A group of editors and journalists from the country’s leading newsrooms have launched the Pakistan Digital Editors Alliance (PDEA), which aims to promote journalism and ensure sustainability of newsrooms, according to a press release.
The PDEA, which comprises editors, journalists, and representatives from leading media organisations, will address the challenges faced by Pakistan’s news industry as digital evolution redefines conventional journalism and news consumption.
1/ Editors from leading digital news platforms in Pakistan are excited to launch the Pakistan Digital Editors Alliance (PDEA).
The alliance is dedicated to:
▪️ Promoting journalism
▪️ Reviving newsrooms
▪️ Sharing best practices
— Pakistan Digital Editors Alliance (@PDEA_Pak) March 16, 2023
The PDEA aims to serve as a platform for digital editors to work collectively on common issues impacting journalism in Pakistan, including media freedom, threats to journalists, and viability of independent journalism.
“Digital editors across Pakistan are no stranger to working with numbers — but do so often in lonely isolation in a secretive, competitive field, which is why I am relieved to say now that there will be strength in our numbers in the shape of this alliance, the PDEA,” said PDEA’s Convener Mahim Maher, who is leading the digital wing at Aaj News.
Maher is hopeful the platform will contribute towards financial and journalistic sustainability of newsrooms across Pakistan and welcome more people who are interested in transitioning into digital journalism.
The formation of PDEA was facilitated by Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD), which is known for its extensive research into the news media landscape and for training journalists and diverse newsroom teams across the country. According to Asad Baig, director and co-founder at MMfD, the PDEA will primarily focus on the diversification of revenue streams.
“Due to the lack of prospects for revenue generation through pay-walling of content, it is imperative for newsrooms to switch to alternative revenue streams for financial stability and long-term sustainability,” Baig said. “The PDEA has made it a priority to strive towards sustainable revenue-sharing mechanisms for newsrooms while simultaneously tackling challenges posed by Big Tech’s exploitative practices, and ensuring transparency in media ownership.”
MMfD will provide its full support to further the cause of PDEA, Baig added.
The PDEA is “independent of all ideological, political, government and religious bodies and remains so for the length of its existence”.
The PDEA’s governing body includes:
Mahim Maher (Aaj News)
Haroon Rashid (Independent Urdu)
Jahanzaib Haque (Dawn)
Zeeshan Haider (BBC Urdu)
Zain Siddiqui (Dawn)
Manzar Elahi (Geo News)
Hassan Belal Zaidi (Dawn)