FATA MEDIA REVIEW
January 2012 Highlights
Around 14% of journalists in FATA don’t get any by-lines, 50% work without formal
INTERMEDIA 36% of the respondent journalists in FATA admit that lack of recognition is affecting
the quality of their work
EMPOWERMENT THROUGH INFORMATION Renowned journalist Mukkaram Khan Atif assassinated in Shabqadar, Charsadda
#42 Street 32 Sector F-6/1 Islamabad, Pakistan Pakistan slips up on RSF Press Freedom Index
#15 Abdara Road, University Town, Peshawar
Phone: 051-2604205 (Islamabad) 091-5702694 (Peshawar)
Web: www.intermedia.org.pk, www.newstribe.com.pk
FATA Media Matters – Summary January 2012
The beginning of the new year failed to bring along a glimmer of hope for FATA- These journalists admit that the lack of recognition is affecting their work in various
based journalists. In this month’s survey we take a look at the amount of recognition ways with 36% saying that their work quality is suffering. Others say that the lack of
FATA-based journalists receive for their work from their organization, community recognition is resulting in low self esteem, lack of motivation and reduced outputs.
and peers. In media monitoring section, we discuss the tragic and untimely death of
yet another tribal journalist, Mukkaram Khan Atif, who was gunned down by TTP Monitoring of threats to FATA based journalists paints a sombre picture in the
assailants as he prayed in a mosque near his home. month of January 2012. The year started with reports of Pakistan slipping up on the
RSF’s annual Press Freedom Index.
The data gathered during Intermedia’ monthly media survey shows that most of the
journalists in FATA often get their by-lines The month was marred by the assassination
published. Only 14% of the respondents do not get of renowned tribal journalist Mukkaram
by lines at all. Amongst the others, the frequency of Khan Atif who was shot dead in Shabqadar
by-lines differs. But at least 15% of the respondents “The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Hailing from
get the credit for all the stories they file. claimed responsibility for Atif’s murder. “We have Mohmand Agency, Atif had relocated to
been warning him to stop his propaganda against us Charsadda district after receiving constant
A disturbing statistic that has come to light is that in the foreign media. He did not include our version in threats. Unfortunately, the move did not
only half of the journalists working in FATA have his stories,” TTP spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan said help save his life.
actually signed a formal contract with their in telephone calls to Peshawar-based journalists.
employers. Keeping in view the fact that a majority Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed the
He warned that the TTP has several more media
of journalists in FATA has actually been working responsibility for Atif’s assassination, saying
without compensation, one can see where the persons on their hit-list.” that he had refused to include their version
exploitation starts. Targeted Attack; Taliban Gun down senior tribal in his reports. Mukkaram Khan Atif was
associated with Dunya News TV and Deeva
On a positive note, it is heartening to see that Radio, VOA.
The Express Tribune
professional and peer recognition exists; around
86% of the respondents are members of press A number of journalists in FATA have
clubs and as many as 90% are members of a received threats from TTP and militants
journalist unions in FATA. following Atif’s assassination. However, no
visible steps have been taken by the
However, the lack of recognition on institutional level is affecting the work of FATA authorities to reduce the framework of risks facing journalists of the region, which
based journalists. Amongst the 30 respondents who participated in this survey, 47% continues to be a dangerous area to practice journalism.
are not satisfied with the recognition they currently receive.
State of Media Survey – Recognition of FATA Journalists for Their Work
Most journalists in FATA are associated with multiple news outlets. A large number
of them work for both electronic and print medium, filing stories for newspapers, Recognition of work
radio and television at the time. With the exception of 14% of the respondents, a majority does get by-lines on their
This month’s survey takes a look at how many of these journalists are actually stories. However, the frequency of published by-lines differs.
recognized for their work – whether their stories are accompanied by their by-lines, On a weekly basis 63% respondents file nearly 5 stories and 42% of them get a by-
whether their organization actually accepts them as a formal employee and how line for one out of those 5 stories, 3% are recognized in 60% of the stories, another
they are recognized within the journalistic community. 3% get by-lines for 80% of their stories and 15% of the respondents get a by-line for
In addition to financial security, job recognition is yet another key area where every story they file.
organizations can wrong their employees and as a result create a negative work
environment. The survey also tries to determine if and how the lack of job Recognition of work
recognition is affecting the quality of journalism in FATA.
In this survey 30 working journalists from FATA took part. Amongst the respondents 14% Do not get
more than 46% work for more than one news organization; with 33% associated a byline at all
with 2 news organizations and 10% with 3 news organizations simultaneously.
15% get bylines for 20%
Numbers of news organizations respondents are associated with bylines for all of all stories
for 80% of all
10 30% regonized
Three 3% recognized for 40% of
5 for 60% of stories
Employment Recognition Professional & Peer Recognition
As mentioned previously, a large number of journalists in FATA are working for The number of journalists working from FATA is fairly low; around 250 journalists
multiple organizations; most work as correspondents, freelancers & stringers. working from all the agencies and frontier regions. However, there are 13 press
However, not all have the luxury for having signed a formal employment contract. clubs actively operating from all the agencies of FATA.
According to the data gathered during this survey, only half of the journalists in In addition to these Press Clubs, the Tribal Union of Journalists is also an active body
FATA have signed contracts with their respective news organizations. working for the rights of journalists. According to the survey results, 86% of the
respondents are members of a press club and as many as 90% also belong to a
Employment Recognition journalist union.
Professional & Peer Recognition
Members Not Members
contracts Do not have
Press Clubs Journalist Unions
Not signing a formal contract with news organizations does not just leave the
journalists open to exploitation but also denies them the recognition that they
On the plus side, even though almost half of the journalists are working without
Without a contract to lay out the job description and detail the financial employment contracts, a majority of them are recognized as and are granted
compensation for the journalists’ work, leads to a significant percentage of memberships to journalist unions and press clubs. In absence of employer’s
journalists not being paid at all. recognition, the membership of press clubs and unions can lend the necessary
support to the journalists in time of need.
Effect of inadequate recognition of work
The respondents were asked whether they were satisfied with the work recognition
they currently receive; 53% of the respondents were satisfied with professional, The data gathered during this survey raises both points of concern and also shows a
employee and peer recognition. glimmer of hope. The level of recognition might be low on organizational level, but
the overall ratio of professional and peer recognition is very high.
The 47% respondents who are not satisfied with the amount of recognition they get
admit that the lack of recognition is affecting them in various ways, with 78.5% A majority of journalists in FATA belong of press clubs and journalist unions and
saying that the lack of recognition affects the quality of their work. most of them also receive recognition for their work in form of by lines. However,
room for improvement remains. Half of the respondents from FATA are working
Here is a graphical representation of how inadequate regonition of work is effecting without formal employment contracts which may lead to exploitation.
47% of journalists in FATA.
Those who are not satisfied with the level of recognition they get for their work
admit that the lack of recognition is reflecting badly in their work and is affecting the
Effects of inadequate recognition quality of journalism as well as reducing their output. The lack of motivation and the
effect on their self esteem are also points of concern.
Reduced Output Based on the findings of this survey, it is obvious that journalists need more
recognition from their organizations in form of by-lines and job contracts. The lack of
recognition is affecting the work of up to 47% of the journalists; the following
Lack of recommendations might help improve the situation.
- News organizations need to ensure that journalists are given by-lines of due
credit on TV & Radio as and when justified. While giving by-lines or
journalist’s sign offs, the safety of the journalists should also be a main
Low Self Esteem - Journalists unions and press clubs can work with the journalists to ensure
that their relevant organizations employ their services after signing a formal
contract; this would bring organizational recognition to the journalists and
would also ensure that they are not working for free.
Violations against Media in FATA in December 2011
The year 2012 started on a very sombre note; on 17th January a veteran journalist, “Whereas the heinous murder of Saleem Shahzad, a journalist has taken place and
Mukkaram Khan Atif, was gunned down in Shabqadar, Charsadda. His death marked cause and circumstances leading to are to be ascertained.”
a continuation of a string of bloody years in the local media history.
It was alleged from within the media community that Pakistan’s security agencies
The year 2011 ended on a violent note; the news were involved in the murder. The
stories appearing in various newspapers in January’s “Eight [journalist] killings had had a direct link to investigative commission could not find
beginning told of 12 journalists’ deaths. A news report their work as journalists. Wali Khan Babar from the anything incriminating. However,
in Pakistan Today, quoted a SAFMA [South Asia Free Geo News TV, Nasrullah Afridi from PTV/Urdu daily according to Adnan Rehmat writing for
Media Association] report saying “Working conditions Mashriq, Saleem Shahzad from Asia Times Online, Express Tribune, the next best thing did
for journalists in Pakistan were more risky against the Asfandyar Khan from Akhbar-e-Khyber, Shafiullah happen; “the commission – and this is the
backdrop of ongoing conflicts in the vast north and Khan from The News, Muneer Shakir working for the real surprise in the report – calls for
south western regions of the country. While militants Online News Network and a television channel greater control and accountability of spy
target them with impunity, fingers are also raised at Sabzbaat, Faisal Qureshi, the editor for a political agencies like the ISI and IB, both from
the role of security agencies in their kidnapping and within and externally. This is an emphasis
news website London Post and Javed Naseer Rind, a
killing. The total number of journalists killed in South that would be astounding even if this were
senior sub-editor and columnist with the Urdu-
Asia was 17, of which 12 were Pakistanis.” not a probe into the murder of a
language Daily Tawar have become victims of
A total of 105 news pieces in the monitored targeted killing, suicide bombing and the wrath of
newspapers mentioned journalists’ deaths and intelligence agencies.” The commission’s report while unique in
assassinations. Most of these pieces followed the its own right, failed to deliver justice.
From a report published in Pakistan Today,
tragic targeting of Mukkaram Khan Atif, which led to Impunity prevailed and threats to the
January 1st, 2012
nationwide journalists protests and also forced journalists continue.
editorial teams to publish various analytical pieces on
Writing for The News, former secretary
general of Pakistan federal Union of
However, even before Mukkaram Khan’s assassination, the journalist community Journalists, Mazhar Abbas points out that; “The psychological pressure and mental
suffered yet another tragedy in the form of an inconclusive investigation report of stress on journalists are intensified by the poor working conditions. The majority of
Saleem Shahzad’s murder. The report submitted on January 10th simply stated that them are underpaid, and salary payments are irregular. In addition, they lack
medical and insurance covers. There are no security arrangements by the
The increasing threats to journalists also concerned various human rights Clubs, Balochistan Union of Journalists. Condolence meetings and protests were
organizations. Expressing its concern, HRCP pointed out that “the perceptible arranged in different districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and tribal belt. Human Rights
increase in threats is manifested by over a dozen journalists Commission of Pakistan, SAFMA and American and
killed in 2011, while many others have been forced to go French embassies also offered condolences.
into hiding.” According to a news piece published in The
News, “HRCP reiterates that those making threats and Mukkaram Khan’s Atif’s assassination is the first one
perpetrating violence against journalists are encouraged by for which Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has openly
the fact that out of over 70 journalists killed in Pakistan in claimed responsibility. A news piece in The Express
the last decade, the perpetrators have been brought to Tribune carries TTP statement saying: “We have
justice in only one case. Perhaps it is the prevalent impunity been warning him to stop his propaganda against us
in journalists’ murders that led to a first in journalists’ in the foreign media. He did not include our version
in his stories,” TTP spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan
assassinations in Pakistan.”
said in telephone calls to Peshawar-based
Mukkaram Khan Atif, a renowned journalist from Mohmand journalists.
Agency was gunned down in Shabqadar Charsadda, where
he incidentally had moved because of security concerns and The admission by TTP has added a new chilling
threats. According to a news item published in The Nation; dimension to the journalists’ safety concerns in
“The tragic incident occurred when he was offering evening Pakistan. Even though the Taliban and other militant
prayer near his house in Deppo Korona area of tehsil groups have been issuing threats to journalists for a
while, this is the first public murder, which might
Shabqadar. He sustained multiple head injuries and
succumbed to his wounds at Peshawar’s Lady Reading lead to dire consequences. An editorial in Dawn,
Hospital.” points towards a major concern in this regard: “With
the Taliban threatening to kill more journalists,
The 43-year-old Atif was a correspondent for Dunya News those reporting on the conflict have now become
TV and was also associated with VOA Deeva radio. major targets to be pursued anywhere, even in
Mukkaram Khan’s death was widely condemned by places far from the conflict zone, as seen in the
Mukkaram Khan Atif, tribal journalist assassinated on Jan 13, 2012
journalist associations across Pakistan. In The Frontier case of Mr Atif who was killed in Charsadda where
Post Ihsan Dawar writes that; “President TUJ Safdar Hayat said that Atif and some he had moved for reasons of safety. The active targeting of newsmen by the Taliban
other tribal journalists were regularly threatened for the last three months.” will not only have repercussions for the safety of journalists reporting on militancy.
It will also mean that large parts of the northwest could well become a news
Atif’s murder was condemned by Tribal Union of Journalists, PFUJ, Governor Khyber blackout zone, with serious consequences particularly in the context of abuses that
Pakhtunkhwa Masood Kausar, Information Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Iftikhar may never come to light.”
Hussain and Khyber Union of Journalists, and Bajaur, Parachinar and Bannu Press
Another editorial in The Express Tribune points out that journalists in tribal areas are concern for journalists, under constant threat from Taliban, religious extremists,
more vulnerable and exposed to danger. “It is also clear tribal journalists are at separatist movements and political groups.”
special risk. The organisations these brave men work for in remote, lawless areas
which few others can reach, must do more to protect them. Compensation doled Despite the increasing number of journalist casualties, the authorities have failed to
out to families is not enough. The state too needs to act so that information can check the security concerns. As a result, the threats to journalists are increasing.
continue to reach people and the voices of journalists are not muffled by guns again Since Mukkaram Khan Atif’s assassination in
and again.” Charsadda, various journalists from FATA
Various opinion pieces in monitored newspapers
“It is also clear tribal journalists are at special have received similar threats from TTP.
have repeated the same concerns, pointing out the risk. The organisations these brave men work
During the research for this media review, 2
fact that journalist safety measures do not go for in remote, lawless areas which few others more journalists in danger have been
beyond condemnation after such tragedies. An can reach, must do more to protect them. identified by intermedia.
editorial in Daily Aaj expresses concern for the
Compensation doled out to families is not
families of journalists who have suffered in the line Ibrahim Shinwari of Deeva Radio, who works
of duty; “There is no proper method for a enough. The state too needs to act so that from Landi Kotal Khyber Agency has been
compensation or pension for the children and information can continue to reach people and receiving threats via telephone by some
families of journalists who have lost their lives the voices of journalists are not muffled by militant groups. The threats are occasionally
have been crippled in the line of duty, either of the repeated and the militants are pressurizing
guns again and again.”
government level or on the level of journalist Shinwari to give a certain angle to his stories.
bodies and media groups.” Shinwari has notified his organization about
the threats, but law enforcement agencies
Even though the protests and demands for justice Death of a Journalist, The Express Tribune have not been notified.
continued till the month’s end, there hasn’t been January 19, 2012
any progress in bringing Mukkaram Khan Atif’s Another journalist Shah Nawaz Tarakzai,
assassins to justice as yet. associated with Radio Mashaal & Free Radio
Europe has had to relocate to Peshawar from
The worsening situation for Pakistan’s journalist Bajaur Agency after receiving threats from
community was brought home in Paris-based Reporters Sans Borders report which militant groups. He was threatened over the telephone and pressurized to give a
named Pakistan as the world’s deadliest country for journalists for the second year certain angle to his stories. In this case again, the security & law enforcement
in a row. According a news item published in Daily Times, “Pakistan as the country agencies haven’t been notified, which speaks volumes about the lack of trust
was ranked 151 in a global media organisation’s World Press Freedom Index for journalists have on the authorities.
2011-12 – a point below Afghanistan (150th) – as violence remained the main
BROADER MEDIA TRENDS IN FATA in Dec 2011
Telephony & Communication in FATA Cultural & Literary Activities in FATA
The state of telephony and communication saw no improvement in the first January 2012 was pretty active for the literary community in FATA. On January 1st,
month of the new year. The monitored newspapers have been publishing Bara Pashto Adabi Jirga met in Khyber Agency and was attended by a large number
stories are the restoration of mobile services in Kurram Agency since October of poets and literary figures. The event ended with an open poetry recital. On the
2011, but so far the authorities have failed to deliver on their promise. same day a meeting of Orakzai Adabi Karwan [Orakzai Literary Caravan] was held in
Kohat which also included a poetic reading.
According to a news piece published in Daily Aaj on January 10, 2012, the
government had officially announced the restoration of mobile services in The death anniversary of Pashto poet Sanobar Kakaji was marked in a poetry
Kurram on October 30, 2011. However, despite that announcement the recital organized by Jando Pashto Adabi Tolani. Bajaur Pashto Adabi Karwan
mobile service is yet to be restored. Officials have now said that the service elected a new governing body; Mohammad Ismail Siyar and Ashna Bajaur were
will not be restored till the operation against militants is completed in Central elected as president and general secretary respectively.
A meeting of Ikhlas Adabi Jirga was held in Mohmand Agency, the members also
In other news, local Taliban in Wana, South Waziristan, set fire to a dozen visited ailing poet Nazir Ahmad Turab and prayed there for his early recovery.
computers, television sets, cellular phones and several cassettes. The incident
Tirah Adabi Jirga also met in Khyber Agency; the meeting ended with an open
happened in the agency’s main bazaar.
poetry reading with all poets presenting their latest work. Khyber Agency was also
In December, a similar incident saw Taliban burning around 200 cell phones in the meeting place of Qabail Pashto Adabi Jirga.
Wana. According to The News: “The Taliban, led by Maulvi Nazeer, said they
had already banned using television and computers for watching movies and Orakzai Adabi Jirga formed its new governing body at a meeting in Hangu. The
music and carrying cellular phones with cameras. They said some people were cabinet was formed for the year 2012. The poets have asked the government to
still violating the ban. declare Pashto as a compulsory subject up to grade 10th in all public schools.
The Taliban militants had seized over a dozen TV sets and computers and Al Noor Bazmi Adab Dara Adam Khel held a poetic meeting which was attended by
local poets, students & teachers. Qabail Pashto Adabi Jirga approved its new
mobile phones and several cassettes, reportedly of music, from the local
people and these were burnt in the main bazaar of Wana, the headquarters of manifesto in a meeting in Peshawar. A large number of poets from Khyber Agency
South Waziristan.” attended the meeting.
All in all, the infrastructural and security situation involving communications A meeting of Orakzai Adabi Qafila was held in Kohat. It was attended by a large
number of poets from Orakzai Agency. Several poets presented their poetry for
and telephony in FATA continued to be dismal in January 2012.
Before burning the electronic devices, the main road passing through Wana’s
Rustam Bazaar was closed for traffic. A large number of tribesmen gathered
to see the militants burning TV sets and computers
ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION
Media in FATA: A Brief Background
Pakistan remains the toughest newsbeat for journalists. In recent years, reporters have fallen with regular and alarming intensity in the line of duty, underscoring the
challenges of reporting on militancy and conflict. While the environment has become unsafe for journalists all over the country in recent years, tougher still is reporting
from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The tribal region along the Pak-Afghan border has been never been easy to report from due to its lawless nature at the
best of times. With the militancy-related conflict centered there, the going has got tougher for journalists. Called upon to report on a vicious, volatile region, a nascent and
struggling media has been negotiating a minefield of hostile tribal attitudes and a deadly conflict characterized by information blackout and control. Of the 74 reporters
killed in Pakistan since 2001, at least 10 are from FATA and 18 from the adjacent Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
While constantly undermined by a vicious conflict, media in FATA have made immense strides – nothing short of a miracle in the presence of ban on media, freedom of
assembly and expression and lack of organizational support to journalists. It is important to protect and defend the space journalists have secured for media against all
odds. While journalists living and working elsewhere in Pakistan have the support of their fraternity and media support organizations, those in FATA are handicapped by
lack of training, lack of infrastructure, the remote and close nature of the tribal hinterland and an active conflict that restricts mobility and communication. There is little
known of the struggles and challenges journalists in FATA face, routinely risking their lives and families to provide the world a window on one of the isolated regions of the
About this Report – FATA Media Review
This report is part of an effort to support journalists and journalism in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) through ongoing monitoring, research and
analysis of the state of media in the region. By documenting violations aimed at journalists in FATA on a monthly basis, we hope to preserve and protect the space for
media that journalists working in the region have won in a complete absence of local media infrastructure. This report is published every month beginning with August
2011. There will be three parts of the monthly report on the State of Media in FATA:
PART 1: Research and analysis of thematic issues relating to FATA media
This section will attempt to include a small research on a single theme conducted each month by Intermedia. This will principally be done through seeking feedback on
Trend Research Questionnaires produced on the theme and then analyzing the responses. The average Feedback sample will be around 50 persons and these can include
both journalists and non-journalists.
PART 2: Monitoring and analysis of violations against FATA media
This section will include narrative analysis of violations against media based on data collected from monitoring of print and online media and all the press clubs in FATA (see
list of monitoring categories/sources at the end of this report) as well as the Tribal Union of Journalists (TUJ). The principal data sources will be:
(i) Daily FATA Media Monitoring (produced by Intermedia office in Peshawar)
(ii) Weekly FATA Press Clubs Coordination Reports (produced by Intermedia office in Peshawar)
PART 3: Monitoring and analysis of broader media trends in FATA (such as media development, communications issues and alternative media, including cultural expressions)
This section will include, where possible, narrative analysis of broader media trends such as holding of alternative media events relating to music concerts, cinema,
literature, theatre, performing arts, etc., that indicate the level of tolerance (or lack thereof) for cultural expressions relating to FATA. Communications issues such as
information about Internet and teledensity will also be monitored and analyzed, where possible, as both these denote access to information. The principal data source will
be: (i) Daily FATA Media Monitoring Datasheet (produced by Intermedia office in Peshawar)
Monitored News Sources for this monthly report
ENGLISH NEWSPAPERS: The Frontier Post, The Statesman, Khyber Mail, Dawn, Express Tribune, The News, Daily Times, Pakistan Today and The Nation.
URDU NEWSPAPERS: Mashriq, Aaj, Jang, Nawa-e-Waqt, Khabrain and Express.
PASHTO NEWSPAPERS: Wahdat, Khabroona, Hewad and Jirga.
MAGAZINES: Herald, Newsline and The Friday Times.
ONLINE SOURCES: BBC Urdu Online and BBC Pashto Online
Monitored Categories of Media Items
Categories of Violations against Media: Death, Kidnapping, Detention, Arrest, Assault, Censorship, Attack on Property, Threat, Exile/Displacement, Restriction on
Mobility, and Restriction on Information Access.
Categories of Alternative Media: Cinema, Music, Movies, Literature, Theatre, Radio, Television.
Categories of Online Media: Internet, Telephony, Satellite, Social Media, CDs/DVDs.
Types of Media Items Evaluated
1. Editorial and Opinions: Items in which the journalists or a representative of the media outlet expresses her/his opinion regarding issues, facts or actors
2. Expert Analysis: Items in which the author is an expert not employed by the newspaper or an external analyst and they express their technical advice or opinion on
issues, facts or actor
3. News: Items reporting about current affairs and issues of the day
4. Interview: Items in which an actor is interviewed
5. Letters from Readers: Letters and comments sent by readers to newspapers and published
6. Poll: Only for stand-alone polls not related to any articles covering the issue or actor focus of the monitoring – published opinion, exit or any other kind of poll
7. Cartoon: Drawings and sketches portraying the issue or actor focus of the monitoring
8. Photo: Picture portraying the issue or actor focus of the monitoring (to be considered only when the picture is not associated to an article)
FATA Media Review Editorial Team
Editor Adnan Rehmat Associate Editor Sadaf Baig Associate Editor Aurangzaib Khan Researcher Tauseef-ur-Rehman Researcher Said Alam Layouts Asif Iqbal
This digital publication is produced by Intermedia Pakistan under a project funded by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). The views and contents, however, are the sole
responsibility of Intermedia. The activities outlined in the FATA Media Review (except external sources referenced from media) were also undertaken under the same project.