A journalist doesn’t want to lose his job, so are his emotions regarding his freedom to ‘write the truth’. Unfortunately, these two things have been kept linked to maintain the control and hegemony over the press, by several groups with vested interests, since partition. The aforementioned forced arranged marriage between a journalist’s salary and his freedom to write the truth, a is a very old and overused tool to ensure censure of sane voices in the media industry. The prevailing conditions in the country clearly indicate that Journalism and Freedom of Press are still incarcerated, it is just the form of penitentiary that has changed. After the attack on Twin Towers in 2001, the violence against journalists increased further. The religious militants started attacking journalists due to the sudden expansion of media in Pakistan. Many respectable and senior journalists were targeted on various occasions to give the journalist fraternity an implied order to keep shush. The state actors, instead of providing security to Media workers, in those hard and minacious days, started attacking the fraternity in her own vicious ways. To be historically honest, it must be stated that the state never wanted media to be a leashless dog. Various regulations were introduced into the PEMRA laws to decrease the size of the already suffocating oxygen bubble. The efforts to reclaim writing space is almost impossible. Spreading the truth, in this part of the earth, is like playing with the claws of the grim reaper, the mythological figure of death. The murder of Wali Khan Baber and Saleem Shehzad must never be forgotten. Their sacrifices for the journalist community cannot be possibly quantified. Writing the truth cost them their lives. But this an incomplete thought I guess, besides the known discourse, that journalists are always threatened by the government officials and the security agencies, threats from the political actors, religious clerics, feudal lords, insurgents, and criminal Mafias are also prevalent.The recent treasonous case against a well-reputed journalist, purely based on duplicitous speculations, is a step in the wrong directionAdding to that, we can’t forget the Media owners (Seths), the real exploiters. The already depressed class of journalists and media workers further receive the hostility of the organization’s exploiting policies, which never allows paying the salaries on time. The other serious issue within the organizations is that of downsizing. A man in power can throw their workers out without giving any show cause notice. Here comes the matter of dignity, mostly taught in media training, but this is of secondary importance. The first thing that came into my mind when I saw some senior journalists, protesting under the banner of ‘freedom of speech’, was that the very same voices took a vow of silence, when their bosses, without giving any prior notice, fired numerous journalists of noted Media groups.The economic bomb is no less harmful than shooting a bullet into a journalist’s head. This dilemma with the working class of Media remained all along in the history of journalism after the partition. The situation becomes worsened when the political biases of various organizations overpowered the media fraternity’s obligation to the truth. Money was chosen over the duty to report the truth. The political economy of the mass media affects it more badly than the external censorship crusade. It is enough for a journalist to be said that he may be fired from work, at any instant, if his report or published piece contradicts to the vested interests of a particular class. Saving himself/herself from getting fired from the job is an everyday struggle for the middle-class journalists. Journalists have an important role in improving their society and the surrounding regions. Their services aren’t rewarded, most of the time. The state should intervene at this point of time and provide some social security to the journalist fraternity, either in the form of permanent job status or, at least, regulate a code of conduct for Media house owners. The organizations and other elements should also be obligated to ensure that such securities are provided to the people working in Media organizations.Terming journalists and politicians with derogatory titles like ‘Ghaddar and Gustaakh’, literally Traitor and Blasphemer, by the corridors of deep state and religious extremists has become a tradition in Pakistan. In the immortal words of famous Urdu poet of the modern tradition, Juan Ellia, “21st century was forcefully dragged into this region, not welcomed. In the traditions of securing fundamental rights, Europe is centuries ahead of us. We have the potential, like every other struggling democratic third world country, to rise and metamorphose into a civilized nation of the world. I have always had reservations with the articles of our Supreme Law, that bestow us with blessings, such as, the freedom to have some thought but snatches the given freedoms in the very next clauses of the very same articles. Mr. Oriya Maqbool once said, “if one contradicts the constitution, he/she is no less evil than those who wrong the constitution.”The recent treasonous case against a well-reputed journalist, purely based on duplicitous speculations, is a step in the wrong direction. The recent mockery of justice and the journalistic code has brought us back to the very same point from where we started our journey.The writer is a journalist based in Islamabad. He tweets @SurkhsalaamPublished in Daily Times, October 18th 2018.