27 November 2019
Censorship has increasingly become news in Pakistan as the media has come under a range of regulatory, extra-legal and financial pressures leading to increased compliance with state and nationalist narratives and the increasing marginalsation of dissenting voices. The announced closures of Pakistan’s two current affairs news magazines, The Herald and Newsline, has dealt a severe blow to the prospects of continued independent investigative journalism. In light of these developments Badar Alam, editor of The Herald, spoke on the history and transformations of censorship practices and the prospects for a free press. In particular he analysed the changing technological and legal landscape and transformations in the political economy of news media to argue how debate and dissent is being circumscribed. Declan Walsh, formerly Pakistan correspondent for The Guardian (2004-2011) and bureau chief for The New York Times (2012-2013) situated his analysis within wider global attacks on mainstream news, disinformation and transformations in the global mediascape.