Journal of
Media and Communication Studies

  • Abbreviation: J. Media Commun. Stud.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2545
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMCS
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 204

Full Length Research Paper

Critical analysis of press freedom in Pakistan

Syed Abdul Siraj
Mass Communication, Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 17 August 2009
  •  Published: 31 August 2009



Press freedom has never been consistent in Pakistan. Different regimes used legal and constitutional means to control the press from public debate and criticism. In it sixty years of history, Pakistan has been ruled by military more than the civilian. Press in Pakistan usually faces threats, violence, economic pressure, etc. The country's law on blasphemy has been used against journalists. Poor literacy, urban orientation of the press, and the high price of newspapers are detrimental factors for the under development of print media in Pakistan. Beside these barricades, one can now easily notice a shift from the centralized broadcasting to an open competition broadcast system in Pakistan, enabling the audience to enjoy more power of selective exposure. All governments including the military say high about the press freedom but often thing the other way round when the press criticizes the government. However, during the Musharraf military and civil regime for about nine year, press was operated in a mixed character. In view of this situation, Pakistan’s place in the Reporters sans Frontiers - Annual Worldwide Press Freedom Index is 152 out of a total of 167 for the year 2007. However the new government of the Pakistan People's party has promised for maximum freedom of the press.


Key words: Pakistan press laws, freedom, media sociology, challenges to Pakistan media.