Journalism Pakistan
Latest:
Digital Connections: 2024 Digital News Report reveals rising challenges and shifting trends in global mediaOpportunities: 2024 Climate Journalism Award: Honoring excellence in environmental reportingWorld: Russian court sets trial date for U.S. journalist Evan GershkovichJSchool: How AI is shaping the future of journalismDigital Connections: TikTok enhances revenue options for content creatorsOpportunities: LNJAR offers legal assistance to journalists worldwideFeatured: Unveiling the truth: Why Pakistani TV channels are losing credibilityFeatured: Shouting matches and disrespect: The new face of press conferencesWomen in Media: Indian author Arundhati Roy faces prosecution over 2010 Kashmir remarksOpportunities: IWMF offers funding opportunities for female journalists worldwideNewsroom Pakistan: PTV Sports terminates Rashid Latif's contract amidst controversyDigital Connections: YouTube unveils new features to boost creator engagement and monetization

Pakistan among worst countries for internet freedom: report

 JournalismPakistan.com
 November 06, 2019

Pakistan among worst countries for internet freedom: report

Pakistan is among the worst ten countries in the world for internet and digital media freedom, according to a report by an internet watchdog.

The Freedom House, an international internet rights group, released its ‘Freedom on the Net’ (FoTN) report for 2019, titled ‘The Crisis of Social Media,’  recording an overall decline in global internet freedom between June 2018 and May 2019.

The watchdog in its report placed Pakistan at 26, out of 100 (100 being the worst) — one place down from last year’s ranking, Dawn News quoted the report as saying.

The country scored 5 out of 25 for obstacles to access, 14 out of 35 for limits on content, and 7 out of 40 for violation of user rights index.

Globally, Pakistan is among the worst ten countries in terms of internet and digital media freedom. In terms of regional ranking, Pakistan emerged as the third-worst country after Vietnam and China, the report said.

Besides decline in internet freedom, the report found election manipulation in Pakistan through informational tactics such as the coordinated use of hyper-partisan commentators, bots, or news sites to disseminate false or misleading content as well as technical tactics, including intentional restrictions on connectivity and blocking of websites, it said.

The report for Pakistan was authored by the Digital Rights Foundation. DRF Executive Director Nighat Dad said: “The score this year is the culmination of short-term and regressive policies by successive governments. Years worth of draconian legislation and investment in structures that stymie freedom of expression has led to an environment where the internet in Pakistan is more unsafe and less inclusive.”

Internet penetration registered only marginal increases during the reporting period. There are 67 million broadband connections in Pakistan, an increase of 10m since the last report. However, it added that government initiatives to provide access to remote areas had progressed in recent years.

The report observed that authorities frequently disrupt telecommunication services during protests, elections, and religious and national holidays, often citing security concerns. During the 2018 general elections, mobile internet services were notably suspended in parts of Balochistan, and in all of former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) during both the election period and in the lead-up, the report said.

The report noted that authorities had upped their efforts to silence critical journalists and activists using a range of techniques. Users were sentenced to death on charges of posting blasphemous content online, although their convictions were under appeal.

Over 800,000 websites hosting political, religious, and social content remain blocked while the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority continued to restrict content in a nontransparent and arbitrary fashion, the report said.

It added that state and other actors were known to exert extralegal pressure on publishers and content producers to remove content, and these instances frequently went unreported.

It observed that most online commentators exercised a degree of self-censorship when writing on topics such as religion, blasphemy, civil-military relations, separatist movements, and women’s and other minority communities’ rights.

The report said that governments around the world were increasingly using social media to manipulate elections and monitor their citizens, tilting the technology toward digital authoritarianism. — Agencies

 

PTV Sports terminates Rashid Latif's contract amidst controversyPTV Sports terminates Rashid Latif's contract amidst controversy

 June 15, 2024:  PTV Sports has terminated Rashid Latif's contract, sparking controversy and speculation. Despite a recent extension, Latif's depar...

Pakistan Task Force on Journalist Murders formed to ensure justicePakistan Task Force on Journalist Murders formed to ensure justice

 June 14, 2024:  Freedom Press Unlimited, in collaboration with the government and civil society activists, has launched the Pakistan Task Force on...

Imran Riaz released after court discharges fraud caseImran Riaz released after court discharges fraud case

 June 14, 2024:  Journalist Imran Riaz Khan was released by Lahore police after a court discharged him from a fraud case. The court found insuffici...

Ameen Rajput's tragic end highlights struggles of jobless journalistsAmeen Rajput's tragic end highlights struggles of jobless journalists

 June 14, 2024:  Journalist Ameen Rajput's tragic death underscores the severe economic hardships faced by unemployed journalists. His story highli...

Journalists protest controversial defamation law in Punjab AssemblyJournalists protest controversial defamation law in Punjab Assembly

 June 13, 2024:  Journalists stage a walkout during the Punjab Assembly's budget session in protest against a new defamation law, highlighting conc...

Journalist Sanaullah Khan's bold question stuns post-budget press conferenceJournalist Sanaullah Khan's bold question stuns post-budget press conference

 June 13, 2024:  At a post-budget press conference in Islamabad, journalist Sanaullah Khan's pointed question about budget allocation and accountab...

Finance minister announces restoration of health insurance scheme for journalists and media workersFinance minister announces restoration of health insurance scheme for journalists and media workers

 June 12, 2024:  Federal Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb announces the restoration of a health insurance scheme for journalists and media worke...

Imran Riaz's arrest sparks legal battle Imran Riaz's arrest sparks legal battle

 June 12, 2024:  Journalist Imran Riaz Khan was arrested at Lahore Airport while leaving for Hajj and remanded in police custody for one day on fra...

Newsroom
2024 Climate Journalism Award: Honoring excellence in environmental reporting

2024 Climate Journalism Award: Honoring excellence in environmental reporting

 June 18, 2024 The 2024 Climate Journalism Award celebrates innovative climate reporting with approximately $2600 prizes in five categories. Apply now to honor excellence in environmental storytelling.

Russian court sets trial date for U.S. journalist Evan Gershkovich

Russian court sets trial date for U.S. journalist Evan Gershkovich

 June 18, 2024 The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) urges Russian authorities to release U.S. journalist Evan Gershkovich and drop all charges against him as his trial begins on June 26. Gershkovich has been detained for over 14 months on unfounded espionage charges.

LNJAR offers legal assistance to journalists worldwide

LNJAR offers legal assistance to journalists worldwide

 June 17, 2024 Discover how the Legal Network for Journalists at Risk (LNJAR) defends press freedom worldwide. LNJAR provides crucial legal support to journalists and media outlets facing threats and legal challenges, ensuring they can work without fear.

Unveiling the truth: Why Pakistani TV channels are losing credibility

Unveiling the truth: Why Pakistani TV channels are losing credibility

 June 17, 2024 Discover the key factors behind the declining credibility of Pakistani TV channels, from sensationalism and political bias to the influence of advertisers and ethical lapses. Learn what can be done to restore public trust and uphold journalistic integrity.

Indian author Arundhati Roy faces prosecution over 2010 Kashmir remarks

Indian author Arundhati Roy faces prosecution over 2010 Kashmir remarks

 June 16, 2024 Indian author Arundhati Roy is facing prosecution over her controversial remarks on Kashmir made in 2010. The legal action highlights ongoing tensions and freedom of speech issues in India.