ISLAMABAD: For some years now, media professionals and news industry insiders in Pakistan have spoken of a growing trend of self-censorship among local journalists. The self-censorship is argued to be a defense mechanism against threats, harassment, and acts of physical violence. However, a lack of tangible data about this phenomenon has often led to the issue being ignored in media policy discourse and efforts to ensure the safety of journalists.
Media Matters for Democracy, Pakistan launched a new research study mapping perceptions about self censorship among Pakistani journalists on World Press Freedom Day 2018. The study Surrendering to Silence, reveals alarming statistics about the practice of self censorship in Pakistan’s media, with 88% of the respondents stating that they had engaged in self censorship in professional and 79% saying that they had additionally engaged in self censorship in their personal expression as well.