Introduction

Pakistan’s vibrant small media landscape faces a number of opportunities to expand its critical role in providing trusted information to citizens and holding government accountable. As Pakistan’s population grows and rapidly urbanizes, the demand for information and the media market also increases rapidly.

However, the space for small media is threatened by a number of key challenges – the biggest threat being significant safety concerns for journalists tackling governance and rights issues. Journalists lack security awareness both in terms of physical security, but also in protecting their data and their sources digitally. Furthermore, there is a lack of knowledge of the impact of constant pressure and psychological stress on journalists. Threats against journalists—exacerbated by poor professional standards and weak reporting—contribute to self-censorship. Finally, media access, though key to a functioning democracy and good governance, remains geographically uneven and lacking diversity.