Pressure on media.


THE state of media freedom in Pakistan today is far from satisfactory. The last two years have seen growing pressures of all kinds on the media leading to shrinking space for freedom of expression. Journalism in a democracy is all about speaking truth to power, but doing so in this country carries consequences. The latest in a series of incidents signalling a growing lack of state tolerance is the suspension of the broadcast licence for Channel 24. Pemra has pulled the channel off air citing some licensing issues but the channel management says they are closing transmission because they cannot face 'blackmailing' from the government. Hundreds of people will now lose their jobs.

The trend unfortunately is quite clear. The present government has piled pressure on the media through all means available adding to the existing financial woes of the industry. Recent years have witnessed unprecedented job losses and cutbacks within the industry. While some of this may be attributed to 'market correction', much of it is a result of policies pursued by the government in terms of advertisements and...

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