Rights Asia-Pacific Assembly (DRAPAC23) on May 22, 2023. The session critically examined the far-reaching implications of billionaire Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, bringing together diverse stakeholders from communities directly impacted…

MMfD calls on Govt to immediately lift restrictions on social media platforms

  Islamabad: The Government of Pakistan must immediately lift restrictions which are disrupting and preventing citizens from accessing and dissemination information on social media platforms. Access to social media platforms must be restored. The deliberate blacking out of social media sites or their throttling not only stifles free expression but also limits people’s ability to connect…

MMfD hosts online session on financial diversification and business development for media startups

  Media Matters for Democracy hosted a virtual panel discussion on Media Sustainability and Viability. The session was moderated by MMFD Program Manager Moaz Bhangu and senior program manager Arslan Saeed. The panelists included Tahir Mehdi, founder and editor of Lok Sujag, Talha Ahad, founder and CEO of The Centrum Media, and Sundus Rasheed, who…

Pakistan’s Environment Crisis 3: Hazards of Pakistan’s Fast Fashion Industry 

  Media Matters for Democracy concluded its series on Environment Reporting in Pakistan with an insightful online discussion on “Environmental Hazards of Pakistan’s Fast Fashion Industry” and the role of media in raising awareness about this.   Our expert guests Junaid Babar, Vice President Textile Processing at Crescent Textile Mills, Dr. Hafsa Jamshaid, Associate Professor…

MMfD organises conference to discuss visibility on environment issues, promoting sustainable solutions 

      MMfD organised a conference, titled “Environment Now! An Interdisciplinary Environmental Justice Conference”, and  brought together an impressive group of experts from various fields to discuss the visibility of environmental issues,  ways to promote sustainable solutions  and interdisciplinary collaboration in achieving environmental justice.   The conference started with a panel discussion on “Visibility…

Pakistan’s Environment Crisis 2: Journalists Emphasize Consistent Coverage of Environmental Issues 

  Media Matters for Democracy held its second online discussion on the topic of Environmental Crisis and Impacts of Climate Change.   The discussion, titled “Challenges in Climate Reporting: Strategies for Effective Coverage of Environmental Issues in Pakistan”, comprised journalists including Zuha Siddiqui, Zofeen Ibrahim and Uneeba Waqar.   Zuha Siddiqui shed light on the…

Pakistan’s Environment Crisis: Media has a Important Role to Play in Communicating Climate Change 

Media Matters for Democracy held the first online discussion on its series on Environmental Crisis and Impacts of Climate Change.   The discussion, titled “Unfolding Environmental Crisis: Understanding the Impacts of Climate Change on Pakistan”, included renowned experts. Which included Journalist Afia Salam, Lawyer Rafay Alam and Co-Founder of Media Matters for Democracy, Asad Baig.…

MMfD’s fellow wins Health Journalism Award 2023

  Islamabad: Media Matters for Democracy extends its congratulations to one of its fellows Bilal Habib for winning the Health Journalism Award for his article on the rise of spina bifida cases in South Punjab. We hope the journalist keeps up the great work in advocating for better healthcare access for all and continues to…

MMfD trains 7 Pakistani newsrooms on Countering Political Disinformation

February 28, 2023: We started our year by holding back-to-back training sessions, titled ‘Beyond Fact Checking: Countering the Spread of Political Disinformation’, at prominent newsrooms across Pakistan. The training is designed for newsrooms and seeks to equip journalists with the relevant skills to counter political misinformation effectively and timely. MMfD Founder Asad Baig, the lead…

MMfD hosts consultation with stakeholders to address sustainability challenges of the Pakistani media industry

      Islamabad: Media Matters for Democracy held a consultation session with industry experts and stakeholders to address the viability and sustainability challenges faced by the media sector in Pakistan on February 24, 2023 in Islamabad. The session was based on the findings and recommendations of a national assessment of UNESCO’s media development indicators…

MMfD’s research reveals 46.7% journalists have not received any fact-check training 

  Islamabad: Media Matters for Democracy has launched its report, “Fact Checking and Verification: Navigating the Misinformation Landscape in Pakistani Newsrooms and Beyond”.   The study explores the current fact-checking systems and information verification practices used by journalists and newsrooms in Pakistan, and identifies gaps for improvement. The research also assessed the perception of news…

MMfD’s research study reveals only 3% women in media able to reach leadership positions

Islamabad, 31 January 2023: The research titled “The Glass Ceiling Prevails: Career Paths of Pakistani Women Journalists” was conducted by Media Matters for Democracy, a leading organization focused on media and digital rights in Pakistan. The findings of the research were concerning, with only 3% of women journalists able to reach leadership positions, and 60%…

Investigating Disinformation bootcamp held for 14 journalists 

    Islamabad: Media Matters for Democracy held a four-day bootcamp on Countering Disinformation with 14 journalists across Pakistan. The bootcamp was organised from 26th November to 29th November 2022 in Murree and was attended by journalists working for prestigious news organizations such as Soch Fact-Check, CNN, Geo News, Dunya News among others. The intensive…

MMfD holds training sessions for 32 health journalists

Islamabad: Media Matters for Democracy organised two training sessions for 32 health journalists working in Punjab. The first training session was held with 20 health journalists in Lahore from 16th to 17th November 2022, and the second one in Rawalpindi with 12 participants from 7th to 8th December, 2022. The training sessions were designed to…

Media Matters for Democracy announces fellowship for health journalists 

December 9, 2022: Specialised reporting beats such as health haven’t received their due coverage in the Pakistani news cycle. The Covid-19 ushered in an unprecedented global surge in health and other types of misinformation that directly affected the health and safety of the public by sowing mistrust about the origins of the virus, misleading them…

#MediaHack, first-of-its-kind hackathon, focuses on sustainability of 26 media outlets

#MediaHack, first-of-its-kind hackathon, focuses on sustainability of 26 media outlets Media Matters for Democracy in partnership with Media Lab hosted #MediaHack — A Hackathon for Media Sustainability & Viability in Pakistan, a first-of-its-kind media acceleration event for journalists running their own independent media outlets or seeking sustainable business development models for their outlets or startup…

MMfD’s organises field visit to Sheikhupura for health journalists

Lahore: Media Matters for Democracy organised a field visit for its participants to the District Headquarter (DHQ) Hospital, Sheikhupura on 17 November 2022. Sheikhupura is an industrial area with many brick kilns. The people in the area suffer from health problems which most of the reporters fail to report on in their daily news coverage.…

Media Matters for Democracy’s Investigating Disinformation Fellowship Program

Media Matters for Democracy’s Investigating Disinformation Fellowship Program An Initiative to Help Journalism Community Go Beyond the Traditional Fact-Checking and Investigate Organised Mis/Disinformation   Organised Mis/Disinformation, especially of political nature, has emerged as a massive challenge for newsrooms across Pakistan. A vast majority of journalists feel that they regularly encounter Mis/Disinformation in their work. Considering that most journalists regularly…

MMFD hosts Strategy Exercise with Digital Editors for Economic Revival of Newsrooms in Pakistan

    In the first week of August 2022, Media Matters for Democracy hosted top managerial staffers and senior editors for a two-day design thinking strategy exercise that was aimed at creating actual intervention in the media industry, specifically the mainstream media space where the key players were operating. The main goal of the collaborative…

MMfD trains 40 women journalists on ways to counter online hate and GBV

Islamabad: Media Matters for Democracy has organised four workshops for over 40 women journalists on countering online hate and gender-based violence. The workshops were held in Karachi, Peshawar, Islamabad, and Lahore from October 2021 to June 2022. Two physical training sessions were held in Lahore and Karachi in October 2021. The session in Lahore was…

83 journalists trained on countering disinformation and investigative reporting by American experts

  Islamabad: American journalists and expert trainers Dr Sherry Richhiardi and Frank S. Folwell conducted three two-day training sessions with Pakistani journalists in Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore and trained as many as 83 journalists Countering Disinformation and Investigative Reporting in the Public Interest. Twenty-five journalists attended the training in Islamabad from June 27 to 28,…

#ChallengingHate – A Hackathon for Solutions Countering Online Hate

      Media Matters for Democracy is hosting a four-day hackathon, titled #ChallengingHate, aimed at offering technological solutions for combatting online hate and digital violence. The hackathon seeks to gather together young entrepreneurs, journalists, programmers, and tech specialists with the aim of developing viable methods and tools to combat online violence.  The competition is…

MMFD hosts 23 digital media outlets for training session on monetization practices for social media

The first training session with a cohort of 10 participants was held in ShangriLa Hotel Murree on 10th and 11th May 2022. The second training session with a cohort of 13 participants was held in Lahore on 17th and 18th May 2022 at Four-Points Sheraton Hotel. The training focused on monetization and best practices for…

Announcing #MediaHack – A Hackathon for Media Sustainability and Viability in Pakistan

Are you an entrepreneurial journalist looking for an opportunity to expand your outlet or business idea? Or do you have a (news) media startup idea that you want to further develop and business model around? Well, you are in luck! Media Matters for Democracy is hosting #MediaHack — A Hackathon for Media Sustainability & Viability…

30 journalists trained on reporting sexual and gender-based violence

Islamabad: Media Matters for Democracy organised a series of capacity building sessions for members of the Women in Media Alliance (WIMA) to improve reporting on Gender Based Violence (GBV). The training sessions aimed to equip women journalists with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively report on gender-related issues and contribute to a more inclusive…

MMfD trains 16 journalists, human rights defenders on effectively countering online hate

      Media Matters for Democracy conducted a three-day workshop on countering online hate speech from March 21 to March 23, 2022 at Whispering Pines, near Islamabad. The boot camp focused on making women journalists and human rights defenders aware of the menace of online hate, defining online gender-based violence and understanding its consequences.…

17 journalists participate in MMfD’s bootcamp on Investigating Disinformation

    Islamabad: Media Matters for Democracy held a four-day bootcamp on Countering Disinformation with 17 journalists across Pakistan. The bootcamp was organised from 27th December to 30th December, 2021 in Murree and was attended by senior and mid-career journalists in the country. The participants included Editors of digital media outlets, senior producers of leading…

Media Matters for Democracy announces ‘Digital Media Fellowship Program’

Media Matters for Democracy’s Digital Media Fellowship Program Aimed at Creating Inclusive Digital Media Community Spaces   The information ecosystem in Pakistan is dominated by mainstream, national-scale media. This domination of national media creates a gap of representation of communities whose voices are not adequately included in the mainstream. Regional and community media organisations face…

UNESCO, MMfD  Launches Media Development and Media Viability Indicators National Assessment in Pakistan

Islamabad, 22nd October 2021: UNESCO Pakistan and research partner Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD) have launched the Pakistan National Assessment of Media Development Indicators (MDIs) and Media Viability Indicators (MVIs). The research aims to strengthen media development, freedom and sustainability in Pakistan by developing policy and practical recommendations for different stakeholder groups based on the…

Media Matters for Democracy finds the recently notified Social Media Rules concerning; maintains they are ultra vires

October 16, 2021 – Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD), finds the recently notified draft of Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Online Content (Procedure, Oversight and Safeguard) Rules concerning and maintains that despite rounds of consultation, the ‘amended’ Rules have failed to address majority of concerns that had been raised in the previous version. Even in…

Call for Applications for Grants to Media – MMfD joins hands with DW Akademie to offer local (and citizen) media companies a platform to develop innovative projects through international exchange of ideas

IMPORTANT  Please find the full Terms and Conditions for the project “Local Voices Global Exchange” linked here. Participation in the application process constitutes the acceptance of all Terms and Conditions of the project. ** Submit Your Application Here **        ضروری ہدایت : اس ایپلیکیشن کو پر کرنے سے پہلے ٹرمز اینڈ کنڈیشنز کو…

MMfD holds bootcamp on Countering Disinformation for 15 journalists 

  Islamabad: Media Matters for Democracy held a five-day bootcamp on Countering Disinformation for 15 journalists across Pakistan. The bootcamp was organised from 11th July to 15th July, 2021 in Murree and was attended by senior and mid-career journalists in the country. The participants had already attended the base sessions held in Karachi, Lahore, Swat,…

MMfD demands tech companies to rectify algorithmic bias on their platforms immediately

May 28, 2021, Islamabad: In the wake of Israel’s recent actions against Palestine and the subsequent online resistance from Palestinians and allies across the world, Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD) expresses grave concerns about Big Tech’s constant disregard towards Palestine and obvious bias towards promotion of a Zionist narrative online. We are alarmed that despite…

On this World Press Freedom Day 2021, Media Matters for Democracy reaffirms its support for free and independent journalism

We believe that press freedom is crucial not only for the production and distribution of verified and reliable news, but also to ensure that the public’s right of access to information is guaranteed in times when prompt access to accurate information is of vital importance for public health and safety. In keeping with this year’s…

International Women’s Day 2021: Media Matters for Democracy calls for an end to online attacks against women journalists

8 March 2021 — Media Matters for Democracy expresses serious concern over the continued acts of online intimidation and harassment against women journalists to either silence critical voices or prevent them from carrying out their professional responsibilities. On the occasion of International Women’s Day (IWD), we urge the country’s political leadership to work toward elimination…

Media Matters for Democracy strongly condemns the violent attack on Geo News and Jang group head office in Karachi

Islamabad, 23 February 2021 — Media Matters for Democracy strongly condemns the attack on the head office of Geo News and the Jang group. We are deeply concerned about the safety of the media group’s journalists and staff, who were targeted in the assault and subjected to threats and intimidation. We request the Sindh government…

Media Matters for Democracy publishes a new study titled ‘Misinformation in the Public Eye’ which finds that 7 of 10 respondents can not always identify misinformation

Highlights: – 7 out of 10 respondents say the can not always identify misinformation – 3 in 10 respondents feel politicians and political parties are the main source of misinformation in Pakistan – 75% respondents believe that collectively Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, are used most often to spread misinformation – Study find that the newspapers…

Launching ‘Disorder in the Newsroom’: A study by Media Matters for Democracy on journalists’ perception of their ability to identify and counter misinformation

ISLAMABAD (1 Feb, 2020) – Around 90 percent of journalists in Pakistan believe that misinformation has had an impact on public trust in media, according to a study conducted by Media Matters for Democracy with support from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF).  The study titled, Disorder in the Newsroom: The Media’s Perceptions and…

Media Matters for Democracy launches a new study examining the impact of online harassment on women journalists

ISLAMABAD, 19 January 2021: Pakistani women journalists most frequently identified online violence, including harassment, trolling, and coordinated abusive campaigns, as the main factor that forced them to limit their professional journalism and personal expression, according to a new research published by Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD).  The research titled “Women Journalists and the Double Bind:…

6 in 10 women face restrictions when accessing the internet, new study finds

Islamabad, January 15, 2021: Six in ten women internet users who took part in a study face some kind of restriction from their families when using the internet, a new study by Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD) finds. The study titled “Women Disconnected: Feminist Case Studies on the Gender Digital Divide Amidst COVID-19” examines the…

Media Matters for Democracy expresses concern over the new privacy policy of WhatsApp and the ‘false choice’ presented to WhatsApp users

Media Matters for Democracy expresses concern on the new privacy policy brought forth by the messaging application WhatsApp, and the ‘false choice’ presented to the users in order to acquire their consent to share their data with its parent company Facebook Inc.  “Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA”, once used to be…

Expression of Solidarity with Women Speaking up about Sexual Harassment

We, the undersigned, express our unequivocal support to women who spoke out against sexual harassment and those who supported the survivors. We are concerned over the nature of media coverage that the case of harassment from famous singer Meesha Shafi against a male singer has received since it was filed, and more so in the…

TV remains primary source of information on COVID19 in Pakistan; social media distrusted by many: study finds.

The Pakistani public has expressed its trust in the mainstream media’s coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new study conducted by Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD). People felt the Pakistani media coverage of Covid-19 provided them the information they needed, supplied largely accurate information, and ensured the benefit of the public, according to…

Media Matters for Democracy expresses concern at the revelations made by EU Disinfo Lab in their report “deep dive into a 15-year operation targeting the EU and UN to serve Indian interests”

Islamabad, Pakistan EU Disinfo Lab, a European NGO has uncovered a ‘massive operation targeting international institutions and serving Indian interests’, essentially through an organised network of websites amplifying content and generating misinformation to undermine Pakistan. Media Matters for Democracy (MMFD) is shocked at the extent and reach of this operation, and that India has chosen…

Media Matters for Democracy conducts an initial analysis of the new social media rules and their potential impact on digital rights and economy in Pakistan

(Islamabad, Pakistan) Recently, a new set of ‘Rules’ were notified by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MOITT) to govern social media in Pakistan. The new rules are titled ‘Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Online Content (Procedure, Oversight, and Safeguard) Rules 2020’ (hereinafter ‘Rules’) and they outline the implementation of Section 37 of the…

Media Matters for Democracy concerned at broadening of the scope of censorship through ‘Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Online Content Rules 2020’; urges the government to be cognisant of fundamental rights

(Islamabad, Pakistan) Leading with a section that deems any content capable of creating “hatred, contempt or disaffection” against the government illegal, the recently notified ‘Removal and Blocking on Unlawful Online Content Rules’ (hereinafter ‘Rules’) create a framework that allows extensive censorship of digital spaces in Pakistan. We find the Rules excessive in scope, contradictory in…

Media Matters for Democracy endorses Pakistan Federal Union of Journalist’s demands for free press; calls upon the governments to uphold media freedoms

(Islamabad, Pakistan) Media Matters for Democracy (MMFD) endorses the demands of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) — to ensure media freedoms and abolishing censorship — set forth in the recent nationwide demonstrations staged by the Union through its local chapters across the country.  We call upon the federal and provincial governments to ensure media…

Media Matters for Democracy launches national initiative on Media and Information Literacy (MIL) and Digital Media and Information Literacy (DMIL)

The Fehem programme will include fact-checking training for journalists and anti-disinformation public awareness campaigns in Pakistan ISLAMABAD (27 Oct 2020) — Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD) unveiled its latest initiative, Fehem, on Tuesday to address the Media and Information Literacy needs in Pakistan.  MMfD Executive Director Asad Baig said Fehem is designed to equip journalists…

Media Matters for Democracy Launches National Initiative on Media and Information Literacy

The Fehem programme will include fact-checking training for journalists and anti-disinformation public awareness campaigns in Pakistan ISLAMABAD (27 Oct 2020) — Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD) unveiled its latest initiative, Fehem, on Tuesday to address the Media and Information Literacy needs in Pakistan.  MMfD Executive Director Asad Baig said Fehem is designed to equip journalists…

Media Matters for Democracy deeply concerned at the disappearance of Geo TV’s reporter Ali Imran; asks for immediate investigations and recovery

Islamabad, 24 October 2020: Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD) finds the disappearance of Geo News reporter Ali Imran deeply concerning and alarming. We urge the government to initiate immediate and effective investigation of the incident and ensure the safe and quick recovery of the missing journalist.  The disappearance of the reporter comes right after he…

Civil society groups express concerns on lack of transparency regarding new draft of social media rules, demand immediate release of the new draft & initiation of credible consultative process

Islamabad, October 13, 2020 – We, the undersigned, are concerned over the continued lack of transparency regarding the social media rules, originally Citizen Protection (Against Online Harms) Rules 2020 and recently retitled “Rules for removal and blocking of unlawful online content (procedure, oversight, and safeguards) Rules 2020”. The media has reported on the approval of…

Media Matters for Democracy publishes White Paper on Reforms for PECA 2016

Islamabad, 2 October 2020 Media Matters for Democracy has published a White Paper on Reforms for the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016. PECA 2016 is a contentious legislation that provides the primary mechanism for online content regulation and the investigation and prosecution of cyber offences in Pakistan. The policy paper relies on an…

Media Matters for Democracy announces the launch of a national Media and Information Literacy program ‘Fehem’

Islamabad, Pakistan. Media Matters for Democracy, Pakistan’s leading media development organisation, announces the launch of a national Media and Information Literacy (MIL) program named ‘Fehem’. In the age of digital information exchange, the ability to critically analyse information being consumed through various mediums becomes extremely important. Considering the dangers misinformation can pose, the World Economic…

Media Matters for Democracy stands in solidarity with the Federal Executive Council of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and endorses the council’s recent demands for press freedoms

September 29, 2020 In the Quetta Declaration issued by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) FEC on 27 September, the council raised concerns about the “complete denial” of freedom of expression in Pakistan. It also warned about a “systematic war” launched by the government and anti-media forces against the press. The PFUJ is the…

Media Matters for Democracy expresses solidarity with brave women journalists taking a stance against online violence

Islamabad, 8th September 2020: Media Matters for Democracy stands in solidarity with women journalists who have released a statement highlighting the prevailing trend of continued digital violence from supporters of all political parties and different public and state institutions. The statement, endorsed by over 150 journalists and various networks and representative bodies highlights the abuse…

Media Matters for Democracy expresses solidarity with women journalists and calls for an end to all kinds of online violence

Islamabad, 12 August 2020 Media Matters for Democracy expresses solidarity with the women journalists who have called out online violence they face on a regular basis on social media platforms. A statement released by a group of women journalists on 12th August highlights a culture of hateful speech, incitement, harassment, and doxxing that endangers the…

Media Matters for Democracy expresses concerns over the continued arbitrary suspension of online services and mobile applications

Islamabad, Pakistan Media Matters for Democracy expresses concern over the continued attempts to overregulate the Internet, and arbitrarily block platforms and mobile phone applications including but not limited to PUBG, TikTok, and Bigo Live based on vague and subjective terms such as ‘obscenity and decency’. While the trend of arbitrary blocking of digital content is…

Media Matters for Democracy urges government to recover journalist Matiullah Jan and initiate investigations into his abduction

21 July 2020, Islamabad: Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD) urges the government to launch a prompt and thorough investigation into the abduction of renowned journalist Matiullah Jan and reminds the government of its obligations towards its citizens, in particular the state’s responsibility to safeguard the life and rights of its citizens. The manner in which…

Media Matters for Democracy expresses concern on the suspension of broadcast license of the news channel ’24 News’

Media Matters for Democracy (MMFD) strongly condemns the decision by the Pakistan Electronic Media Authority (PEMRA) to suspend the broadcast license of 24 News — one of the country’s leading television news channels —, and the order to immediately halt the channel’s broadcast in less than a month. The decision will not only force the…

Media Matters for Democracy expresses concern over the lack of Internet access to students for online education

Islamabad, Pakistan Media Matters for Democracy (MMFD) is deeply concerned at the situation where students, particularly from the non-mainstream areas of Pakistan, are facing infrastructural challenges in attending online classes which are now made mandatory by the Higher Education Commission. The unavailability of quality access to the Internet particularly in parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit…

Media Matters for Democracy launches ‘Dastgir’ an online mental health counselling service for Pakistani journalists

(Islamabad, 30 June 2020) – A new service titled Dastgir will provide as many as 150 Pakistani journalists and their families the opportunity to seek free-of-cost mental health support. The Dastgir service was launched by Media Matters for Democracy (MMFD) on Tuesday through a webinar. The virtual launch event was attended by journalists, media development…

Media Matters for Democracy is all set to launch ‘Dastgir’ a mental health support service for Pakistani journalists

Media Matters for Democracy is all set to launch Dastgir, an online mental health counseling service for Pakistani journalists. The service is based on a subscription model and will use the Sehat Kahani telemedicine smartphone application for service delivery. Journalists who apply for the service will get access to psychologists and licensed therapists. They will…

Media Matters for Democracy submits formal feedback highlighting concerns and comments and recommendations on Personal Data Protection Bill 2020

Islamabad, 3rd June 2020 Media Matters for Democracy (MMFD) has submitted the formal review, comments, and recommendations in response to the draft Personal Data Protection Bill 2020 posted on the website of the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MOITT) for feedback. Asad Baig, the founder of MMFD, has commended the MOITT’s initiative to call…

Media Matters for Democracy’s Co-Founder Sadaf Khan writes an open letter to Consultation Committee on CP Rules, and Chairman PTA

Islamabad, 2nd June 2020 Members of the Consultation Committee on Citizen Protection Rules (Against Online Harm) 2020, And Chairman, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority  Respected Members of the Committee, We have received PTA’s request for engagement in the consultative process on Citizen Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules, 2020, through a feedback form shared on PTA’s website. We…

Responding to the needs indicated in a flash survey, Charahgar announces legal aid and support in workplace harassment cases for women in Pakistan

Islamabad, 10th May 2020 Media Matters for Democracy (MMFD) has recently announced legal aid and support for women in media who face workplace harassment through its legal aid center Charahgar. The support has been announced in partnership with Women in Media Alliance (WIMA), a network founded and facilitated by MMFD. The support was announced in…

Media Matters for Democracy expresses concern on safety of journalists covering Covid-19 health crisis; demands adequate protection measures

Islamabad, Pakistan Media Matters for Democracy is deeply concerned about reports of journalists in Pakistan forced to cover the Covid-19 public health crisis without adequate protective measures and safety precautions. According to one estimate, around 40 journalists and media workers have tested positive for the coronavirus across the country and at least two have died.…

Media Matters for Democracy launches ‘2019: A Year in Review’ highlighting key organisational interventions in the previous year

Islamabad, Pakistan Media Matters for Democracy (MMFD), in March 2020, published its annual report which highlights policy advocacy, litigation, community mobilization initiatives, campaigns, and a wide array of interventions undertaken by the organisation to push for a progressive media and cyberspace in 2019. MMFD grew tremendously during the year 2019 with new partnerships and ventures.…

Media Matters for Democracy, along with EU Pakistan, UNESCO, and Swedish Embassy digitally commemorates the World Press Freedom Day 2020

Islamabad, 5th May 2020 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the European Union Delegation to Pakistan, the Embassies of the Netherlands, and Sweden, and Media Matters for Democracy joined hands together with 8 other European Embassies to celebrate the World Press Freedom Day today. They stand together for press freedom today and every…

Media Matters for Democracy makes a submission to the UN against Gender-Based Violence and Harassment Against Women Journalists

Islamabad, Pakistan Media Matters for Democracy (MMFD) made a submission to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women on Gender-based Violence and Harassment Against Women Journalists in Pakistan. This submission from MMFD aims to broadly cover the experiences and struggles of female journalists in Pakistan, particularly with regards to gender-based violence and the…

Messages on the World Press Freedom Day 2020: Media Matters for Democracy expresses solidarity with journalists across the globe, especially women

Islamabad, 3rd May 2020 Media Matters for Democracy, the World Press Freedom Day 2020, expresses solidarity with journalists across the world who risk their lives on a daily basis in pursuance of their duty towards free journalism. On this day, we collected messages from journalists in Pakistan, especially women, to talk about the importance of…

Media Matters for Democracy announces the creation of ‘Friends of Media Matters’, a network of journalists, lawyers, and designers interested to engage on MMFD’s interventions

Islamabad, 27th April Media Matters for Democracy announces the creation of an informal network of supporters who are interested to engage on MMFD’s broad-ranged interventions ranging from advocacy and capacity activities to litigation and legal aid. The ‘Friends of Media Matters’ will mainly be notified with upcoming activities and opportunities to partner and work together.…

Media Matters for Democracy express concerns over the new draft of data protection law; warns it will create a dangerous precedent

Islamabad, 22 April 2020: Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD) is concerned about the insertion of draconian and anti-democratic sections in the draft Personal Data Protection Bill 2020 that has been made public by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications (MoITT) for public consultation. While we appreciate that the government has opened the draft for…

Joint Statement to the Federal and Provincial Government(s) of Pakistan on Our Concerns Regarding the Excessive Usage of Digital Surveillance Measures and the Lack of Data Protection Laws During the Ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic

Islamabad, 9th April 2020 Joint Statement to the Federal and Provincial Government(s) of Pakistan on Our Concerns Regarding the Excessive Usage of Digital Surveillance Measures and the Lack of Data Protection Laws During the Ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic Media Matters for Democracy, along with other organisations and individuals, is concerned about the Government of Pakistan relying…

Media Matters for Democracy highlights the increasing digital divide during Covid-19, and warns the government of its extremely negative impact on Pakistan’s citizens

Islamabad, 27th March 2020 Media Matters for Democracy highlights the increasing digital divide during Covid-19 through its news website the ‘Digital Rights Monitor’ and warns the government of the potential extremely negative impact on Pakistani citizens. In a news article published on DRM, the author and MMFD’s Program Manager, Hija Kamran, talks about the limited…

Media Matters for Democracy gets the websites of popular online magazines ‘Slate’ and ‘Gizmodo’ unblocked in Pakistan

Islamabad, 20th March 2020 Media Matters for Democracy (MMFD) gets the websites of popular online magazines ‘State’ and ‘Gizmodo’ unblocked in Pakistan. It was noticed in December that the website Slate.com was inaccessible in Pakistan. The telecom regulator Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is empowered by Section 37 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act to…

Media Matters for Democracy, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and Parliamentary Commission for Human Rights conducts a national conference on freedom of expression and related laws

Islamabad, 5th March 2020 Journalists, human rights defenders, lawyers, and Parliamentarians declared their resolve on Wednesday to resist the government’s unconstitutional steps to regulate social media and its undemocratic attempts to curtail freedom of expression in the country. They were speaking at a national seminar on Freedom of Expression and Related Laws at the Pakistan…

Media Matters for Democracy, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and other civil society partners launch a nationwide campaign demanding revocation of social media rules

Islamabad, 20th February 2020 Journalist unions, lawyers, and civil society organisations on Thursday declared the recently notified Citizens Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules 2020 unacceptable and demanded that the federal government should revoke the rules immediately. They also called upon the government to share a concrete plan for the public consultation process on any social media regulation.…

Civil society declares the ‘rules against online harm’ a political move to control the Internet and silence critics; demands immediate de-notification

PUBLIC STATEMENT, CONDEMNING CITIZENS PROTECTION (AGAINST ONLINE HARM) RULES 2020 Islamabad, 13 FEBRUARY 2020: Given the current governments’ successive attempts to “tame” media and the Internet, and silence political opposition and critics through regressive, logistically impossible policies, we view the recently notified Rules on Citizens’ Protection (against online harm) 2020 as a direct threat to…

Media Matters for Democracy lauds the ruling of the Senate Committee on Human Rights declaring the regulation of OTT and Web TV out of PEMRA’s regulatory mandate

Islamabad, 10th February 2020 The Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights on Monday unanimously found that the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has no jurisdiction to regulate Web TV and Over The Top (OTT) content services. The committee had called the PEMRA Chairman for a briefing about the authority’s recent proposal to regulate Web…

Kashmir Solidarity Day: Media Matters for Democracy expresses solidarity with Kashmiris and condemns atrocities in Indian Occupied Kashmir

Islamabad, 5th February 2020 Media Matters for Democracy expresses solidarity with Kashmiris locked down in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and are unable to communicate and go about their lives and livelihoods due to the draconian policies of the State of India. The Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) continue to be under siege after the abrogation of…

Leading digital media outlets, digital and media rights activists, prominent journalists and opinion makers, and lawyers deem PEMRA’s proposed OTT and ‘web TV’ policy ‘unacceptable’ in its current form.

Islamabad, 29 January 2020   PUBLIC STATEMENT BY DIGITAL MEDIA OUTLETS, DIGITAL AND MEDIA RIGHTS ACTIVISTS, PROMINENT JOURNALISTS AND OPINION MAKERS, AND LAWYERS ON PEMRA’S NEW POLICY DRAFT ON LICENSING AND REGULATION OF OVER THE TOP (OTT) SERVICES AND ‘WEB TV’   Being cognisant of the demands of the emerging digital media market and industries…

Media Matters for Democracy turns 5!

Media Matters for Democracy turns 5!

Published on December 14, 2019

Islamabad, 14th December 2019 Yes, as incredible as it may seem, we turn five today! Five years of hard work, five years of frustrations & celebrations. Five is a significant number, half a decade, old enough to get over teething problems, young enough to retain the spirit of wonder and exploration. We started five years…

Media Matters for Democracy contributes to the global #WhyIDidn’tReport, a campaign to collate and highlight stories of abuse victims for #16DaysOfActivism

Image Courtesy: Living Resiliently Blog Islamabad, 10th December 2019 Media Matters for Democracy contributes to the global campaign #WhyIDidn’tReport by collecting accounts of anonymous Pakistani citizens highlighting a massive number of cases of abuse that go unreported due to a wide range of issues. The accounts were compiled by MMFD’s Program Manager Hija Kamran and…

Media Matters for Democracy launches ‘Hostile Bytes’, a study of online violence against women journalists

A report launched by Media Matters for Democracy (MMFD) shows that all women journalists within the country face some type of online violence titled ‘Hostile Bytes – a study of online violence against women journalists’. The report shows that 95 percent of women journalists feel online violence has an impact on their professional choices, while…

Media Matters for Democracy through its initiative ‘Report Digital Rights’ initiates a technology and digital rights orientation program for journalists and lawyers

Islamabad, 25h October 2020 Media Matters for Democracy through its initiative Report Digital Rights has initiated a program to engage with journalists and lawyers, to assist them in understanding the various new technologies in the context of digital rights and the concepts and challenges of Internet governance. The program was specifically initiated to help journalists…

Day 2 of the MIL Conference hosted by MMFD, UNESCO, and IFAP: Stakeholders Affirm Need for ‘Media and Information Literacy’ to Challenge Violent Extremism

Two-day national conference on Media and Information Literacy for Prevention of Violent Extremism recommends engagement with education system, teachers, and students to confront extremism (Islamabad, 18 Sept) Media and Information Literacy skills should be incorporated in curriculum and teacher training programmes to help the next generation of Pakistanis confront online hate speech and violent extremism…

UNESCO, Media Matters for Democracy (MMFD) and Information for All Programme (IFAP) hosts a 2-day national conference on Media and Information Literacy for Prevention of Violent Extremism

‘Media and Information Literacy’ Crucial for Peace and Tolerance National Conference on Media and Information Literacy for Prevention of Violent Extremism kicks off in Federal Capital (Islamabad, 17 Sept) Speakers stressed the need to equip Pakistani citizens with media and information literacy skills in order to eliminate violent extremism and hate speech from society. They…

Media Matters for Democracy writes a letter to Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan highlighting the importance of a citizen-friendly data protection regime

Islamabad, 12th September 2019 The co-founder of Media Matters for Democracy and the editor of Digital Rights Monitor, Sadaf Khan, writes a letter to the Prime Minister asking to expedite the legislative process for the Personal Data Protection Bill, especially considering the recent cases of data theft and leakages.

#PrivacyHumSabKe – a campaign on data privacy and protection by Media Matters for Democracy

Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD) is launching a campaign titled ‘Privacy Hum Sab Ke’ (Urdu for ‘Privacy for All’) to create awareness and advocate for data privacy and protection. In the light of recent leaks from security and CCTV cameras of both private and public organisations, the campaign aims to engage with multiple stakeholders on…

MMfD submits petition to the Senate of Pakistan to expedite legislation to protect citizen’s privacy

The petition first of many initiatives for legal protections for privacy under MMfD’s campaign #PrivacyHumSabKe Islamabad, 5th September 2019 – Responding to the continuing threats to citizen’s constitutional right to privacy, Media Matters for Democracy has submitted a petition to the Senate of Pakistan, requesting the Chairman Senate and Chairpersons of Senate Standing Committees on Information…

Media Matters for Democracy launches a new guidebook on media laws in Pakistan

This guidebook has been prepared to help journalists in Pakistan attain a basic understanding of the laws that criminalize and regulate expression. Not all of the laws mentioned in this guidebook are specifically framed for the media industry and the press, but their primary function is linked to expression and thus, they remain highly relevant…

Association for Progressive Communications & Media Matters for Democracy condemns the shutdown of communications in Jammu & Kashmir

Published: August 2019 The Association for Progressive Communications condemns the prolonged and intentional disruption of communications services in Jammu and Kashmir by the government of India. It is particularly critical that stable communications infrastructure and services are maintained during times of conflict and key democratic moments such as when significant changes are made to the…

Media Matters for Democracy launches ‘the Internet as we see it’, a study on gendered perceptions of Internet in Pakistan

The general understanding in Pakistan is that there are differences between the ways men and women access and use the internet. These ideas come from the patriarchal nature of our society and the perceptions that exist in relation to men and women. This study aims to understand the internet perceptions of Pakistani users specifically from…

PFUJ leads nationwide protest against media censorship, layoffs

Media workers, press clubs, and trade unions of journalists across Pakistan observed a “Black Day” on Tuesday to protest against mass layoffs of journalists, wage delays, and the unannounced censorship of the news media. The move was led by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), which issued the call for a protest last week…

Media Matters for Democracy expresses concerns over increased censorship of political discourse in Pakistan’s media

Media Matters for Democracy (MMFD) expresses concerns over increased censorship of opposing political voices in Pakistan. In less than a month after the suspension of the former president, Asif Ali Zardari’s televised interview by the country’s leading journalist Hamid Mir, the audio of a televised speech of another opposing political leader, Maryam Nawaz Sharif, was…

Media Matters for Democracy condemns the alarming increase in media censorship in Pakistan. Calls for adoption of democratic values

2 July 2019, Islamabad: The broadcast of an interview of the former president (now) MNA Asif Ali Zardari conducted by the senior journalist Hamid Mir was taken-off air 3 minutes after it started broadcasting. Later, Hamid Mir’s own interview regarding the incident was blocked on Dawn TV. This blatant censorship of a significant voice from…

Media Matters for Democracy launches ‘Sachee Khabar’ a fact checking initiative on Twitter to counter online mis/disinformation

Media Matters for Democracy, MMfD, has launched a fact checking initiative to counter rising instances of online disinformation and misinformation. Sachee Khabar (translation: factual news) has been set up in the form of a Twitter handle in the first phase, and through the account, MMFD intends to fact check mis/disinformation on social media platforms. The…

Media Matters for Democracy’s submission to the Federal Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in response to the first draft of Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority [PMRA]

Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority [PMRA] is a recently proposed structure for digital and traditional media regulation, that aims to merge the existing media regulatory bodies to form one authority with a mandate to regulate all digital and non-digital mediums. While this is done in the pretext of convergence of mediums, Media Matters for Democracy is…

Media Matters for Democracy launches a research looking into the implementation of PECA 2016, highlighting the abuses of power through systematic loopholes

Media Matters for Democracy has recently launched a report that takes a critical assessment of Pakistan’s cybercrime law. The report titled Bottlenecks, incompetence and abuse of power – An analysis of PECA’s implementation has been launched as part of MMFD’s legal aid initiative Charahgar. The report carefully analyses the implementation of the Prevention against Electronic Crimes Act…

Media Matters for Democracy submits recommendations on data protection and privacy to the IT minister

November 17, 2018: Media Matters for Democracy hosted a multi-stakeholder consultation with the representative of service providers, policy makers, civil society groups, and the legal fraternity to finalize recommendations on data protection and privacy. The consultation meeting was facilitated and hosted by Media Matters for Democracy to further its advocacy on data protection law, and…

Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and Media Matters for Democracy urge the new government to take concrete steps to end to impunity in crimes against journalists

Image Courtesy: UNESCO ISLAMABAD, 2 November 2018: Since January 2018, four journalists have been killed in Pakistan, with two being killed after the formation of new government. Other journalists and media houses have faced 71 attacks and instances of censorship of various kinds. There have been 19 incidents of violence between August and September 2018…

Media Matters launches ‘Charahgar’, a legal aid centre for journalists and media outlets, especially those wrongfully implicated for digital expression

Islamabad: Media Matters for Democracy is proud to introduce ‘Charahgar’, a legal aid centre aimed at providing legal advice, support, and defense to journalists and bloggers, especially those who are incriminated, threatened, harassed and/or unlawfully detained for their professional work or expression under Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016. Journalists, bloggers, and others engaged in journalistic…

#JournoSafe Alert: Sohail Khan, a journalist from District Haripur of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa shot dead

We are saddened to share that another journalist from the District Haripur of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa was shot dead today. He was reportedly under threat after a story on drug trafficking. His friends told Media Matters for Democracy that Khan had also filed an application with the office of District Police Officer for help and was ambushed…

Journalism is not a crime: Non-bailable arrest warrant for journalist Cyril Almeida raises concerns for free press

Islamabad, 25 September 2018: Media Matters for Democracy is extremely concerned on Lahore High Court’s decision to issue a non-bailable arrest warrant for journalist Cyril Almeida, during proceedings on a treason case against former Prime Minister, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. “The fact that an interview with Nawaz Sharif, who has served as the head of…

An Open-letter to the Minister IT Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui: Welcome to the Ministry, Sir. Various Challenges Await!

Mr. Khalid Maqbool, Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunications Dear Minister IT, Sir, welcome to the Cabinet. In the 21st century, Information Technology is one of the most essential aspects of human and state development. As we march into the future, you hold in your hands a Ministry whose work would be critical, not just for…

Violence, Journalism and Elections: A timeline of curbs on press freedom and attacks on journalists in Pakistan in the run-up to General Elections 2018

Read the full report here. 13 August 2018: In three months leading to General Elections 2018 in Pakistan, 28 cases of violence against journalists and curbs on media have been reported and documented by Media Matters for Democracy. Pakistan has never been an easy country to practice journalism. Reporters without Borders had ranked it 139 out…

An open-letter to our fellow journalists and the Pakistani news media, to help push back on online misinformation and disinformation [which many of us refer to as fake news]

Dear fellow journalists, We write to you at a critical moment in Pakistan’s political history. The 2018 general elections are right around the corner. As the election campaigns pick up pace, we appreciate that your programming is focused on key issues in national politics. We are writing to you, however, to raise a concern that…

Media Matters for Democracy launches Trends Monitor, a research analysing the potential manipulation of political hashtags on Twitter in Pakistan through human-bots

Islamabad, 17 July 2018: Media Matters for Democracy has launched the research series Trends Monitor, a unique study that assesses the presence of human-bots,  fake or dummy accounts manned by humans and used for propaganda, in political hashtags on Twitter in Pakistan.   The first in [beta] report in the series of 5 weekly reports was…

Launching our newest research ‘Gendering Self-Censorship: Women Journalists and the Double Bind’. Seeks to fill key gaps in the self-censorship debate through a gendered lens.

FOREWARD Women, no matter in which region, field or context they are in, are no stranger to self-censorship. The social constructs of ‘good women’ globally encourage submissive, compromising behavior from women and self-censorship, especially in matters of importance is generally encouraged. Pakistani women are no different. Censoring ourselves, especially if our opinions are dissenting from…

Media Matters for Democracy writes a letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan to curb the spread of election related online misinformation; ensure implementation of CoC for political parties in online spaces

Islamabad, 5th July 2017: Keeping in view the rising cases of deliberate online misinformation and incitement to political and religious violence in online political campaigns, MMFD has requested the ECP to ensure the implementation of CoC for political parties in online spaces, and take measures to counter election-related misinformation. The letter calls upon the Election Commission…

An open-letter to Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. Dear Bilawal, thank you, but we expected more

Dear Bilawal, It is with pleasure that we read the Manifesto of Pakistan Peoples Party. To tell you the truth, we had been skeptical. We had watched with sadness as Peoples Party towed the downtrodden path by self-serving decisions over the last few years. It was painful to watch the party’s approach towards human rights…

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. 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 attacks harm the media community and the democratic development…

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, 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, and 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…