Zaffar Abbas

Editor, Dawn Newspaper, Pakistan

Zaffar Abbas is a Pakistani journalist, who has been the editor of Pakistan's oldest English-language daily DAWN, since October 2010. He began his career in journalism at The Star, a Karachi-based eveninger, in 1981. In 1988 he moved to the monthly Herald as Senior Reporter. In 1990 he joined the BBC world service as one of its Pakistan correspondents, and remained with it for 16 years. During this period he also frequently covered Afghanistan and events in other regional countries. He was twice targeted by different militant groups in 1990s, but luckily survived with non-fatal wounds. He is also the current Chair of a local initiative called Editors For Safety —- a collaborative effort to highlight attacks against Pakistani journalists and to challenge the culture of impunity. In 2019 The Committee to Protect Journalists named him as the recipient of the prestigious Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award.

Zaffar is speaking at

French Translation
September 26, 2019
9:15 am - 10:30 am
Holcim Auditorium, HafenCity Universität (HCU)


  • Zaffar Abbas (Speaker) Editor, Dawn Newspaper, Pakistan
  • Reg Chua (Speaker) Chief Operating Officer, Reuters News
  • Catherine Gicheru (Speaker) Code for Africa, ICFJ Knight Fellow
  • Marina Walker Guevara (Speaker) Director of Strategic Initiatives , ICIJ
  • Drew Sullivan (Speaker) Editor, Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project
  • Sheila Coronel (Moderator) Dean of Academic Affairs, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
  • Cordula Meyer (Speaker) Editor National Desk, Der Spiegel


We gather today amid a growing global backlash against human rights, democracy, and an independent press. Even in countries where we thought our colleagues were relatively secure, the news media is under serious assault. At the same time, we face a business model that has all but disappeared, technology that seems to change not yearly but daily, and issues that threaten not only our profession but the Earth itself. 

And yet... In many ways investigative journalism is stronger than ever. An investigative press has spread worldwide, and those who believe in social accountability and progress now recognize that watchdog reporting is as essential to development as good healthcare, honest cops and a level playing field for business. 

With this in mind, we start GIJC19 with a look forward. Here are six big thinkers from six countries, with expertise ranging from kleptocracies to artificial intelligence, to give us a glimpse at the challenges ahead.

French translation for this session is provided by CFI, the French media development organization.

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