KARACHI: The Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) has thanked the Supreme Court of Pakistan for its decision to revive of the government advertisements for newspapers.
In a statement issued to media on Wednesday, the council also welcomed the SC’s order to draft guidelines for government ads under the supervision of CPNE President Zia Shahid. The CPNE has announced that it will consult senior newspaper editors while preparing the guidelines.
Stating the principled stance of the CPNE during the hearing of a suo motu case with regard to government advertisements, the president had said freedom of the press and freedom of opinion are associated with the survival of the newspapers while their financial stability depends largely on the government ads.
The CJ had clarified that the Supreme Court has not placed any ban on the issuance of advertisements to media by the federal or provincial governments and has only ordered not to issue ads with photographs of political leaders. The court does not want that the media business gets affected, the CJP had said.
Responding to Zia Shahid’s complaint about distribution of advertisements on the basis of personal likes and dislikes, the SC had observed that the court should be informed on the basis of a review about such distribution of ads.
“If advertisements are stopped as a punishment by the authorities, it is against freedom of the press and freedom of expression. We need to find a solution to the issue.
“We need to examine if the freedom of media is suppressed and if it is the case, the SC will take notice of it. The equal distribution of advertisements to media will be ensured. We will not let any media group get more advertisements than their just share though their contacts,” the court had observed.