In an interesting development recently, five print and electronic media groups of Pakistan sat together and formed an association which aims to protect the rights of digital publishers.
Without taking any digital publisher, blogger or internet portal on-board, print and electronic media tycoons have selected an executive committee for this association (that mainly represents print media) – and incorrectly claim to have representation for the digital-sphere.
Bloggers, internet portals, advertisers and digital agencies, aren’t happy. Everyone has expressed variety of concerns over this cartelization which apparently is an effort to achieve monopoly on digital front.
Bloggers, some of which were recently sent Rs. 1 Billion legal notices by Jang Group, fear that print and electronic media will sabotage the rights and privileges of bloggers, who are already struggling in terms of doing business and are usually not influenced by advertiser and foreign funding – unlike print and electronic media.
A digital agency based out of Karachi, while speaking with ProPakistani, expressed its reservations by saying that current design of digital association will favor only those having presence in print and electronic media.
Head of another digital agency said that association doesn’t address the core-problems of the industry, as of now at least.
It merits mentioning here that formation of association was declared without announcing its bylaws, policies, rules and regulations.
Digital media in Pakistan is undergoing tremendous growth. However, other than few major publishers, bloggers and portals of the country struggle with their businesses.
Getting business/advertisement for online portals and blogs is considered extremely hard. ProPakistani knows bloggers and portals with over 5 million impressions per month are still struggling to get their first advertisement. Those who get advertisements are not paid on time. There are instances when bloggers/portal are not paid for years.
This whole scenario requires a serious effort, with consensus throughout all quarters of digital media, to get working conditions more favorable for digital publishers.