New media for local democratic discourse in Pakistan

Pakistan has a massive youth population which comprises 60 per cent of the country’s 190 million people. Many of them are increasingly active on social media. An UNDEF-funded project works uses this tool to engage youth on political and governance and local development issues. As grassroots issues receive limited or inadequate attention in national media, web-based media is key in addressing them in smaller and rural districts.

Implemented by Punjab Lok Sujag the project works in 10 districts of Punjab to develop district-level web and Facebook pages discussing issues such as health, education, rights, environment, and public service. Launch ceremonies were held in Faisalabad, Sahiwal, Vehari and Jhang in May and June 2015, bringing together print and electronic media, associations of teachers, traders, doctors and farmers, civil society organisations, political parties, elected representatives, government officials, social activists, poets, lawyers and academia.