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Cityscapes of Violence in KarachiPublics and Counterpublics$
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Nichola Khan

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190656546

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190656546.001.0001

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The Cost of Free Speech

The Cost of Free Speech

the Media in the Battlefields of Karachi

(p.153) 8 The Cost of Free Speech
Cityscapes of Violence in Karachi

Razeshta Sethna

Oxford University Press

This chapter by Razeshta Sethna examines her experiences as a print journalist for the Dawn Media Group, and a presenter for Geo TV and Dawn TV. Sethna reveals professional tensions between levels of editorial control and the failure of newspaper owners and editors to protect journalists, and she illuminates ways that fear works to prevent journalists from protesting against the murder of colleagues. She unravels connections between violent politics, state violence, and the media. These involve the Muttahida Qaumi Movement party (MQM), whose militants have burnt the city’s newspaper offices and threatened journalists—and the military and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agencies who pressure senior editors to censor views considered too liberal, keep silence around the state’s repression of democratic freedoms and human rights, and the ‘disappearances’ of activists in Balochistan. Notwithstanding, the proliferation of Karachi’s television media since 2007 has positioned journalists at the forefront of open criticism against violence.

Keywords:   press censorship, media repression, journalism, news agencies, Intelligence agencies, television media

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