This is an automatically generated PDF version of the online resource pakistan.mom-rsf.org/en/ retrieved on 2019/11/20 at 10:45
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) & Freedom Network - all rights reserved, published under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Freedom Network LOGO
Reporters without borders

Indicators of Risks to Media Pluralism


Media Audience Concentration

Result: High Risk

This indicator aims to assess the concentration of audience and readership across India’s media platforms based on audience share. Generally, concentration is measured by using the nation’s top 4 owners in the media market.

Why?

In the Television market the top 4 owners reach an audience share of 55% which constitutes a high risk of media audience concentration, since over half of the audience is exposed to the content produced only by four suppliers of news. The major four players in Television market are the Jang group owned by the Mir Family (24.5%), the ARY Group owned by the ARY family (12.27%), PTVC owned by the government (11.24%) and the Samaa Group owned by Bilal Siddiqui (7%).

  

Television Audience Concentration 55%
Media GroupOutletAudience Share
Jang GroupGEO News24.50%
ARY GroupARY News12.27%
GovernmentPTV News 11.24%
Samaa GroupSamaa TV6.99%
TOTAL TOP 4:

54.99%

The Top 10 TV news channels, measured by Gallup Pakistan, represent an audience share of 80% out of which the 55% is attributed to the top 4 players. Their influence is likely to be even greater since their reach through various other television stations they own which have not made into the top 10 is not counted in due to lack of data.

Radio

When considering the top 4 owners the picture in the radio sector changes. FM 100 Pakistan network of radio stations becomes the biggest by audience share with FM 100 Lahore 6.2%, FM 100 Islamabad 4.5% and FM 100 Karachi 1.3% – reach an audience share of 12%. The state-run radio stations FM 101 (5.1%) and Radio Pakistan (3.3%) reach and audience share of 8.4%.

Radio Audience Concentration 35.6% of 48.2%
Media Group
Outlet
Audience share
FM 100 Pakistan GroupFM 100 Lahore 6.2%; FM 100 Islamabad 4.5%
FM 100 Karachi 1.3%
11.9%
Future Tech Engineering SystemsRadio Awaz 9.3%9.3%
Government FM 101 5.1%; Radio Pakistan 3.3%8.4%
Trade Serve InternationalMast FM103 6%6%
TOTAL TOP 435.6%

It is important to note that the FM 100 Pakistan is not a formal group, however the website presents an image of a single radio station called FM 100 with services provided in various cities including Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore. The reach of the network is greater, however the top 10 list of radio stations didn’t include the FM 100 stations in other cities of Pakistan. Interesting is also the ownership model, in different cities different companies hold licenses to broadcast under FM 100 frequency, which means there is no one legal entity that owns FM 100 radio station. So for instance, the FM 100 in Islamabad is operated by Capital FM Private limited owned by the Mustafa Memon family and the Shaheen Foundation (part of the Pakistani Airforce); in Lahore the FM 100 station is run by the Lahore Broadcasting Corporation owned by the Pirzada Family; in Karachi the FM 100 frequency is registered under the company named First Media Services Private Limited, however, no public records exist on the company and the ownership of that branch of the radio station remains unknown. The CEO in many of the FM 100 radio stations is Aman Ahmed and no further information was available about the CEO.

The accumulative percentage of the audience share of Top 10 radio stations, according to the Gallup Pakistan data is 48.2% which does not even reach half of the market. However, the top 4 owners within this sample reach an audience share of at least 35.6%. It is not clear as to why the top 10 radio stations represent only half of the market, no further explanation was provided by Gallup. But if considering that the 48.2% of the market would represent the universe then the top 4 players would be reaching an audience share of 74.3% which would indicate a high risk of media audience concentration. It has also been observed that data collection in the radio sector was extremely difficult and data was missing on editorial teams all of which contributes to the lack of transparency and the risks of concentration being high.

Print

The print market in Pakistan appears to be highly concentrated as the top 4 owners in the market reach an audience share of 70%. Readership data was not available for all the publications of print groups in Pakistan. So, for example the Jang Group owned by the Mir Family, publishes Akhbar-e-Jahan, Mag, Awaz, the News and Pakistan Times however readership data was only available for the daily Jang which reaches almost one third of the total audience share with 27%.  The group’s reach through its other multiple publications is unknown and same can be observed with the other groups. The remaining three players in the print market are the Express Group (18%) owned by the Lakhani Family, Nawaiwaqt Group (14%) owned by Rameeza Majid Nizami and the Khabrain Group (11%) owned by the Zia Shahid family. 

 

 Print Audience Concentration 70% of 86%
Media GroupOutletAudience share
Jang GroupJang 27%; Akhbar-e-Jahan (MD); Mag (MD); Awaz (MD); The News (MD); Pakistan Times (MD)27%
Express GroupExpress 18%; Express Tribune (MD); Sindh Express (MD)18%
Nawaiwaqt GroupNawa-i-Waqt 14%; The Nation (MD); Phool (MD); Family (MD); Nida-i-Millat (MD)14%
Khabrain GroupKhabrain 11%; Khabroon (MD); Khabraan (MD); The Post (MD)11%
TOTAL TOP 4:70%

*MD = Missing Data

The accumulative percentage of audience share of Top 10 newspapers, according to the Gallup Pakistan data is 86% of which 70% belongs to the top 4 players.

Online news media

The audience data on online news outlets was provided by Gallup, however Gallup have purchased the data from Similar Web, according to them, the sample of top 10 online news websites reach an audience share of 26.52%. The top 4 owners in the market reach 24.84% of shares, 93.4% of the sample. The biggest players here are similar to the ones in the print and TV markets: The Jang Group (9.84%) owned by the Mir Family, the Express Group (8.03%) owned by the Lakhani Family, the Dawn Group (4.96%) owned by the Haroon-Saigol family, and the Daily Pakistan group owned by Mujib-ur-Rehman Shami (2.01%).

 

Online news Audience Concentration 24.84% of 26.52%
Media Group
Outlet
Audience Share
Jang GroupJang.com.pk 4.22%; thenews.com.pk 3.15%; geo.tv 2.47%9.84%
Express GroupExpress.pk 2.72; express.com.pk 2.72%; tribune.com.pk 2.59%8.03%
Dawn GroupDawn.com 4.96%4.96%
Daily Pakistan Groupdailypakistan.com.pk 2.01%2.01%
TOTAL TOP 4
24.84%
LOW MEDIUM HIGH 

Audience concentration in Television (horizontal) 

Percentage: 55%

If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share below 25%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share between 25% and 49%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share above 50%. 

Audience concentration in Radio (horizontal) 

Percentage: 74.3%

If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share below 25%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share between 25% and 49%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share above 50%. 

Readership concentration in Newspapers (horizontal) 

Percentage: 70%

If within one country the major 4 Owners have a readership share below 25%. If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a readership share between 25% and 49%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a readership share above 50%. 

Audience Concentration Online Media

Percentage: 93.4%

If within one country the major 4 Owners have an audience share below 25%.If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share between 25% and 49%. If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share above 50%.

TV Audience shares 2017-2018, Gallup Pakistan
Radio Audience shares, 2017-2018 Gallup Pakistan
Print Readership Data 2018, Gallup Pakistan
News Websites Audience Data 2017-2018, Gallup Pakistan

Media Market Concentration

Result: No Data

This indicator aims to assess the horizontal ownership concentration based on market share which illustrates the economic power of companies/groups. Concentration is measured for each media sector by adding the market shares of the four major owners in the sector. 

This indicator was not computed in Pakistan since financial data was not available throughout the market. Not all media companies submit their recent financial reports to public authorities such as SECP. Therefore, market share for the companies studied remains unknown and media ownership concentration based on market share could not be computed. In accordance with the MOM methodology, if the country presents data on audience, but not on revenues/market share: the market share data is excluded from the analysis, i.e., the findings are based on the audience data alone and the revenue data is considered optional.

LOWMEDIUMHIGH
Market concentration in television (horizontal): This indicator aims to assess the concentration of ownership within the TV media sector.
Percentage: not assessed
If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share below 25%. If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share between 25% and 49%. If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share above 50%.
Ownership concentration in radio (horizontal): This indicator aims to assess the concentration of ownership within the Radio media sector.   
Percentage: not assessed 
If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share below 25%. If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share between 25% and 49%. If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share above 50%.  
Ownership concentration in newspapers (horizontal): This indicator aims to assess the concentration of ownership within the print sector.
Percentage: not assessed
If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share below 25%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share between 25% and 49%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share above 50%. 
Ownership concentration in Internet Content Providers 
Percentage: not assessed   
If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share below 25%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share between 25% and 49%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share above 50%.  

Regulatory Safeguards: Media Ownership Concentration

Result: High Risk

This indicator aims to assess the existence and effective implementation of regulatory safeguards (sector-specific and / or competition law) against a high horizontal concentration ownership and/or control in the different media.

Why?

The existing legal framework governing private sector electronic mediatelevision and radio – does not carry any restriction on horizontal concentration of ownership i.e. cross media ownership. The amendment in the PEMRA Ordinance in 2007, through an Act of Parliament, removed statutory restriction on ownership of broadcast media – television and radio – or cable television (CTV) station by “sole or joint shareholder of any other broadcast or CTV station, printed newspaper or magazine.” However, Rule 13 of the PEMRA Rules of 2009 provides limits on holding the number of satellite television, FM radio stations and landing rights licences by one company or firm. The Rules also prohibit issuance of landing rights permission or broadcast media licence to the – direct or indirect – owners, controllers or operators of any other distribution service licence and vice versa. Nevertheless, there is no provision in the PEMRA law that ‘contains specific thresholds or limits on audience share, circulation, distribution of share capital or voting rights, turnover/revenue to prevent a high level of horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in this sector.’ State-run broadcast media is out of the purview of the PEMRA law.

The Press, Newspaper, News Agencies and Books Registration Ordinance, 2002 devolves the power of registration of newspaper to the district level – a sub-provincial administrative unit. The law is completely silent about restriction on media ownership concentration. Except restrictions on foreign ownership of a newspaper, there is no conditionality or restriction in the law on holding ownership of multiple newspapers by one person. The law also does not bar any broadcast media owner to open a newspaper or news agency. Similarly, there is no discussion in the law about audience share, circulation, distribution of share capital or voting rights, turnover/revenue to prevent a high level of horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in this sector. The Press Council of Pakistan, on the other hand, is mandated to monitor compliance of ethical standards of practice for Pakistan’s print media. However, it has no role in the process of registration of newspapers.

There is no legal threshold for ownership of websites and social media platforms. Anyone, whether he owns broadcast or print media, can have as many websites and social media platforms as one can financially afford. In fact, all broadcast media and newspapers owners also have their dedicated web-based media platforms. The questions of number of licenses, audience share, circulation, distribution of share capital or voting rights, turnover/revenue seem to be irrelevant for online media in the country.

The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP), which was formed as result of an act the Parliament (Act No XIX of 2010), hereinafter referred to as the Competition Act 2010, has a fundamental duty “to provide free competition in all spheres of commercial and economic activity” and “protect consumers from anti-competitive behaviour.” The Commission can be considered as a ‘supra-regulator’ as all other regulatory agencies in Pakistan are required to contribute a certain percentage of the fee and charges levied by them on their respective licensees. However, there is a no specific provision in the Competition Act 2010 that contain specific thresholds or limits on number of licenses, audience share, circulation, distribution of share capital or voting rights, turnover/revenue of media owners to prevent a high level of horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in this sector.

 In short, PEMRA law does not carry any restriction on horizontal concentration of owner-ship i.e. cross media ownership. Similarly, Press Registration is silent about restriction on media ownership concentration. Moreover, there is no threshold level for ownership of websites and social media platforms. The Competition Act 2010 also does not contain limits on number of licenses, audience share, circulation, distribution of share capital or voting rights, turnover / revenue of media owners to prevent a high level of horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in this sector.

PEMRA provides merger control / competition rules to prevent the high level of horizontal concentration of ownership in the media sector. Therefore, Rule 16 of the PEMRA Rules of 2009 provides that a licensee shall not transfer, merge or amalgamate with any other person any rights conferred under the licence without prior approval of the Authority. Furthermore, the Rule 16 (2) also requires PEMRA’s permission for transfer or disposal of shares or interest by the owner or holder of a company, which is PEMRA’s licensee. Besides, the CCP has an overarching role to promote free competition in the market in general. Moreover, the PEMRA and CCP agreed to join hands to promote healthy competition in the private electronic media and to take steps to curb deceptive marketing practices being propagated through media. Similarly, the CCP gave final node to the merger of two telecom giants – Mobilink and Warid – the country.

Regulatory Safeguard Score: 45%
TV: 3; Print: 0; Radio: 3; Internet: 0; Mergers: 3
Total: 9 out of 20 – High Risk (45%)

1 = media-specific regulation/ authority
0.5= competition-related regulation/ authority

Key finding:
Regulatory safeguards in Pakistan aim to limit ownership monopoly in TV and Radio only but do not prevent monopolies measured by audience or market share.

Regulatory SafeguardsDescriptionTVPrintRadioISP
Does the media legislation contain specific thresholds or limits, based on objective criteria (e.g. number of licenses, audience share, circulation, distribution of share capital or voting rights, turnover/revenue) to prevent a high level of horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in this sector? This question aims to assess the existence of regulatory safeguards (sector-specific) against a high horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control across all media sectors.In television and radio there is a threshold on number of licenses.
Print media neither centrally regulated nor print media laws prohibit cross-media ownership.
Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) regulates the telecom and ISPs business, as well as online content, but does not regulate registration of web-sites. It also does not prohibit any telco, ISPs or other print and electronic media from operating websites nor telcos and IPS from operating any print or electronic media. 

 0.5

  0

0.5 

0

Is there an administrative authority or judicial body actively monitoring compliance with the thresholds in the audiovisual sector and/or hearing complaints? (e.g. media and/or competition authority)? This variable aims to assess if the law/regulation provides a due monitoring and sanctioning system for the regulation on audiovisual media concentration.    PEMRA is the administrative authority for the audio-visual media. The print media regulator, Press Council of Pakistan (PCP) does not deal in issuance or cancellation of licenses nor has jurisdiction.
In online sector, PTA does not have this mandate. 

 

 1

1

0

Does the law grant this body sanctioning/enforcement powers in order to impose proportionate remedies (behavioral and/or structural) in case of non-respect of the thresholds? The variable aims at assessing if the law is providing a due system of sanctions to sector-specific regulation, such as: Refusal of additional licences; Blocking of a merger or acquisition; Obligation to allocate windows for third party programming; Obligation to give up licences/activities in other media sectors; Divestiture. Yes – PEMRA has authority to enforce all the above sanctions in the audio-visual sec-tor. In print, PCP has no such powers.
In online sector, PTA has no such powers.

 

1

  0

 

0

Are these sanctioning/enforcement powers effectively used? This indicator aims to assess the effective implementation of sector-specific remedies against a high horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in the television media. PEMRA generally enforces thresholds on ownership concentration horizontally in case of TV and radio. There are no thresholds for print and internet.

0.5

0

0.5

0

Total63030
Media mergersDescriptionYesNoNAMD
Can a high level of horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in the media sector be prevented via merger control / competition rules that take into account the specificities of the media sector? This question aims to assess the existence of regulatory safeguards (sector specific and/ or competition law) against a high horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in the media sector through merging operations. For instance, the law should prevent concentration in merging operations: -By containing media-specific provisions that impose stricter thresholds than in other sectors; The mandatory intervention of a media authority in merger and acquisition cases (for instance, the obligation for the competition authority to ask the advice of the media authority); The possibility to overrule the approval of a concentration by the communication authority for reasons of media pluralism (or public interest in general); -that - even though they do not contain media-specific provisions - do not exclude the media sector from their scope of application.   Overall: Yes – Both PEMRA and CCP

1

  

 

Is there an administrative authority or judicial body actively monitoring compliance with rules on mergers and/or hearing complaints? (e.g. media and/or competition authority)? This variable aims to assess if the law/regulation provides a due monitoring and sanctioning system.Overall: Yes – Both PEMRA and CCP

1

Does the law grant this body sanctioning/enforcement powers in order to impose proportionate remedies (behavioural and/or structural) in case of non-respect of the thresholds? The variable aims at assessing if the law is providing a due system of sanctions to sector-specific regulation, such as: Blocking of a merger or acquisition; Obligation to allocate windows for third party programming; Obligation to give up licences/activities in other media sectors; divestiture.   Overall: Yes – Both PEMRA and CCP

1

  

  

Are these sanctioning/enforcement powers effectively used? This indicator aims to assess the effective implementation of sector-specific remedies against a high horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in the television media. There is insufficient information about attempts to merge media companies and any consequent sanction that may have been triggered or enforced. 0

Total

3

Legal Assessment MOM Pakistan (2019) by Muhammad Aftab Alam Contextualisation for Media Ownership Monitor - Pakistan 2019
CCP, PEMRA to promote healthy competition in electronic media Retrieved on 11 June 2019
PEMRA Ordinance 2002 Accessed in April 2019
PEMRA Rules 2009, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Accessed in April 2019
Competition Act of 2010 Competition Commission of Pakistan, Accessed in February 2019
Press, Newspaper, News Agencies and Books Registration Ordinance, 2002 Audit Bureau of Circulations, Accessed in April 2019

Cross-media Ownership Concentration

Result: Medium Risk

This indicator aims to assess the concentration of ownership across the different sectors – TV, print, audio, and any other relevant media – of the media industry. Cross-media concentration is measured by adding up the market shares of the Top 8 media companies. In this case, financial market shares are not always available. In this case, audience shares for online outlets and radio and TV were not available too. The results are not an indicator for economic strength in different media sectors but rather for the potential influence on public opinion when considering all media types.

Why?

In Pakistan’s case data on financial market shares is not readily or adequately available, hence unreliable. Reliable data on audience shares, however, is available. The results, while not an indicator for economic strength in different media sectors indicate relatively high levels of cross-media ownership concentration when viewed through the lens of audience shares. 

This indicator aims to gauge cross-media ownership concentration through the calculations of their audience shares. According to the Gallup Pakistan data on 2018 audience shares of Top 40 media outlets (Top 10 each in TV, radio, newspapers and online), almost all media groups own outlets at least in two sectors.  Below are the eight media groups in Pakistan that own media entities in more than one media sector.

Key findings

  • There are eight cross-media owners in Pakistan’s sample of Top 40 media groups with highest audience shares.
  • The government is among the top three cross-media owners. The biggest cross-media owner holds over a third of all cross-media ownership landscape.    
  • TV media and online media are the most-owned media (7 of 8 media groups) in the cross-media mix of four categories and radio is the least-owned media (3 of 8 media groups).
Media GroupPrintTVRadioOnlineAudience Share
Jang GroupJang (27%); Akhbar-e-Jahan (MD); The News (MD); Pakistan Times (MD); Awaz (MD); Weighted print audience: 4.32%GEO News (24.5%); Weighted TV audience: 20.09%jang.com.pk (15.91%); thenews.com.pk (11.88%); geo.tv (9.31%); Weighted online audience: 2.6%27%
The GovernmentPTV (11.24%); Weighted TV audience: 9.22%FM 101 (5.1%); Radio Pakistan (3.3%); Weighted radio audience: 1%10.22%
ARY GroupARY News (12.27%); Weighted TV audience: 10.06%arynews.tv (MD)10.06%
Express GroupExpress (18%); Express Tribune (MD); Sindh Express (MD); Weighted print audience: 2.88%Express News (4%); Weighted TV audience: 3.28%express.pk (10.26%); express.com.pk (10.26%); tribune.com.pk (9.77%); Weighted online audience: 2.12%8.28%
Samaa GroupSamaa News (7%); Weighted TV audience: 5.74%Samaa FM (1.5%); Weighted radio audience: 0.18%samaa.tv (MD); samaafm.com (MD); 5.92%
Dunya GroupDaily Dunya (MD)Dunya News (3%); Lahore News (MD); Weighted TV audience: 2.46%dunyanews.tv (5.24%); Weighted online audience: 0.37%2.83%
Nawaiwaqt GroupNawa-i-Waqt (14%); The Nation (MD); Nida-i-Millat (MD); Weighted print audience: 2.24%nawaiwaqt.com (1.09%); Weighted online audience: 0.07%2.32%
Dawn GroupDawn (3%); Daily Star (MD); Weighted print audience: 0.48%Dawn News (MD)City FM 89 (MD)dawn.com (18.7%); Weighted online audience: 1.31%1.79%
TOTAL TOP 8 OWNERS68.43%

*MD= Missing Data

Of the eight media groups figuring in the Top 40 sample of Pakistani news media entities with the highest audience share in the MOM study that have cross-media ownership in more than one of four categories of news media (TV, radio, newspapers, online) for which data is available, there are two groups (Jang Group and Express Group) that have cross-media ownership in three or more categories. Both cross-own TV, newspaper and online media entities. Neither owns radio media. Dawn group is active in all sectors however audience data was not available for their radio and television outlets.

There are five groups in the sample of the highest audience shares that cross-own media in two media categories each. Of these both Nawa-i-Waqt Group and Dawn Group own newspapers and online media, Samaa Group owns TV and radio entities and Dunya Group owns TV channel and online media and State-owned media owns TV and radio media.

The cross-media ownership concentration in Pakistan is 68.43% of the accumulative audience shares of top eight media groups owning media in more than one of four media categories. According to the MOM index for this indicator, this puts Pakistan in the medium-risk category in terms of cross-media ownership concentration. This means Pakistan needs more broad-based media ownership to ensure greater diversity in news sources.

Within the 68% cross-media ownership concentration, the Jang Group is the largest of seven media groups with largest cross-media audience shares – over a third (27%) of the total cross-media ownership concentration landscape. The Government is the second largest player with 10.22% and ARY Group is the third largest media player with 10.06%.  

TV media and online media are the most-owned media (7 of 8 media groups) in the cross-media mix of four categories and radio is the least-owned media (3 of 8 media groups). Newspaper media is owned by five media groups.  

METADATA: Audience shares were weighted against the media consumption trends: TV: 82%, Print 16%, Radio 12% and Online 7%.

LOW MEDIUM HIGH
If within one country the major 8 owners (Top8) have a market share below 50% across the different media sectors. If within one country the major 8 owner (Top8) have an audience share between 50% and 69% across the different media sectors.

If within one country the major 8 owners (Top8) have a market share above 70% across the different media sectors.

Media Consumption Patterns in Pakistan Retrieved from Synergyzer on 14 July 2019
TV Audience shares 2017-2018, Gallup Pakistan
Radio Audience shares, 2017-2018 Gallup Pakistan
Print Readership Data 2018, Gallup Pakistan
News Websites Audience Data 2017-2018, Gallup Pakistan
Cross-Media Ownership Concentration, MOM Pakistan 2019 MOM Calculations of cross-media ownership concentration

Regulatory Safeguards: Cross-media Ownership Concentration

Result: High Risk

This indicator aims to assess the existence and effective implementation of regulatory safeguards (sector-specific and/or competition law) against a high degree of cross-ownership between media types (press, TV, radio, internet). Given the diversity of thresholds or limits that exist among different countries with regard to ownership and/or control, 'high' should be assessed according to the standards of your country and in the light of the thresholds or limits imposed by domestic laws.

Why?

Broadcast and print media registration laws carry no restrictions on cross media ownership. Prior to 2007 amendment in the PEMRA Ordinance, a newspaper or magazine owner was not allowed to own broadcast media – television and radio – or cable television (CTV) station. However, the amendment has lifted the ban on cross-media ownership. But media laws are silent with respect to the audience share, circulation, distribution of share capital or voting rights, turnover/revenue of media owners to prevent a high degree of cross ownership between the different media. There is only Rule 13 of the PEMRA Rules of 2009 that prohibit issuance of landing rights permission or broadcast media licence to the – direct or indirect – owners, controllers or operators of any other distribution service licence and vice versa.  

The Competition Act 2010 does not provide any provision that contains specific thresholds or limits on number of licenses, audience share, circulation, distribution of share capital or voting rights, turnover/revenue of media owners to prevent a high degree of cross ownership between the different media.

The PEMRA Ordinance 2002 carries Section 23 which states, “no person shall be entitled to the benefit of any monopoly or exclusivity in the matter of broadcasting or the establishment and operation of broadcast media or distribution service…” This Section necessitates that the Authority, in granting a licence, shall ensure that open and fair competition is facilitated in the operation of more than one media enterprise in any given unit of area or subject and that undue concentration of media ownership is not created in any city, town or area and the country as a whole. The Section also stops licensees from indulging in the practices, which may impede fair competition and provision of level playing field.

The above principle is further expanded in Rule 13 of the PEMRA Rules 2009. The said Rule allows issuance of a total of four satellite TV, four FM Radio licences and two landing rights permissions to one company or firm. The Rules also prohibit issuance of a landing rights permission or broadcast media licence to the – direct or indirect – owners, controllers or operators of any other distribution service licence and vice versa. While deciding the famous DTH licensing case, the Supreme Court of Pakistan upheld the principle of non-provision of distribution licence to the content producer or broadcast media operator.

Nevertheless, the Rule 13 requires the licensee, who holds direct or indirect interest in any other media enterprise, to: (a) appointment of separate editorial boards and monitoring facilities for each medium under its control; (b) establishment of separate management structures for each medium under its control; and (c) maintenance of separate accounting record for each medium under its control.
Other than the above provisions, the law is silent on cross-ownership, audience share, circulation, turnover/revenue, the share capital or voting rights. The PEMRA has not publicized any formula or standard to gauge the media ownership concentration. The law is also silent on the issue of conflict of interest.

Regulatory Safeguard score: 25%

2 out of 8 = High Risk (25%)

1= media-specific regulation / authority

0.5 = competition-related regulation / authority

Key finding: Media regulations undermine fair competition through unfettered cross-media ownership.

CROSS-MEDIA OWNERSHIPDescriptionYesNoNAMD

Does the media legislation contain specific thresholds, based on objective criteria, such as number of licences, audience share, circulation, distribution of share capital or voting rights, turnover/revenue, to prevent a high degree of cross-ownership between the different media?

This indicator aims to assess the existence of regulatory safeguards (sector-specific and/or competition law) against a high degree of cross-ownership in different media sectors.

PEMRA (broadcast), PCP (print) or PTA (online) do not prevent cross-owner ownership

0

Is there an administrative authority or judicial body actively monitoring compliance with these thresholds and/or hearing complaints? (e.g. media authority)

This variable aims to assess if the law/regulation provides a due monitoring and sanctioning system for the regulation on audiovisual media concentration.

PEMRA (broadcast), PCP (print) or PTA (online) do not have such mandate.

 0

Does the law grant body sanctioning/enforcement powers in order to impose proportionate remedies (behavioural and/or structural) in case of non-respect of the thresholds?

The variable aims at assessing if the law is providing a due system of sanctions to sector-specific regulation, such as: Refusal of additional licences; Blocking of a merger or acquisition; Obligation to allocate windows for third party programming; Obligation to give up licences/activities in other media sectors; divestiture.    

No. PEMRA, PCP nor PTA have such powers.

  0

Are these sanctioning/enforcement powers effectively used?

The question aims at assessing the effectiveness of the remedies provided by the regulation.

There have been no instances when authorities would prevent cross-media ownership concentration.

0

Can a high degree of cross-ownership between different media be prevented via merger control/competition rules that take into account the specificities of the media sector?

For instance, cross-ownership can be prevented by competition law:

- by the mandatory intervention of a media authority in M&A cases (for instance, the obligation for the competition authority to ask the advice of the media authority);

 - by the possibility to overrule the approval of a concentration by the competition authority for reasons of media pluralism (or Public interest in general);

Even though the law does not contain media-specific provisions - it does not exclude the media sector from its scope of application

In theory, yes, a high degree of cross-media ownership concentration can be prevented via competition rules, CCP can consult PEMRA. PEMRA and PTA laws do not give them overriding effect over CCP authority.

0.5

Is there an administrative authority or judicial body actively monitoring compliance with these rules and/or hearing complaints? (e.g. media and/or competition authority).

This variable aims to assess if the law/regulation provides a due monitoring and sanctioning system for the regulation against a high degree of cross-ownership in different media sectors via merger control/competition rules

Yes – CCP has overriding effect over media regulators.

0.5

Does the law grant the body sanctioning/enforcement powers in order to impose proportionate remedies (behavioural and/or structural) in case of non-respect of the thresholds?

Examples of sanctioning / enforcement powers and remedies: blocking of a merger or acquisition; obligation to allocate windows for third party programming; must carry obligation to give up licences /activities in other media sectors; divestiture.

Yes – CCP has overriding effect over media regulators.

0.5

Are these sanctioning/enforcement powers effectively used?

The question aims at assessing the effectiveness of the remedies of the regulation

CCP has precedent of undoing decisions by media market drivers. 

0.5

Total

2

Legal Assessment (MOM) Pakistan 2019 by Muhammad Aftab Alam Contextualisation for the Media Ownership Monitor - Pakistan 2019
PEMRA Rules 2009, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Accessed in April 2019
The Supreme Court of Pakistan, Civil Appeal No. 700 Accessed on on 11 June, 2019

Ownership Transparency

Result: Medium Risk

This indicator assesses the transparency of data about the political affiliations of media owners as ownership transparency is a crucial precondition to enforce media pluralism, as well as access to information about ownership.

Why?

Media companies in the private sector in Pakistan are not required by law to disclose or publish their ownership structures or financial information. However, all registered private businesses are required to submit an annual statement of accounts, that also includes details of shareholders and their shareholding, with the national business registry, the Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP). This information can be requested against a small fee by anyone under law. Additionally, licenses for electronic media – television channels and radio stations – in the private sector are awarded by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) only to companies registered with SECP. This makes PEMRA also repository of information about ownership and finances of companies owning TV and radio. A national right to information law mandates PEMRA to provide information requested by anyone. Websites and print publications are not required to be registered or owned by companies and their ownership or financial information is not mandatorily stored with any specific government authority.      

During the research period of November 2018-May 2019, the MOM team sought information on ownership structures, including shareholding, from 40 news media outlets – the top 10 TV channels, radio stations, newspapers and news websites by highest audience share in each category, from each of the media outlets themselves (based on a detailed questionnaire), SECP, PEMRA and federal or provincial information ministries and departments. Requests were made through phone contacts, email outreach, registered postal mails and physical visits to government offices and requests made through prescribed RTI formats and procedures.

Results
The following were the results of this exercise in terms of access to information and transparency of information about ownership from the sample of 40 media outlets:

MediumActive TransparencyPassive TransparencyData Publicly AvailableData UnavailableActive Disguise Medium-wise Transparency

Print

10 outlets

0010 (100%)00100%

TV

10 outlets

01 (10%)9 (90%)00100%

Radio

10 outlets

02 (20%)5 (50%)2 (20%)1 (10%)70%

Online

10 outlets

0010 (10%)00100%

Total

40 outlets

0 (0%)3 (7.5%)34 (85%)2 (5%)1 (2.5%)

Active Transparency – 0%
This category relates to proactive disclosure and means the media outlet/company informs proactively and comprehensively about its ownership, data, and constantly updated and easily verifiable.

Finding: Pakistani media does not practice proactive disclosure on ownership. Not a single of the top 40 media entities by audience share in Pakistan exercises proactive disclosure and it is not immediately apparent to media consumers who owns the media they consume or their political of business affiliations. 


Passive Transparency – 7.5%
This category means that upon request, ownership data is easily available from the media outlet/ company.

Finding: Pakistani media is actively opaque about ownership transparency
Of the 40 media outlets contacted by phone and requested through both email and postal mail for ownership information, only one newspaper, one TV channel and two radio stations responded and formally provided information. Ninety per cent of Pakistan’s largest media outlets by audience share are not willing to share information about their ownership or shareholders even when requested.

Data Publicly Available – 85%
This category means ownership data on media outlet/company is easily available from other sources, e.g., through public registries.

Finding: Data on electronic media (TV and radio) and print media ownership, and about shareholding and finances of TV and radio media is available from business registry (SECP) but generally discouraged by electronic media regulator (PEMRA).
In the sample of top 40 media outlets in Pakistan by audience share surveyed in this research, 9 of 10 TV channels and 9 of 10 radio stations are owned privately. Since private TV and radio are required to be owned by companies registered with SECP, requests were made to this national business registry for details of ownership, shareholding and finances for these 18 electronic media outlets for the financial year 2017-18. SECP provided the latest mandatory annual details filed by these companies to it (these varied in financial years as not all companies were compliant with the filing) to the MOM team. These included all 9 private-owned of 10 total TV channels in the sample and 7 of 9 private-owned of 10 total radio stations in the sample. Basic license data, including name of company, owner of company, is available on PEMRA website, although the electronic media regulator is an active discourager of access to information. Data on ownership was also publicly available for all top 10 newspapers and 10 news websites by audience share.

Data Unavailable – 5%
This category means ownership data on media outlet/company is not publicly available; media/company denies release of information or does not respond; or no public records exist.

Finding: Access to ownership information of print media and online news media is relatively easy but access to their shareholding information is often difficult.
Print media regulator Pakistan Press Council (PCP) is not a license registrar unlike electronic media regulator PEMRA, so it doesn’t hold registration and ownership details. Newspaper ownership doesn’t require registration with business registrar (SECP), so information is not available from that source either. The only other two information sources are the federal or provincial information ministries or departments or the media entities themselves. Of the 40 media entities researched, data on their ownership was not available from any source on 2 radio stations. Both the media outlets and government information departments discourage sharing of information about shareholding.

Active Disguise – 2.5%
This category means that in addition to unavailability of true data, ownership is disguised, e.g., through bogus companies, etc.

Finding: For one of the most popular radio stations, FM100 Karachi ownership information was actively denied and disguised and even an RTI request spurned.
There seemed to be an active disguise on the ownership information of one of the top 40 media outlets by audience share researched. An information request was sent to the station on 23 January 2019 through a courier company as well as by email. The station did not respond. A reminder was couriered on 15 February 2019 and emailed on 17 February 2019. Again, there was no response until this research was compiled in June 2019. Puzzlingly, the company apparently owning the station (First Media Service Pvt Ltd) is listed on PEMRA website. However, the same company is not listed with SECP.

Letters were sent on 29 April 2019 to PEMRA and SECP to confirm whether First Media Service (Pvt) Ltd owns FM 100 Karachi station. There was no response until this research was compiled in June 2019. The listed phone number of the outlet did not respond. A message was sent on 08 May 2019 on ‘Contact Us’ email address to seek details but could not go through due to “internal server error” and the following message appeared as “Send” button was clicked: “Internal Server Error. The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request. Please contact the server administrator at webmaster@fm100pakistan.com to inform them of the time this error occurred, and the actions you performed just before this error. More information about this error may be available in the server error log. Additionally, a 500 Internal Server Error was encountered while trying to use an Error Document to handle the request.” Separately, on 10 May 2019, the MOM team got a phone call from SECP in response to a Right-to-Information request about First Media Services Pvt Ltd, conforming that there is a “company registered as First Media Services (Pvt) Ltd.” A request for a written confirmation was ignored.

The MOM team sent SECP a letter on 6 May 2019 requesting it to confirm “whether any company in the name of First Media Services (Pvt) Ltd (which apparently owns FM100 Karachi) is registered with them” and its response arrived on 20 May 2019 stating that the company with name and style “First Media Services (Pvt) Ltd is not registered with Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan. However, a company with name and style i.e., M/s First Media (Pvt) Ltd having CUIN number 0068001 is registered with SECP.”
 
The MOM team also sent PEMRA a letter on 29 April 2019 to know about the company which owns “FM 100 Karachi.” It responded through a letter dated 15 May 2019 saying “your request has been considered at appropriate level. However, information requested by you falls under Section (g) & (h) of Right of Access to Information Act, 2017 and hence cannot be provided. Therefore, your request for provision of information regarding FMS (Pvt) Ltd cannot be accessed to, the same is regretted.”  

LOW MEDIUM HIGH 
Data on media owners as well as  their political affiliations is publicly available and transparent.  (Active transparency) code  If that applies to > 75% of the sample. 

Data on media owners as well as their political affiliations are disclosed based on investigation of journalists and media activists or upon request. (Passive transparency, publicly available) code if that applies to > 50% of the sample. Data on political affiliation of media owners are not easily accessible by public and Investigative journalists or activists are not successful in disclosing these data. (Data Unavailable, Active Disguise) code if data is available for < 50% of the sample.

Regulatory Safeguards: Ownership Transparency

Result: Low Risk

This indicator aims to assess the existence and effective implementation of transparency and disclosure provisions with regard to media ownership and/or control.

Why?

Under Pakistani laws, broadcast media companies need to be a registered business practice requiring registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP). Companies’ registration law requires the companies to disclose ownership status, investment and revenue sources at the time of registration. The broadcast companies are required to file annual corporate statements with SECP detailing any changes in ownership structures and an annual statement of accounts. The information, submitted to SECP, is available for public access through a procedural mechanism against nominal fees.

Simultaneously, the media companies need to file annual statement of accounts plus tax returns to Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR). However, this information is not accessible except an Active Taxpayers List (ATL), which contains the names of active taxpayers only and no figures are provided.

The company also needs to file a statement of accounts with PEMRA to determine the percentage of dues on net revenue and its payment to PEMRA. However, for the newspaper declaration and web-based media, there is no requirement of registration of company with the SECP. Hence, there is no binding transparency and disclosure requirement under the registration law for the newspapers.

Moreover, all media registration laws including PEMRA, PTA and newspaper registration law require their licensees to report changes in their ownership structures to their respective regulatory / registration authority.

The sector regulators do not require the licensees to disclose information to public. Nevertheless, the Federal Right of Access to Information Act, 2017 brings all registered bodies, including companies, under the definition of ‘public body.’ Section 5 of the Act requires all ‘public bodies’ to disclose, through their websites, 39 categories of information including but not limited to the details of directors, their remunerations, perks and privileges and annual audit reports.

Regulatory Safeguards Score: 90%

4.5 out of 5 = 90%

Transparency ProvisionsCommentsYes NoNAMD

Does the national (media, company, tax...) law contain transparency and disclosure provisions obliging media companies to publish their ownership structures on their website or in records/documents that are accessible to the public?

The aim of the question is to check regulatory safeguard for transparency towards the citizens, the users and the public in general.    

SECP and RTI laws contain transparency and proactive disclosure provisions

1

Does national (media, company, tax...) law contain transparency and disclosure provisions obliging media companies to report (changes in) ownership structures to public authorities (such as the media authority)?

The aim of the question is to check regulatory safeguard for accountability and transparency towards public authorities.

SECP, PEMRA and PTA require transparency and disclosure provisions on ownership (and change in ownership) structures. Newspaper registration laws also requires disclosure of the same.  

1

Is there an obligation by national law to disclose relevant information after every change in ownership structure?

This question aims at assessing if the law provides rules on the public availability of accurate and up-to-date data on media ownership. This is a condition for an effective transparency.  

Yes, SECP, PEMRA, PTA and newspaper registration laws require transparency and disclosure on change in ownership.  

1

Are there any sanctions in case of non-respect of disclosure obligations?

This question aims at assessing if the law on media ownership transparency can be enforced through the application of sanctions. 

Yes – the RTI laws offer punitive sanctions (fines).

1  

 

 

Do the obligations ensure that the public knows which legal or natural person effectively owns or controls the media company?

This question aim at assessing the effectiveness of the laws that deal with media ownership transparency and if they succeed in disclosing the real owners of the media outlets.

RTI laws are armed with enforcement powers on disclosures.

0.5

Total

4.5

Legal Assessment (MOM) Pakistan 2019 by Muhammad Aftab Alam Contextualisation for Media Ownership Monitor - Pakistan 2019

(Political) Control Over Media Outlets and Distribution Networks

Result: Medium to High Risk

This indicator assesses the risk of political affiliations and control over media and distribution networks. It also assesses the level of discrimination by politically affiliated media distribution networks. Discriminatory actions would for example include unfavorable pricing and posing barriers to media accessing the distribution channel. Political Affiliations means that the media outlet or company belongs to a party, a partisan group, a party leader or a clearly partisan person.

Why?

There are no explicit regulatory safeguards against political control over media and distribution networks ownership in Pakistan. The local laws do not restrict political ownership in any category of media. The electronic media laws require would-be licensees to register as a company, but no declaration of political affiliation is required. Print publications require prior registration with local government authorities but do not mandate declaration of political affiliation. No registration with government authorities is required to establish a website and, hence, no declaration of political affiliation sought. There is no mandatory requirement to disclose political affiliations of either the owners or of their family members.

Key findings:

  • About a fifth (17.5%) of Pakistani media with highest audiences (7 of Top 40 entities) have ownership or families ties with past or present political affiliations.
  • Print media is most exposed to political connections in ownership/family ties, radio and TV media the least. 
  • Media distribution or access is partly influenced for political reasons by political actors and entities.   

Political ownership in TV, print, radio and online

There is no mandatory requirement in Pakistan to disclose political affiliations of either the owners or of their family members, so it is difficult to gauge the extent of either political affiliations of the media owners or the extent of influence that their formal or informal political affiliations have on their ownership or business benefits.

On the face of it, the available record relating to the Top 40 news media (Top 10 TV, radio, newspaper and online media in each category) by audience shares in Pakistan researched for this report does not indicate direct or active political affiliations of any owners or shareholders.

Within the Top 40 sample, however, there are seven media entities including four cross-media groups (see below) whose ownership’s extended families in the past or present are known for their participation in national or provincial politics, including electoral politics. However, no current owners for whom information is available, are known for their current political activism. Information is also not available whether these groups, or any of the other in the Top 40 sample, have used any political influence to benefit their businesses.

Dawn Group – The Haroon-Saigol Family
Members of the Haroon family of Dawn Group have been part of various governments and held official posts.

  • Dawn CEO Hameed Haroon’s grandfather, Sir Abdullah Hussain Haroon, was a prominent businessman and politician in the British India. He was a member of the Karachi Municipality twice (1913-16 and 1921-34), a member of the Indian National Congress (1917-19) and the president of Sindh Provincial Muslim League (1920-30).
  • Hameed Haroon’s paternal uncle, Yusuf Haroon, co-founded the Pakistan Herald Publications (Pvt) Ltd that owns Daily Dawn. In 1966, he briefly worked as chief editor of the newspaper as well after its long serving editor Altaf Hussain became a minister in the cabinet of Pakistan’s first military dictator General Ayub Khan. Yusuf Haroon was also a member of the last central legislative assembly of the British India, Jinnah’s aide-de-camp, the governor of West Pakistan (March–September 1969) and chief minister of Sindh province (1949-50).
  • Hameed Haroon’s other paternal uncle, Mehmood Haroon, co-founded the Pakistan Herald Publications (Pvt) Ltd. He was also the mayor of Karachi (1954-55), federal interior minister (1978-84), federal defence minister (June-December 1988), governor of Sindh province (1990-1993 and 1994-95) and the co-founder of an English language daily Khaleej Times, launched in 1978 from Dubai.
  • Hameed Haroon’s elder brother, Hussain Haroon, was Pakistan’s foreign minister (May-August 2018), Pakistan’s permanent representative in the United Nations (2008-12) and the speaker of the provincial assembly of Sindh (1985–86).

Dunya Group – The Mian Family

Mr Mian Amer Mahmood is the founder and CEO of Dunya Media Group, which owns both Dunya News, a 24-hour news and current affairs channel that brings coverage from across the country and Lahore News, also a 24-hour TV channel that restricts its news coverage to Pakistan’s second largest city of Lahore with around 10 million population. It was launched in 2016. He has a political and business education background.

  • Mian Amer Mahmood served as mayor of Lahore, Pakistan’s second largest city, for two consecutive four-year terms from 2001 to 2009. His politics – mostly with the right-wing Jamaat-e-Islami party – goes back to 1987 when he first got elected a city councillor in Lahore.

Mashriq Group – The Shah Family
The Shah family owning Mashriq Group have been part of the political landscape in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

  • CEO Mashriq Syed Zahir Ali Shah is cousin of Syed Ayaz Badshah, the chief editor of Mashriq. He was the minister for health in the cabinet of former Awami National Party chief minister Ameer Haider Hoti in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan during 2008-13 period.
  • Syed Zahir Ali Shah is also the son of late parliamentarian and businessman Syed Zafar Ali Shah. Zahir Shah is more active in politics than any other family member. He played a key role in keeping Pakistan People’s Party of late Benazir Bhutto relevant in Peshawar and remained provincial president of the party to steer the left-of-center party out of leadership crisis after powerful leader Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao developed differences with central leadership and quit the party in 2012.

Kawish Group – The Kazi Family
The Kazi family of Sindh-based Kawish Media Group have either participated in electoral politics or have been related to elected national politicians.

  • Ali Kazi, the first CEO of KTN TV channel of the Kawish Media group in 2012 launched his political career in 2012 by establishing the Tabdeeli Pasand Party (Pro-Change Party) promising merit, good governance, equality, justice and transparency. Before that he was sidelined from the family’s media business quitting the editor’s position to save the economic interests of the group as his political ideology was in direct clash with rival Pakistan People’s Party – the dominant political force in Sindh. After he lost the general elections 2018, his brothers withdrew their support, and he launched ‘Pahenji Akhbar’ – an online newspaper – from Karachi. He now remains estranged from his brothers and now considers the Kawish Media Group as a competitor. Earlier Ali also launched daily Koshish – the second newspaper of the group – to compete with contemporary rival daily Sindh and daily Tameer-e-Sindh.

Ummat Media – The Afghan Family
The founders, CEOs and managers of Ummat Media have had strong ties to Jamaat-e-Islami political party. The Ummat newspaper has an unabashed right-wing political bent.

  • Founder and CEO of Ummat newspaper Rafiq Afghan was a student leader in Karachi during the early 1980s. He was affiliated to the student wing of an Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami, and was known to be a strong advocate of Islamic resistance, or jihad, against the Soviet forces in Afghanistan. He also reportedly went to Afghanistan during the 1980s to take part in the fighting there. That is when he started using ‘Afghan’ as his second name. After completing his education, Rafiq Afghan started working at a pro-jihad Islamist weekly, Takbeer, which was founded in the 1980s by Maulana Salahuddin, a champion of global Islamic causes and a sworn enemy of leftwing liberal democratic politics. Before launching Takbeer, Salahuddin was the editor of Jasarat, the official daily newspaper of Jamaat-e-Islami.
  • Rafiq Afghan now also publishes Takbeer and Ghazi magazines, both in Urdu language, though their circulation is very small. Daily Ummat has a no-holds-barred approach about its news coverage. For years, it has written about the nexus between crime, ethnic violence and politics in Karachi and has openly blamed the Muttahida Qaumi Movement – or MQM – a party representing Urdu-speaking descendants of migrants who came to Pakistan at the time of the independence in 1947 from the areas which are now in India, as being responsible for most of it. This anti-MQM agenda is a carryover of Rafiq Afghan’s student politics days when his, and his party’s, main rivals for the supremacy of campuses across Karachi belonged to the All Pakistan Mohajir Students Organization that, with time, gave birth to MQM. Daily Ummat also always shows its ideological opponents in a negative light regardless of their services to the state and the society and it does not show anything even remotely wrong when it comes to its favored groups and individuals that, without exception, are either Islamist politicians and extremist preachers or jihadists and anti-Shia militants.

Jasarat Media – Jamaat-e-Islami political party 
Key persons affiliated with Jasarat Media have strong ties to Jamaat-e-Islami political party. The Jasarat newspaper has an unabashed right-wing political bent.

  • Founder of Jasarat Chaudhry Ghulam Muhammad was a senior leader of a right-wing Islamist political party, Jamaat-e-Islami. He was politically active in the 1960s in an opposition movement against the rule of Pakistan’s first military dictator General Ayub Khan. Towards the end of the same decade, Chaudhry Ghulam Muhammad reached the post of his party’s chief in Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi. Since he was a man of vast means, Jamaat-e-Islami’s top leadership asked him to finance a daily newspaper to propagate the party’s viewpoint to the public. That is how Jasarat daily came about.
  • Jasarat’s CEO Dr Wasay Shakir is a physician at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi. He is also the president of Pakistan Society of Neurology and a naib ameer (vice president) of the Jamaat-e-Islami in Karachi.
  • Founding editor Jasarat Maulana Salahuddin, a rightwing ideologue originally affiliated with Jamaat-e-Islami, was the founding editor of Jasarat. The newspaper under him immediately became the champion of an Islamic nationalist ideology and partook aggressively in the intellectual and political confrontations with leftist liberal politics of the time. Salahuddin had a publicly known animus towards Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and his Pakistan People’s Party. When Bhutto became the President of Pakistan in December 1971, Salahuddin wrote a number of editorials strongly criticizing his politics and policies. Subsequently, Bhutto would send him to prison many times between 1972 and 1976. Salahuddin quit Jasarat after developing differences with the leadership of Jamaat-e-Islami during the military rule of General Ziaul Haq in the 1980s. He later started publishing his own weekly magazine, Takbeer, from Karachi. Salahuddin was also critical of the politics of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, a party which represented the descendants of Urdu-speaking migrants who had come to Pakistan from various parts of India in 1947. His magazine often linked the party to ethnic and political violence in the city and also reported about its alleged connections with organized crime. In 1994, he was murdered outside the headquarters of Takbeer allegedly by some Muttahida Qaumi Movement members. His son-in-law Rafiq Afghan would later take over the magazine though not before a brief tussle with its senior editorial staff as well as with his own wife, who happens to be Salahuddin’s daughter, over its ownership. He later also founded an Urdu daily, Ummat, in 1996 from Karachi.

State Media and FM 100 Pakistan – Pakistan Air Force

  • In general, the proximity of government to media provides for risks of political control. In Pakistan the government is active in Television and Radio sectors through PTV and Pakistan radio.
  • In addition, FM 100 network of radio stations have links to government institutions, such as the Shaheen Foundation. FM 100 Pakistan is a network of radio stations with a very curious organizational structure. The radio station is active in multiple cities of Pakistan but in every city a different company is listed as a license holder, the CEO and some staff are common and the website of the radio station indicates that the FM 100 is one radio station with presence in different cities. In Islamabad the company that operates the radio station is co-owned by the Shaheen Foundation, a part of the Pakistan Air Force. In Karachi the license holder is the First Media Services Private Limited, no public records were found on the company and the ownership remains obscure.
Media GroupPrintTVRadioOnlineAudience Share
The GovernmentPTV 11.24%; Weighted TV audience: 9.22%FM 101 5.1%; Radio Pakistan 3.3%; FM 100 Pakistan 12%; Weighted Radio audience: 2.45%11.66%
Dunya GroupDaily Dunya (MD)Dunya News 3%; Lahore News (MD); Weighted TV audience: 2.46%dunyanews.tv 5.24%; Weighted online audience: 0.37%2.83%
Dawn GroupDawn 3%; Daily Star (MD); Weighted print audience: 0.48%Dawn News (MD)City FM 89 (MD)dawn.com 18.7%; Weighted online audience: 1.31%1.8%
Kawish GroupKawish 5%; Koshish 2%; Weighted print audience: 1.12%KTN News (MD)thekawish.com (MD)1.12%
Mashriq GroupMashriq 3%; The Statesman (MD); Weighted print audience: 0.48%Mashriq TV (MD)mashriqtv.pk (MD)0.48%
Ummat Publications
Ummat 1%; Takbeer (MD); Ghazi (MD); Weighted print audience: 0.16%ummat.net (MD)0.16%
Azad PapersJasarat 1%; Weighted print audience: 0.16%jasarat.com (MD)0.16%
Total:15%
14.24%
20.4%
23.94%
18.20%

*MD= Missing Data

Of the Top 40 media entities in Pakistan with highest audience shares, according to Gallup Pakistan data for 2018, it appears that owners of seven media entities, including the state media have or have had some political connections or background of some kind. These media entities have an accumulative audience share of 18.20% among the Top 40 media.

Politicization of media distribution networks
The media distribution mechanism in Pakistan is mostly in the private sector. TV channels are accessed by media consumers through cable distribution agents registered as private companies and licensed by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA). The agents are grouped into two representative associations. Print media distribution is totally in private hands – the newspaper hawkers have their own union. Radio distribution is directly through the airwaves received through transceivers. Online media is accessed through the Internet and there are both state and private sector internet service providers (ISPs).

Politicization of print media distribution (Medium Risk): In recent years there have been several instances where newspaper distribution of singled out publications such as English dailies Dawn and The News and Urdu daily Jang have been restricted in military cantonments, major cities and for some months in 2017 across Balochistan province. Most of this restriction in distribution has been enforced through pressure from the security establishment as a fallout of its direct confrontation with these publications.

Politicization of radio media distribution (Low Risk): Restrictions on access to radio is rare. Some stations were forced to go off air in 2007 when a state of emergency was imposed by then military ruler General Pervaiz Musharraf but since then there hasn’t been a recorded case of shut down of radio stations.  PEMRA is responsible for distributing licenses and since radio doesn’t appear to be the main source of information in Pakistan the risk of political control in this sector is assessed as low.
 
Politicization of TV media distribution (Medium Risk): TV news channels have occasionally faced short-term restrictions on access to its broadcasts. Some channels such as Geo News of Jang Media Group and Dawn News of Dawn Media Group have faced prolonged restrictions. Most of this restriction in distribution has been enforced through pressure from the security establishment on the cable distributors as a fallout of its direct confrontation with these broadcasters.

Politicization of online media distribution (High Risk): While online news media have not been a direct target of restrictions in terms of access to them, internet shutdowns by ISPs on government orders are not uncommon, and all such cases go unaddressed. The government in 2018 floated the proposal to merge all existing media regulators (PEMRA of electronic media, Pakistan Press Council of print media and Pakistan telecom Authority of internet) into a single regulator Pakistan Media regulatory Authority (PMRA) with stringent regulatory powers.

LOWMEDIUMHIGH
POLITICIZATION OF MEDIA OUTLETS
What is the share of TV media owns by politically affiliated entities? 14.24%
The media having <30% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation.     The media having <50% - >30% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation.     The media having >50% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation.
What is the share Radio stations owned by the politically affiliated entities? 20.4%
The media having <30% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation.    The media having <50% - >30% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation.    The media having >50% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation.
What is the share of newspapers owned by politically affiliated entities? 15%
The media having <30% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation.    The media having <50% - >30% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation.    The media having >50% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation.
What is the share of Online media owned by the politically affiliated entities? 23.94%
The media having <30% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation.    The media having <50% - >30% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation.    The media having >50% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation.
POLITICIZATION OF MEDIA DISTRIBUTION NETWORKS
How would you assess the conduct of the leading distribution networks for print media
Leading distribution networks are not politically affiliated or do not take discriminatory actions.  At least one of the leading distribution networks is politically affiliated or takes occasional discriminatory actions.    All of the leading distribution networks are politically affiliated and has a record of repeated discriminatory actions.   
How would you assess the conduct of the leading radio distribution networks?
Leading distribution networks are not politically affiliated or do not take discriminatory actions.  At least one of the leading distribution networks is politically affiliated or takes occasional discriminatory actions.  All of the leading distribution networks are politically affiliated and has a record of repeated discriminatory actions.   
How would you assess the conduct of the leading television distribution networks?
Leading distribution networks are not politically affiliated or do not take discriminatory actions.  At least one of the leading distribution networks is politically affiliated or takes occasional discriminatory actions.  All of the leading distribution networks are politically affiliated and has a record of repeated discriminatory actions.   
How would you assess the conduct of the leading Internet distribution network?
Leading distribution networks are not politically affiliated or do not take discriminatory actions.  At least one of the leading distribution networks is politically affiliated or takes occasional discriminatory actions. All of the leading distribution networks are politically affiliated and has a record of repeated discriminatory actions.   

 METADATA: Audience shares were weighted against the media consumption trends: TV: 82%, Print 16%, Radio 12% and Online 7%.

Media Consumption Patterns in Pakistan Retrieved from Synergyzer on 14 July 2019
The missing pages of history: 70 years of Pakistan and Dawn Dawn, Accessed on February 10, 2019
Dawn Delhi III: The emergence of Quaid-i-Azam Dawn, Accessed on February 8, 2019
Dawn Delhi II: Engaging With Aligarh Dawn, Accessed on February 8, 2019
Dawn Delhi I: Genesis of a Newspaper Dawn, Accessed on February 7, 2019
Dawn Delhi IV: The making of Pakistan Dawn, Accessed on 8 February 2019
Takbeer, E-papaer Ummat, Accessed on 25 February 2019
New vibes in Sindh politics (2012) Dawn, Accessed on 21 February 2019
PESHAWAR: Phool Badshah passes away Dawn, Accessed on 13 February 2019
Darkly, through a decade of disquiet Dawn, Accessed on 7 February 2019
The price of saying Pakistan Zindabad Dawn, Accessed on 8 February 2019
The legendary Ahmad Ali Khan Dawn, Accessed on 8 February 2019
TV Audience shares 2017-2018, Gallup Pakistan
Radio Audience shares, 2017-2018 Gallup Pakistan
Print Readership Data 2018, Gallup Pakistan
News Websites Audience Data 2017-2018, Gallup Pakistan
Audience shares of Media owners with political affiliations MOM Pakistan calculations 2019

(Political) Control Over Media Funding

Result: Medium to High Risk

This indicator assesses the influence of the state on the functioning of the media market, focusing particularly on the risk of discrimination in the distribution of state advertisements. The discrimination can be reflected in favouritism towards political parties or affiliates of political parties in the government, or in penalisation of media criticising the government. State advertising should be understood as any advertising paid by governments (national, regional, local) and state-owned institutions and companies.

Why?

Ever since the liberalization of media in Pakistan in 2002, the State has long remained one of the most important sources of funding for the country’s private broadcast and print media. Government advertisements have historically acted as the backbone of their finances. The federal and provincial governments have often bought airtime on leading TV channels during primetime hours, subsidizing their financial operations. Similarly, governments have also traditionally subsidized operations of leading newspapers by providing them with advertisement revenues. According to Dawn newspaper, the advertising market size in Pakistan grew from PKR 66.9 billion (USD 583.3 million) in financial year 2015 to PKR 87.7 billion (USD 733.3 million) in 2017. In August 2018, the Senate was informed that the government provided advertisements  worth PKR 15.7 billion (USD 133.3 million) to print and electronic media from 2013 to 2017.

Additionally, particularly after the July 2018 elections, the provincial governments of Punjab, Sindh – the main contributors of advertisement revenues for print and electronic media – and the federal government in Islamabad, have slashed their advertisement budget by 70% leaving the media industry in a bad financial situation. Industry sources say this isn’t a crisis out of the blue but over the better part of the second decade of this century the newspaper industry in Pakistan has recorded a 15% to 20% decrease in sales. A major chunk of print media market in Pakistan comprises Urdu-language newspapers while the market for English-language newspaper is small by comparison. Since 2010, mid-ranking newspapers have undergone a substantial reduction in advertisement revenues forcing the lay-off of hundreds of staff. Because of declining readership of English-language newspapers, the telecom companies are diverting their remaining ad-spends to Urdu-language TV channels. This also explains the closure of two English language news channels since 2015. Although Dawn TV (English) and Express 24/7 (English) belonged to two of the largest media houses in Pakistan, they were forced to shutter them following a steep decline in ad-spends.

Political control over media funding
While the country has a big consumer base and annual overall media advertisement spend at the end of the fiscal year 2017-18 was PKR 81.6 billion (USD 680 million), the TV market is mostly bankrolled by the private sector with even large government spending not figuring in the top 10 ad-spends of TV media. This allows the TV news media to adopt and pursue relatively independent journalism with the last few years this medium showcasing oftentimes scathing critique of various governments at both the federal and provincial levels. Pakistan’s print media sector, however, has been majorly dependent on government advertising and since 2016 has seen the federal government its biggest advertiser.

While the print media often continue adopting hard line stance against governments, their news reporting, in general, is not equally independent, perhaps reflecting this over-dependence on government advertising. Things have, however, been changing since the elections in July 2018 brought the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party of Imran Khan to power which has shown hostility in its dealings with all media and has heavily slashed government ad-spend forcing the media to cut over 2,000 jobs while some TV channels and newspapers have even been shut down. The digital media in Pakistan is not supported by the government and therefore exhibits a totally independent streak in its editorial positions being sustained by the private sector rather than the public sector.

TV channels – big winners: In terms of advertising revenue in the fiscal year 2017-18, according to figures from Aurora magazine, of the top 15 biggest TV channel earners, seven were news channels and the rest entertainment channels. Of these the news channels Geo and Dunya were among the top five earners raking in nearly PKR 4.5 billion (USD 37.5 million) of the total PKR 26 billion (USD 216 million) top 15 ad revenue of the entire TV sector. Of these, the biggest single winner was Jang Media Group with its news (Geo News) and entertainment (Geo Entertainment) channels figuring in the top 5 and taking home PKR 5 billion (USD 41.6 million).

Newspapers – big winners: In terms of advertising revenue in the fiscal year 2017-18, according to Aurora figures, of the top 15 biggest newspaper earners, the top five newspapers raked in PKR 9.7 billion (USD 80.8 million) or 56% of the entire revenue of PKR 17.3 billion (USD 144.1 million). Of these the biggest winner was the Jang Media Group with two of its publications, the Urdu-language Jang daily and English-language The News daily, snapping up over half of this revenue at PKR 5 billion (USD 41.6 million). 

Key findings

  • Government is non-transparent and arbitrary in its advertisement-spend on private media in Pakistan
  • While TV media trades in larger volumes of advertisements from private sector as compared to government advertising, print media is more dependent on government advertisements for financial stability than on the private sector. 

State advertisement and media audience share

1.    Proportionality between state advertising and media audience shares

This is difficult to gauge accurately in the absence of official data available for verification. The MOM team sent RTI [right to information] requests to the relevant departments of the federal government the four provincial governments seeking details of the amounts of government advertising issued in the fiscal year 2017-18. There was no response forthcoming from the federal government and the governments of Balochistan, Punjab and Sindh. Only the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government respond with limited data. None of the Top 40 media entities surveyed by this report responded to similar requests for information. 

The government policy generally allows for state advertising on basis of audience share – there is an Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) at the federal Ministry of Information and Broadcasting that purportedly tracks circulation. However, in a list of revised advertisement rates issued by then federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, the rates for ARY News TV were higher than for Geo News TV even though the latter has a larger audience share than the former.     

Risk: Highstate advertising is apparently distributed disproportionately in terms of audience share to media.

2.    The rules of distribution of state advertising

The State can be overtly biased about certain media groups and arbitrary in implementation of its own policies in distribution of advertisements to various media houses. Jang Group has often – and Dawn Group recently – been the target of influence of various governments. Advertisement handouts – often by way of reducing volumes – have been as a tool of punishment. The general principle is that advertisements by the government will be given on basis of audience share but violations are often observed.

Risk: Mediumstate advertising is distributed to media outlets based on a policy but the rules are non-transparent because they are not made public and because data is not shared.

3.    Share of state advertising as part of the overall TV advertising market

While no official data is available, according to data produced by Aurora magazine in the fall of 2018, the total advertisement spend in Pakistan for 2017-18 was PKR 81.6 billion, which included PKR 38 billion for TV, which was 46% of the total market share. However, no report provided a breakdown of government and private sector statistics, including for TV media. The federal government and three of the four provincial governments did not respond to RTI requests by MOM team to provide government advertisement figures for the media. Only the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial government responded to the information request and informed that during financial year 2017-18, it paid total advertisement of PKR 281.3 million to the TV media. It did not provide information on advertisement data for radio or print.             

Risk: Highwild variation and arbitrariness in distribution of state advertising to TV between two governments (there was a change of governments in 2018) makes media susceptible to government pressure.

4.    Share of state advertising as part of the overall radio advertising market

While no official data is available, according to data produced by Aurora magazine in the fall of 2018, the total advertisement spend in Pakistan for 2017-18 was PKR 81.6 billion, which included PKR 2.5 billion for radio, which was 3% of the total market share. However, no report provided a breakdown of government and private sector statistics, including for radio media. The federal government and three of the four provincial governments did not respond to RTI requests by MOM team to provide government advertisement figures for the media.

Risk: Highthe official data is not available, while the total advertising spending in radio amounted to 3% no information was available on public spending.

5.    Share of state advertising as part of the overall newspaper advertising market

While no official data is available, according to data produced by Aurora magazine in the fall of 2018, the total advertisement spend in Pakistan for 2017-18 was PKR 81.6 billion, which included PKR 19.5 billion for print media, which was 24% of the total market share. However, no report provided no breakdown of government and private sector statistics, including for print media. The federal government and three of the four provincial governments did not respond to RTI requests by MOM team to provide government advertisement figures for the media.     

Risk: Highwild variation and arbitrariness in distribution of state advertising to TV between two governments (there was a change of governments in 2018) makes media susceptible to government pressure.

LOWMEDIUMHIGH
Is the state advertising distributed to media proportionately to their audience share? No Data
State advertising is distributed to the media relatively proportionately to the audience shares of media. State advertising is distributed disproportionately (in terms of audience share) to the media.State advertising is distributed exclusively to few media outlets, which do not cover al major media outlets in the country. 
How would you assess the rules of distribution of state advertising?    
State advertising is distributed to media outlets based on transparent rules.     State advertising is distributed to media outlets based on a set of rules but it is unclear whether they are transparent.     There are no rules regarding distribution of state advertising to media outlets or these.   
IMPORTANCE OF STATE ADVERTISING    

What is the share of state advertising as part of the overall TV advertising market? 

VALUE: No Data

Share of state advertising is <5% of the overall market.    Share of state advertising is 5%-10% of the overall market.     Share of state advertising is > 10% of the overall market.

What is the share of state advertising as part of the overall Radio advertising market? 

VALUE: No Data

Share of state advertising is <5% of the overall market.Share of state advertising is 5%-10% of the overall market.  Share of state advertising is > 10% of the overall market.

What is the share of state advertising as part of the overall Newspaper advertising market? 

VALUE: No Data

Share of state advertising is <5% of the overall market.Share of state advertising is 5%-10% of the overall market.  Share of state advertising is > 10% of the overall market.

500 layoffs in 8 months: Is Pakistan's media in crisis? Newslaundry.com Retrieved on January 23 2019

Media Advertising Spend Pakistan FY 2017-2018, Aurora

Regulatory Safeguards: Net neutrality

Result: HIGH RISK

Network neutrality is the principle that all data on networks should be treated equally by not discriminating or charging differently in terms of users, content, sites or applications. Protecting net neutrality is essential to safeguarding media diversity because it guarantees equal ability to access and disseminate information, opinions, perspectives, etc. online, which is essential to media diversity. This indicator aims to capture the landscape of legal regulation of net neutrality as well as the specific regulatory mechanisms that address net neutrality.

Why?

The Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) is mandated to “regulate the establishment, operation and maintenance of telecommunication systems and the provision of telecommunication services including provision of Internet in Pakistan” and “promote the availability of a wide range of high quality, efficient, cost effective and competitive telecommunication services throughout Pakistan.” PTA issues licences to telecom services to all landline and cellphone operators including 3G and 4G cellphone services as well as to Internet service providers (ISPs) in the country. The PTA also issues licences for Class Value Added Licenced Services (CVALS), which essentially mean the ‘data’ and ‘voice’ services over the Internet. However, there is no reference, directly or indirectly, to the issue of net neutrality in the in the laws / regulations which deal with provision of Internet in Pakistan. Instead of containing norms that prohibit blocking of websites or online content, the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016 authorizes the PTA to block or remove certain online content. Moreover, there is no legal provision that prohibits:

  • throttling of services or content provided online; or
  • zero-rating and/or paid prioritization.

Regulatory Safeguard Score: 0%

0 out of 11 = 0%

Key finding: Regulations do not guarantee open internet and free flow of data and access online

Transparency ProvisionsDescriptionYesNoNAMD

Does national law address net neutrality directly or indirectly?

This question aims to determine whether net neutrality is regulated by domestic law in any way.

No. The law closest related to internet (PTA) is silent on net neutrality.

 

0

Does national law contain norms that prohibit blocking of websites or content online?

This question determines the degree to which a country’s net neutrality norms prevent blocking, one of the key components of a robust net neutrality framework

No. Both PTA and PECA laws actually authorize PTA to block websites and content online.

0

Does national law contain norms that prohibit throttling of services or content provided online?

This question determines the degree to which a country’s net neutrality norms prevent throttling, one of the key components of a robust net neutrality framework 

No. PTA, under orders of the govt, actually stops telcos and ISPs to periodically throttle services. 

 

0

Does national law contain norms that prohibit zero-rating and/or paid prioritization?

This question determines the degree to which a country’s net neutrality norms prevent zero-rating (of which paid prioritization is a common form), one of the key components of a robust net neutrality framework

No. Paid prioritization is widely practiced.  0

Where net neutrality is protected by law, does the legal framework recognize any exceptions, e.g. for reasonable network management?

This question establishes when reasonable limits are placed on net neutrality protections versus other limits that may undermine its effectiveness.

Net neutrality not protected by law

0

Norms that prohibit or limit zero-rating are successfully implemented: Paid prioritisation does not take place.

This question aims to flesh out the extent to which paid prioritisation occurs in practice despite its prohibition in law; a number of countries with ostensibly strong zero-rating protections experience this phenomenon. This indicator may shed light on the degree of difference between the law and practices on the ground

No such norms exist

0

Norms that prohibit or limit zero-rating are successfully implemented: No other forms of zero-rating take place.

No such norms exist

0

Norms are successfully implemented: Blocking and/or throttling do not take place.

This question seeks to determine how the legal framework in place to protect net neutrality operates in practice with respect to blocking and throttling

Blocking and throttling often take place

 

0

Are there regulatory or other entities charged with monitoring and enforcing net neutrality protections?

This question highlights whether there are authorities charged with enforcing net neutrality protections

No0

Have sanctions been imposed for violations of net neutrality protections where these exist?

This question may illustrate the extent to which violations of net neutrality norms are taken seriously as a matter of rule of law and political will

No0

Are the enforcement mechanisms in place to identify and respond to net neutrality violations viewed as effective?

This question shows the extent to which net neutrality norms actually achieve their goals

No0

Total

0

Legal Assessment (MOM) Pakistan, 2019 by Muhammad Aftab Alam Contextualisation for Media Ownership Monitor - Pakistan 2019
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority Accessed on January 30, 2019

Telecom Act 1996
PECA 2016

  • Project by
    Logo Freedom Network
  •  
    Reporters without borders
  • Funded by
    BMZ