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New report takes a hard look at digital (in)security of journalists in Pakistan

Digital Rights Foundation's new report explores the levels of digital threats that journalists face, records their experiences of online insecurity, and flags needed protections from the journalists' community, their respective media organisations, and the government.

A woman from the Shiite ethnic minority Hazara community works on a computer at an eatery in Hazara Town, a neighbourhood in Quetta, Pakistan, 2 November 2017
A woman from the Shiite ethnic minority Hazara community works on a computer at an eatery in Hazara Town, a neighbourhood in Quetta, Pakistan, 2 November 2017

BANARAS KHAN/AFP/Getty Images

Digital Rights Foundation has launched its new report titled "Digital (in)security of Journalists in Pakistan" which explores the levels of digital threats that journalists face, records their experiences of online insecurity, and concludes what protections they desire from the journalists' community, their respective media organisations, and the government.

The report points at the appalling condition of online harassment and the sense of discomfort that journalists face while being online because of their work. It finds that 78% of the respondents of the survey had experienced some form of online threat or harassment; 92% respondents think that online harassment is really common; 45.5% of them thought that online insecurity resulted in them self-censoring themselves; and 56% of them think that online insecurity is tied with their physical safety.

In the light of stats collected from the working journalists, the DRF put forward some recommendations that the journalists can benefit from if they are implemented. The report can be accessed here.

The report is the effort of the team of Digital Rights Foundation, DRF's Network of Female Journalists for Online Safety which helped us in connecting with the journalists, and of course all the Pakistani journalists who took part in our research.

With this report, we aim to make the working conditions of journalists in Pakistan better and their online activities secure because we believe that all that we do in the digital rights community wouldn't have been as impactful as it is had our journalist friends and colleagues wouldn't have dispensed their time and energy in reporting unbiased news and helped us in spreading the world beyond.

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