Across South Asia, an already challenging climate for free media appears to have further deteriorated in the past year. The 2020 World Press Freedom Index has seen India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka slip down the annual rankings, with all four South Asian countries in the bottom third worldwide. The challenges to free media in South Asia are myriad—particularly threats to journalists’ safety and freedom, repressive actions and overt censorship by governments, unravelling business models, and a chaotic online environment. In many cases, the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the threats that journalists and media outlets face as economic pressures have intensified and governments seek to further restrict media freedoms.
 

On December 15, USIP hosted distinguished journalists from the region to shed light on the challenges of the past year, share personal insights from the ground, and discuss what we can expect from South Asian governments and media outlets going forward.

Continue the conversation on Twitter with #SouthAsiaMedia.

Speakers

Tamanna Salikuddin, opening remarks
Director, South Asia, U.S. Institute of Peace

Shahidul Alam
Managing Director, Drik Picture Library Ltd. (Bangladesh)

Dilrukshi Handunnetti
Executive Director, Center for Investigative Reporting (Sri Lanka)

Siddharth Varadarajan
Founding Editor, The Wire (India)

Cyril Almeida, moderator 
Visiting Senior Expert, U.S. Institute of Peace
Former Assistant Editor, Dawn Newspaper (Pakistan)

Related Publications

Our Next ‘Unthinkable’ Crisis: Nuclear War in Asia?

Our Next ‘Unthinkable’ Crisis: Nuclear War in Asia?

Thursday, May 19, 2022

By: James Rupert

Our world’s spate of disasters so recently unimaginable — European cities pulverized by war, Earth’s decaying climate or 6 million dead from pandemic disease — evokes a national security question: What other “unthinkable” crises must American citizens and policymakers anticipate? A singular threat is warfare around our planet’s one spot where three nuclear-armed states stubbornly contest long-unresolved border conflicts. Largely unnoted in national security news coverage, the conflicts embroiling China, India and Pakistan are growing more complex and dangerous. A USIP study shows the urgency for U.S. policymakers of working to reduce the risks.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global PolicyConflict Analysis & Prevention

China, India and Pakistan: Tenuous Stability Risks Nuclear War

China, India and Pakistan: Tenuous Stability Risks Nuclear War

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

By: Daniel Markey, Ph.D.;  Andrew Scobell, Ph.D.;  Vikram J. Singh

Over the past decade, long-standing disputes between the nuclear-armed states of Southern Asia have repeatedly veered into deeper hostility and violence. These regional developments reflect and reinforce new and significant geopolitical shifts, starting with the global strategic competition between China and the United States. In Southern Asia, relations between the United States and Pakistan have frayed even as U.S.-India and China-Pakistan ties have strengthened. The region now faces deepening and more multifaceted polarization. Global competition adds fuel to regional conflict and reduces options for crisis mediation.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & PreventionGlobal Policy

View All Publications