Fostering investigative journalism in Pakistan
Free Press Unlimited and Pakistan Press Foundation train journalists in Pakistan to produce balanced and objective investigative reports. It provides Pakistani journalists with important knowledge and tools that will enable them to write critical stories and act as a watchdog for their communities.
With this project, Free Press Unlimited is building on Pakistan Press Foundation's long history of working to improve and further independent media in Pakistan. Our aim is to foster investigative journalism and increase the reach of professional journalism across Pakistan.
Investigative Journalism Center
In order to achieve this, we need to train Pakistani journalists in investigative journalism and producing balanced and objective reporting, whilst incorporating an important foundation of professional, ethical and independent journalism. With the support of Free Press Unlimited, Pakistan Press Foundation has been working tirelessly to set-up an Investigative Journalism Center. The center aims to provide a physical place to bring together journalists and foster a greater appreciation for, and capacity to, write critical investigative reports. It also provides a place to connect journalists beyond big cities into the rural regions of Pakistan.
Generating high quality investigative reports
Developing investigative journalism has been a challenge, as a preference for daily news means journalists do not have the capacity or equipment to produce an investigative report. Pakistan Press Foundation therefore trains journalists from across Pakistan. Each fellow is supervised by a senior investigative journalist, and mentored in generating high quality investigative reports.
Investigative Journalism Fellowship
Through the fellowship, thirty journalists will be given the tools and understanding they need to write stories that go into more depth. They will be able to investigate issues that are important to communities and provide vital information to the people that live there. The investigative journalism fellowship will support participants throughout the writing process, with the aim of creating an investigative report by the end of the fellowship period, as well as providing support for further investigations they will pursue. In this way, Free Press Unlimited in partnership with Pakistan Press Foundation wants to ensure that this project has a lasting impact on its participants.
Freedom of expression constricted
Free Press Unlimited works on capacity building projects that aim to support critical, independent reporting from local journalists, in order to foster a more enabling environment for freedom of expression. In Pakistan, this work is particularly challenging. Pakistan holds a dire position as one of the most hostile media climates in the world. Freedom of expression in Pakistan continues to be constricted. Violence against journalists and media professionals is increasing, and perpetrators of such crimes enjoy a high level of impunity. Independent, critical and reliable media are difficult to find, and Pakistani journalists often risk their lives to do their jobs. We believe that it is critical that local organizations such as Pakistan Press Foundation, that are working to improve this field, are given support from international organizations such as Free Press Unlimited to bolster their efforts.
Promoting freedom of expression
The Pakistan Press Foundation has a long history of working towards professional journalism in Pakistan, having spent fifty years actively promoting freedom of expression and ethical, independent media. The foundation also monitors the media environment in Pakistan, reporting attacks on journalists and media professionals, limitations set against freedom of expression, and issues of impunity.
Journalists trained as part of this project will be in a stronger position to contribute to the development of Pakistan's independent media, and strengthen its ability to act as a watchdog, fostering accountability.