ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on Friday issued notices to four local television channels for "being irresponsible and provoking anti-national sentiments among viewers by sensitizing events unnecessarily."
According to a PEMRA press release, some of the talk shows and programmes of Geo News, Dawn News, News One and Dunya News violated Section 20 of PEMRA Ordinance 2002 read with Rule 15 of PEMRA Rules 2009 and clause (1) (d) (g) (h) of Code of Conduct set out in the Schedule-B of PEMRA Rules 2009.
According to the notice, after the PNS Mehran tragedy, it was observed that some news channels were not realising their journalistic responsibility and ethics towards society, institutions and country. Some news channels even went overboard in maligning the role of security agencies, armed forces and state institutions.
The press release cited Geo News’ televised interview of an alleged eye witness of PNS Mehran attack thereby creating undue sensation and hype without verifying facts and realising the grave repercussions that such "irresponsible journalism" could have on country. The eyewitness’s account later proved to be fake, the notice stated.
The release called on the media to exhibit their responsible side, pointing out that no media anywhere in the world undermines the reputation, respect, sovereignty or integrity of its nation, institutions or its forces or pass aspersions against them. Instead, media in the world safeguard their national and strategic interests, said the press release.
Media in Pakistan has been given enormous freedom of expression and speech but a line must be drawn between desirable and undesirable information by the media on their own. Media today has to understand their responsibility before it is too late, said the release.
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