During the past three months, hundreds of journalists and newspaper workers from various newspapers and TV channels have been left unemployed in Pakistan. The largest media organization (Jang) in the country has recently closed as many as five publications. As a result more than five hundred employees were left without jobs.Media owners have blamed falling advertising revenue from government, as well as from large scale private organisations which have cut down advertising on account of the devaluation of the rupee.One is left wondering how much of the scaled down advertising on the part of the government is due to ‘financial crunch’, a term which comes up repeatedly whenever media people are laid off, and how much of this is a result of the government trying to bend the media to its will. In the current circumstances, the media is going through tough times, but that is not unprecedented in this country’s history. However, in previous times whenever these circumstances arose, a resistance on the part of the media was seen. Members of the media community stood up for their profession and colleagues, even spending time in jail.Now we see the same as certain journalists – such as Shahid Masood – have been locked up, but no one is speaking up for them. Why is this so? The resistance mustered in yesteryears seems to have vanished. This attack on the media community is not new and started years ago. In 2014, veteran journalist Hamid Mir was attacked. Afterwards many journalist have been killed, abducted and threatened. Staff member of Daily Dawn Cyril Almeida was trapped in the Dawn leaks issue, The News reporter Ahmed Noorani was attacked by unidentified assailants in Islamabad’s Zero Point area in 2017. These are just two examples of a widespread phenomenon.One is left wondering how much of the scaled down advertising on the part of the government is due to ‘financial crunch’, a term which comes up repeatedly whenever media people are laid off, and how much of this is a result of the government trying to bend the media to its willIn these days, unknown authorities have taken full control over media. They have authority to what can be aired or published and what can’t be.Recently, the news website Voice of America has also been blocked. Renowned journalist Syed Talat Hussain left Geo News as well. He himself stated that “the editorial policy was such that I could not talk about staying in the circle. What I used to talk during program was far beyond the editorial policy and was very deep, so I left the channel”.Other journalists have also made complaints that they are prevented from speaking freely. They are taken off the air, their columns are cancelled, and are threatened as well. Resistance to these demands is futile, and often downright dangerous. As a result we watch or read only positive news.Censorship issue is not a new one either. Regardless of democracy or dictatorship, journalism always comes under attack. Whether it is Press and Publications Ordinance during Ayub Khan’s time affecting reporting during the 1971 war, or the rise of censorship in Zia ul Haq era, the story of journalism has always been the same.Today, it is lack of coverage of issues that are seen as ‘negative’ whether it is the enforced disappearances or the PTM, the situation has not changed. Today, the result is that many people are compelled to impose self-censorship.Today, the media cherry picks facts to spin a false narrative, and speaks the truth over only half the facts. Today, the situation has led to the economic murder of journalists and workers; unemployment within the media industry seems commonplace, and is still going on.. Mode of journalism is changing to create unnecessary hype. And media is being controlled.The answer to this situation is a bit trickier. As we saw political engineering before the election, now there is turn to media-engineering. These are all attempts to bring a new media order. The first attempt was censorship, which has now led to self-censorship.Published in Daily Times, January 28th 2019.