By Staff Reporter
Published: July 6, 2013
ISLAMABAD: “Pakistan has great potential for media to grow, inform and play an important democratizing role in the age of digital convergence. However, the media’s potential could be undermined by the industry’s infrastructure, regulatory weaknesses, and an overall lack of awareness of the media’s role in a democratic set-up”.
This was stated by Huma Yusuf, a senior journalist and lead author of the report “Mapping Digital Media in Pakistan” launched here Friday. She hoped that the stakeholders in Pakistan will greatly benefit from this extensive research.
The first-ever report on Mapping Digital Media described Pakistan’s evolving media landscape, with focus on key areas, including changes in media consumption patterns; the role of public service media; growing internet access and online engagement; the impact of new media technologies on journalism practices; spectrum utilization and media licensing; the media industry’s financial model; and existing media policies and regulations.
The event was attended by leading journalists, media practitioners and representatives from the regulatory bodies, civil society and researchers from academia. The launch of the report on Pakistan was part of the global Mapping Digital Media project, which examines the changes in-depth, aims to build bridges between researchers and policymakers, activists, academics and standard-setters across the world.
It also builds policy capacity in countries where this is less developed, encouraging stakeholders to participate in and influence change. At the same time, this research creates a knowledge base, laying foundations for advocacy work, building capacity and enhancing debate.
On the occasion, Marius Dragomir, senior manager and global publications editor for the media programme at the Open Society Foundations, said, “the Pakistan Report completes the 44th segment in the global mapping digital media project.
As such it offers a unique opportunity for comparative research that puts Pakistan’s media evolution in an international context.”
He further said, the Media Program of the Open Society Foundations has seen how changes and continuity affect the media in different places, redefining the way, they can operate sustainably while staying true to values of pluralism and diversity, transparency and accountability, editorial independence, freedom of expression and information, public service, and high professional standards.
Covering 60 countries, the project examines how these changes affect the core democratic service that any media system should provide-news about political, economic and social affairs.