Skip to main content

Zaffar Abbas

Editor, Dawn

Zaffar Abbas is a member of the Reuters Institute's Advisory Board.

Zaffar is the editor of Dawn, Pakistan’s leading English language newspaper. He has an extensive career in journalism. Starting in 1981, he worked as a junior reporter for one of the sister publications of Dawn. In 1988, he moved to the Herald, a prestigious Pakistani monthly magazine, as its leading investigative reporter. Four years later, he joined the BBC World as one of its Pakistan correspondents in Islamabad.

In 2006, Abbas left the BBC to re-join Dawn group and, four years later, was named Dawn’s editor.

During this period, he has covered events ranging from domestic political turmoil, military coups, military and diplomatic conflicts between Pakistan and India, insurgencies and civil wars in Afghanistan since the days of the Soviet occupation, and the rise of Islamic militancy in the region.

Abbas has been a vocal advocate of the industry’s steps for journalists’ safety in a country where scores have been killed or attacked in the last couple of decades. In 2015, he was elected as the chairman of ‘Editors for Safety’, a network of Pakistani newspapers and television editors, which campaigns in support of journalists who come under verbal or physical attack.

He is a member of the Executive Board of the International Press Institute (IPI). He is also on the Board of Editors of the Asian News Network (ANN), a conglomerate of over 22 newspapers of South and South-East Asia, which largely focuses on news collaboration.

Zaffar Abbas is the recipient of CPJ’s 2019 Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award.