Editorial

How dangerous is to be a journalist in Pakistan?!

Report - Digi Insecurity of Journos
Photo credit – Digital Rights Foundation

The Digital Rights Foundation has published the report of their nationwide survey on the state of security of the journalists in Pakistan.
According to the report, sixty-six percent of journalists in the country have faced online insecurity in various ways, including blackmail, hacking, threats, sexual harassment, data theft and stalking. The report shows the growing numbers and gravity of threats and concerns that journalists face online. The report is aimed to provide recommendations to lawmakers with reference to the under-consideration Journalist Protection Bill. It also urged the organizations to realize the nature of the threats and conduct training for digital security and privacy.
The journalists are caught in between the crosshairs of terrorists as well as the state. The governments and terrorist groups have equally made the recent times as the most dangerous times to be a journalist in Pakistan. Journalists are either kidnapped or killed by the militant groups or put under surveillance, censored or imprisoned by the state institutions. Journalists are being caught amidst a terror dynamic in which they are threatened by the terrorist groups, on one hand, who targets them and the state agencies that restrict civil liberties including press freedom in the name of fighting terror.
Free journalism and reporting have become a very sensitive and dangerous matter in these times. For instance, Cyril Almeida, a senior correspondent at The Dawn, was confronted serious life threats from the state institutions in the matter of infamous Dawn leaks story. Non-state actors such as criminal organizations, religious extremists, and violent political groups also pose a significant threat to journalists as well as a challenge to press freedom advocates and news organizations.